Unified Glossaries

Desperate for a system of unified glossaries

!../_attachments/Screen Shot 2023-06-11 at 14.23.36.png

This Anki screenshot explains my plight of "glossary data duplication," specifically in headwords, better than a thousand words can.

Take the word "petition." it has 35 notes or entries in Anki. It appears in the headword field in various forms:

The 35 entries were added at various times from myriad sources, over the last 3.5 years.

Anki has a "design flaw" in my opinion in that it offers only two modes of import in the case the headword entry is found to be existing in the same target deck:

  1. Import anyway, resulting in duplicated headword
  2. Replace the existing entry's content with the new import entry's content

The second option is a no-no. It's designed only for a specific use case: when one knows the import is a revised version that is meant to replace or update the existing deck. But this is not my scenario. My use is one of accumulation. I add new materials but keep the old. When I want to revise, I have a special routine.

So, I had to go with the first option, and over the years, this results in the 35 entries for "petition" as shown.

The pros and cons of the duplicated headword approach.



Unified Glossary

What I prefer now is something that looks like this, merging all related entries of "petition" into just a single Obsidian note named "petition.md", whose content is a concatenation of all 35 entries for "petition," each preserving its original headword and metadata (source):


All future additions from new sources of "petition" will also be merged with or tacked onto the same note. Future search for "petition" will find exactly one note, and all 35 different definitions or contexts can be viewed at once with some scrolling. The unified view naturally promotes linking of different scenarios and contexts, including legal and non-legal uses.


line: (petition src: DOJ::combine)