WIP Links (Backlinks Support)


  • Makes spaces feel more interlinked, encourages linking and jumping between spaces
  • Based on regular urls in cards, no special card syntaxes or setup needed


Here’s what I’m thinking (I didn’t travel with my art supplies so this is extra rough :))

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 12.43.50 PM

Basically, Links shows you all the spaces linked to and from the current space:

→ out (maybe from) shows you links in your current space
→ in (maybe to) shows you spaces that are linking to the current space

as well as a toggle to show generic web links in the current space too



would you expect/want links to a space to open just the space? Or open the space and focus on the card that contained the link to it?

I love this idea and the goals.

Awesome, yes, I think this will definitely help to this end.

In terms of inter-connecting spaces, please consider a way to make it more convenient to create two-way links. Right now, you have to go to a space A, copy the URL, navigate to space B, create a card and paste the link. Then copy URL B, navigate to space A, create a card and paste the link. :slight_smile:

Also, as a related feature, doing some kind of unfurling of kinopio space links would go a long way to making spaces feel interconnected, too. Something like a thumbnail of the whole space, like what I did here :slight_smile:

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In terms of inter-connecting spaces

If you’re on space A and you create a card with a link to space B , clicking on Links will show that link as outbound. If you’re on space B and click Links, then the link to A would also show up as inbound. Wouldn’t that create inter-connected spaces?

ya I want to have unfurling w screenshots too, but that’s it’s a bit of a big job because I also need to build a server-side tool to take those screenshots periodically.

possibly the in/out distinction for links might not matter to the user irl, something to investigate while building

Yes, that would be a great first step. The additional piece for me is having a card in space B with a link to A. Navigating between spaces from within the space (via spatially-arranged cards) promotes the interconnected feel more than a separate Links dialog, though the latter sounds super-useful too because it documents in one place how this space is connected in the world.

I’m not sure the best way to achieve this—one idea is to have a button next to the link in the Links dialog that creates a card with the link. Or, at least have an easy way to copy the link so you can more easily create the card itself.

Yes, totally understand. Maybe as an initial iteration is to give cards with kinopio space links a special style that distinguishes them from normal Internet links (kinopio icon perhaps?)


Or, at least have an easy way to copy the link so you can more easily create the card itself

Part of this update is allowing spaces in a list to be right clicked to get the url (and middle clicked to open in new tab), so you’ll be able to manually create backlinks in cards that way

kinopio space links a special style that distinguishes them from normal Internet links (kinopio icon perhaps?)

I’ll probably do something to have them stand out a bit more before release, but kinopio urls will get special handling on card, which includes their space name.

When you click a space name badge it’ll show a dialog that gives you a preview of the space. In the future that may include a screenshot, but for now will show just the background and other metadata (I haven’t built that part yet)

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Oh, this looks really good. Being able to right-click and copy the link will help immensely. I’m looking forward to trying it—I’m hopeful this will go a long way in having Kinopio feel like a cohesive universe of connected spaces (for the things I want to have many spaces for).

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^ clicking a link open linkdetails dialog

with info on the space and it’s creator, letting you decide to jump to it or copy the url. The dialog also handles cases where the url is 404. Anything missing here?

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I like this a lot. Just brainstorming here: I wonder if showing some brief space stats would be helpful (number of cards, connections, last updated.) It might give the user some context before jumping in. And on that note, this card would be a good place to include a space description (which you’ve probably considered before) :slight_smile:

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good ideas,

I can’t do the cards one because fetching the total number of cards/connections for each space would make retrieval of the space meta a lot slower, but date updatedAt was pretty easy to add.


I think in teh future, a screenshot might add much of the context that card and connection count would add


Just thinking out loud: what is the use case for copying the URL from a card with a space URL?

The use case I am most interested in is making it easier to obtain the link of a space (let’s say A) I want to add to the current space (B). If there’s a way I can avoid navigating to B and copying the URL there, and then coming back to A to create a card with that link, that would be awesome.

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That makes sense, I didn’t have anything specific in mind other than improve-ing sharability and not wanting to obscure the url. But if no better use case comes up I’ll remove that section

If there’s a way I can avoid navigating to B and copying the URL

I was planning to do this through /type-a-space-to-insert-a-url, but not have that feature in this release. If you think space-linking wouldn’t be very useful without this then I’ll consider adding it to v1

I think what you have right now with the new dialog when you have a space link is marginally useful. That is, it makes the experience of seeing and navigating space links nicer. This will help where people already have links in place. So def useful, so I wouldn’t vote to hold off.

A feature that helps people create two-way links would be much more impactful. I see a main use case that I would think is fairly common. You get to the point where you want to move a bunch of cards into a new space to build on. I would love to see an enhancement to the existing feature where you select some cards and move them into a new space. There should be a way to put a card in their place with a link to the new space. This would save a lot of manual steps.

If you have the other feature where all in and out links are listed in a dialog (btw, you haven’t talked about that here—is that still planned?), then you already have the two-way link because on the new space you just created, the Links dialog would show the incoming link. The use case I just described is where you are using spaces to organize hierarchies of information.

Some other thoughts:

  • the slash autocomplete feature you described wouldn’t work in a situation where you’re trying to link to a space you don’t own (like making a webring)
  • there is some overlap with tags. Tags browser shows you other spaces with the same tag. Could that be another option for copying a space URL? As I said in that other thread, currently tags is the one way we have inter-space navigation. Might be something worth exploring, could end up being to confusing or hard to integrate the two concepts.


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here’s a hack that may fit your workflow: create a link on a card to the currentspace, then move that card into the other space

Yeah the links dialog is still planned, it’s requires everything else in place so i’m building that last.

I’m still on the fence about /space , I can see it being handy and I think it’s okay that it won’t work for webrings, cuz regular urls will still work

the cards are requested on demand (not pre-fetched) so there is a visible loading before the cards list comes in , but overall I think it’s a win. Also gives more of a https://notes.andymatuschak.org feel

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That looks awesome. The card list is a great idea, and right on with the matuschak reference.

that’s a great hack which I’ll try. I think I still want more automation in the two-way linking workflow, but thanks for this suggestion:)

I’m also on the fence. I feel like I wouldn’t link to other spaces enough and need autocomplete that it justifies such a prominent way to access it (with the slash.) But like I said, on the fence, so maybe it would be useful.

decided to take a crack at / command spaces, I already have a spacePicker from the copy/move card feature so adding this likely-core feature should only take about a day or so.

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Hi! Just curious - is linking and jumping between cards planned at any point down the line?


hey Naveen,

direct card links is planned. The way that’ll likely work is when a card is open, the browser url is updated with the card id (eg kinopio.club?cardId=123). So you can copy and share that with someone. When you load a url with a card id, the space loads and then card opens (scrolling into view if necessary)