Should we consider auto create non-exist wiki links as empty page?

Since Bear 2.0 now has backlink support, should we consider automatically creating a page if we link to a non-exist page?

For example,

[[some non exist page]] should automatically create a new page with “some non exist page” as the title, so later we can go there and complete the page.

If this is not preferred by the team, can we consider adding a toggle to let the user choose whether to do this automatically?

Or at least, allow auto-completion for such links? Currently, if we don’t create the “some non exist page” page, the next time we want to link it again, it will not show up in the [[some non… auto-completion, which is quite troublesome to deal with.


I believe that’s the same as we were discussing here:

YES! Let me “backlink” it for visibility, thanks!

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This is the existing behavior in Bear 2, right? I’ve already been using it and it’s very intuitive & natural in my opinion.

No… not really, the existing behaviour is:

  1. type some non-exist wiki link
  2. click on the link (at this moment, the page will be created)

but what we suggest is

  1. type some non-exist wiki link
  2. upon finishing the wiki link (by closing the “]]” using a auto-completion perhaps called “create new note”) the page is created

This behaviour is common in other note-taking apps and I think it is really convenient.

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As far as i know in obsidian that is not common behaviour.

I can remeber an older discussion from one year ago or so where the devs explained why automatic creation of new pages are not a good idea. I am not able to find the link currently.

In Upnote it’s not automatic either. It’s just when you type a non-existing link after [[ a little pop up asks if you want to create a new note. Hitting enter or clicking with the mouse will confirm. It’s a small difference I guess but at least you’re not getting guided away from where you’re writing, so you stay mostly in the flow.

Yea, I think the team has a reason not to automatically create the page, that’s why I propose another solution that provide auto complete for such cases instead of creating the page. Perhaps this at least should be beneficial?

Actually the idea is that a new note is not required at all as long as you do not start writing in it.

I understand, that’s why I suggest we only enable auto completion for such non existent but linked “pages”

One simple use case:

I’m writing algorithm notes and some concept are so common but I don’t want to write in detail about it now. However, I still need to link to this concept, for example “depth first search” in other notes, so it’s going to be convenient if I can get auto completion when linking to this concept even though I haven’t written on it yet.

I think I understand better now. You want is for links to nonexistent notes show up in choices when adding a new link, for example, assuming you had already made a link to [[My nonexistent note]] previously, then you’d see something like this when starting to create another link to a note:


image My existing note

image My nonexistent note

That would make it easier to make names to new notes consistent (in the case where you are making a link to a non-existent note multiple times), while avoiding the need to create empty notes.

It would probably be nice to be able to see a list of “missing notes” (i.e., notes that you defined via link, but don’t yet exist) somewhere. This way, you could use the list of missing notes to work through notes you had deferred creating (instead of relying on a bunch of empty, untagged notes to be your list). The Info panel could show missing notes for the current note. But what about across all notes?

An entry under “Notes” in the left panel (alongside Untagged, Todo, Today, and Locked) like:

image Notes
   image Missing notes

could work, where a list of deferred notes would be shown and selecting any of them would instantly create an empty note with that title.


You’re absolutely right! You’ve gone steps further! Thanks for the suggestion l, let’s see if the team will consider this. :grin:

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This is an elegant solution! +1 to see this implemented

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I do not consider that as elegant solution because it is totally illogical: a display of notes in notes list which doesn‘t exist is somehow odd. Furthermore the entry under notes pretend that these notes are a subset of the parent „notes“-node. But they aren‘t since they do not exist at all. And last but not least: clicking a note inside a notes list with the result that this notes disappears from the notes list is confusing.

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It’s a fair point. I had the same thought and almost didn’t suggest it because it felt odd at first… but, then again, these are notes… they just happen to be notes that you’ve planned to create.

Like adding a tag to an untagged note in Bear? :slight_smile:

You underestimate such illogical constructions. For you it is clear because you have constructed it. :wink: But imagine a summary of such things inside one app and you get an unusable app like I know many from the freeware and opensource scene in windows

Does the tagged note disappear from editor? That‘s not the same but in contrary fulfills expectations. You even have in bear with „hide subtags“ in notes list activated such a case where the note just disappears and I consider that as bad ux

I think we’ve gone too far on this, the only needed improvement is simple and should be non-destructive:

  • We need wiki link auto completion not only on existing pages but also all existing wiki links(whether linked to an actual page or not) so that we can quickly type a link if we have typed it before.

That is a reasonable feature

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Yes, I would request for this - having used several other apps (Obsidian, Roam, Reflect, etc), Bear is the only app which does not show all wiki-links in the autocomplete.

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Agreed. Including all links (even if note not yet created) in autocomplete would be a good first step. Introducing an icon for “new note” would help provide a subtle distinction between existing and non-existent notes in the autocomplete dropdown.

The reason for thinking about a place for a list of links with non-existent notes was in response to the Simpler workflow for creating notes on the fly comment:

Basically, supporting a workflow of working through links to non-existent notes. While Untagged can be used for this, there could be existing notes that are untagged for other reasons. @krssno has pointed out the oddity of a list of notes that don’t exist. Some people may see it as a list of notes that don’t exist yet. Regardless, this feature could be saved for later or never exist and the autocomplete functionality certainly doesn’t depend on it existing.

Regardless, as @krssno points out, it would be a better UX if notes didn’t disappear the moment they didn’t qualify for the current view – i.e., adding a tag to a note in the Untagged list shouldn’t force the note to suddenly disappear; rather, let the user continue to work on the note and update the Untagged list the next time it is rendered (i.e., when the user navigates away and returns to the Untagged list). If “Missing Notes” were added later, they could benefit from the same behavior.

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