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Elements of the Knowledge Base

Jul 9, 2020Last updated: Jun 29, 2021
System in 💡 meta

This website is an organization of all my knowledge. With the growing collection of information, I've realized that I need a system to make sure it doesn't become a large disconnected pile of text. Organizing also keeps the learning disciplined. Albeit, content organization is tricky. Organizing too little is as good as nothing and organizing too much becomes an categorization hell.

ℹ️ I recommend my knowledge organization philosophy to set the right context before reading further.

This post is about how I realize the philosophy. First things first - everything starts as a text. For atomicity, the same text file contains frontmatter which contains some basic details - title, description, creation and modified date. Often times, I also commit posts in progress which I note as a draft boolean variable in the frontmatter. Other old posts which I think may render inaccurately in some respects but still deserve to stay, are marked with the archive boolean variable. They are accompanied with a message on the top.

For categorization, I was inspired by the Johnny Decimal system. The system seems to be rather developed to organizes files and folders. I repurpose it. Every page in the knowledge base is assigned to a primary area and category. For instance, this page is filed under area "Meta" and category "System". This should be surfaced somewhere on this page which is hopefully not too hard to find. All areas and categories are defined in an orgsys file and specified for every file in the frontmatter. Under the git file system, all post files are organized in a two-level deep tree of short codes for respective primary areas and categories.

Every post is assigned a friendly url transform of the title. Of course, the assumption here is that no two posts will have the same title. I think that's a reasonable assumption and forces me to disambiguate semantics in the title itself. This also keeps things robust to any re-organization I might like on the file system later. In case I wish to change the title, I provide a list of old redirect urls in the file metadata (frontmatter). Conforming to the philosophy, none of this is influenced by characteristics of the file system - the file name or organization under a folder.

Pretty simple. The specific software to implement this is summarized in the stack. Go visit my knowledge Bayes.

© 2021 Sanyam Kapoor