Roam is not a standard note-taking app; it’s more like a programming environment for your thoughts.
If you’ve not familiar with programming environments, some Roam-speak could confuse you. That’s why we’re crowdsourcing a glossary!
In case something isn’t clear or is missing, please let us know via the box at the end of this page. Do note that some terms link to their respective pages, where you can find more information.
Queries—Roam’s language to search for blocks using Boolean logic.
Shortcodes—Short snippets of Roam code that perform a function.
Pages—A collection of blocks. The page name is a highest block in the hierarchy.
Page references—A block type that gives an overview of blocks that all link to the same page.
Blocks—The atomic unit of Roam and the only content that’s hierarchally organized.
Block references—Show a copy of a block, but without ability for editing.
Block embeds—Show a copy of a block, with the ability for editing.
Linked references—The overview at the end of each page with blocks that link to the page.
Unlinked references—The overview at the end of each page with blocks that mention the exact words of the page title, without linking to it.
Roam database—The entirety of your blocks.
Graph—An alternative term for Roam database.
Filtering—Show or hide blocks based on the links that they contain, either on a page level or a database level.
Sidebar—The left sidebar contains standard shortcuts and to starred pages. The right sidebar contains blocks or pages that were opened in the sidebar.
Namespaces—Any text in a page name that’s followed by a slash (`/`). Often used to distinguish between different types of page content.
Aliases—Internal links with another label text than the original page name.
Attributes—A type of link, often used for page metadata, that can be used to generate attribute tables.
Metadata—Data about data. In the context of Roam, metadata is often used to give information about a page (a collection of blocks).
Nesting/Indentation—Roam is an outliner app, which only has hierarchy on block-level. Blocks that are nested underneath another blocks are called child blocks.