Open Transclude

tags: roam

I have been super interested in what some people call “tools for thought” recently. A rather recent realization is that quite a few of my obsessions relate to this meme in some way. (Will do a post on this soon!)

One idea that has interested me is the idea of transclusion - making a reference to something that exists and pulling it into the current document. Transclusion as a concept is contemporaneous with hypertext; in fact, some hypertext systems like Ted Nelson’s legendary Xanadu support transclusion.

Transclusion is useful for “tools for thought” because it allows for re-use of existing ideas and a single source of truth.

In Roam, this can be done via page/block includes. I wanted a similar system for this blog.

Fortunately for me, Toby Shorin shared something cool called Open Transclude which is a spec for referring to your own content on the same domain. Not being able to sleep well tonight, I managed to integrate it into my blog 🤓

Example pointing to my about page.

Another example (me obsessed with roam):