✅ SEP 38: Document Type: References

Status: Finished
Date: 2023-04-16 
Commit: 12af74e3bc8f3ff029344ddca7681dc27be55ef0

Related to SEP 36: Build a link archive and ✅ SEP 4: Add taxonomical types alongside tags.

An earlier version of this proposal was titled Document type: ‘links’, hence the explorative couple of paragraphs below. I have retained them here as they form a record of the evolution of this proposal and why I settled on ‘references’.

I think one of the core/key document types will be the link. This function was first explored in my Pearls, but that was meant more for particularly notable works/references and as a repository for a higher volume of links it proved uncomfortable, unfit. SEP 36: Build a link archive reflects my desire that this site accommodate more and more of my habits, becoming increasingly useful to me, and acting as an interlinked store for all my reading/research would certainly be useful.

One question is, should they be called ‘links’, ie does that create ambiguity given that links are everywhere but the ‘links’ type will only refer to a document the refers primarily to a single external link/reference.

Perhaps the stronger, more applicable type would be to call them ‘references’. This has two benefits:

  1. Removes the ambiguity over which links are ‘links’

  2. Allows for references to refer to much more than simple hypertext. A reference could be to

Ultimately, these references would be used for footnotes/referencing from within my notes/essays. This would have two benefits. References could be easily referred to simply by their UUID short ref (eg 3a66bea4) that uniquely identifies any document, this could be semi-automated with a reference helper overlay. Additionally, having these reference documents would allow me to accumulate relevant notes, metadata, and deeply nested reference sets. For anyone who wants to explore a topic deeply any one reference could serve as a good leaping off point.

Ultimately I would like for each reference to also (automatically) include a backup link to the Internet Archive at the time the reference was made (if it was a weblink). Books in the public domain could also include the full text within the reference. Where rights permit, references to artworks could also include an image of the work.

This poses another question, whether ‘quotes’ should come under the ‘reference’ type. They do constitute a sort of reference, but equally, 1 book would have only 1 reference, but I might make several quotes from it. So for that reason I will keep quote as a separate type to preserve the one-to-one Cardinality) of the reference type, and the many-to-one relationship of quotes