Debugging The Ulysses - Blot Interaction
Not sure debugging is the right word. I might just be me! (Later … it was)
Blot is a pretty awesome way to publish thoughts musings and stuff to the web. I set it up a month ago - you basically point it at a drop box folder and whatever is in that dropbox folder is now available to view on the web. The creator and ongoing supporter of blot is David Merfield and I really can’t say enough about how good he is.
Of course, there is a lot more to Blot than that, but that is not why I write. Rather writing to capture something that occurred on my system, in my workflow. And though I now have it cracked - I still don’t really know what is going on. Let me explain ….
The first thing to know is that I use Ulysses as my prime app for writing a lot of my words. Inside of Ulysses I can write stuff and when finished, I simply move the file into the appropriate folder in Ulysses - in this case ‘Comment’ for example - and bobs your uncle - so to speak, you are now reading the words.
This page took a while to build, but I got there. It is essentially a giant set of links to software, sites and services that I use. Documented for interest, but also so that it become an online set of bookmarks I can access from anywhere, even if I am not on my own machines.
I originally had the links as HTML, since I pulled a lot of them in from bookmarks, but I switched it all to Markdown - and then added some simple styling elements to create the sections.
All good and basically the code that I used on my page looked like a lot of this;
<div class="featurebox-odd"> ## Micro Blogging [Blottings](http://blottings.philpin.com) </div>
And then suddenly that code format changed across the entire page, to this;
<div class="featurebox-odd"> ## Micro Blogging [Blottings] </div>
and all the links had disappeared.
After some sleuthing, I restored the page from an earlier version and I was good to go again. And then it happened again, this time though not all the links were broken. In Ulysses, the page still looked broken - so I opened up a text editor to see what was in the entire file and there at the very bottom of the page I found this: ;
: http://blottings.philpin.com : http://john.philpin.com : https://feedly.com/i/my : https://pinboard.in/u:fractals : https://www.instapaper.com/u : http://blottings.philpin.com
and those were indeed the 6 links that were not broken on the page, the rest - same problem. I restored once more, taking care not to edit anything after and let the system settle down.
A day later I checked the page again to find that once more all of my links had been replaced with numbers as described above - and now at the bottom of the page I had over 50 references. Essentially - every single link in the body copy that actually gets displayed has a hidden reference at the bottom of the page.
My guess is that Ulysses is building that index, but I really don’t know.
I think I have established that everything broke when I was editing a page as the system was applying the transformation. When I left it alone - all seems to be good.
It now seems to be working as shown on the tin - and I assume this is a way for Ulysses to manage a high number of Markdown links. I think I will send link to this post to them and see what they have to say.
LaterI wrote to Ulysses - who duly nailed the issue:
”The issue you are describing might be caused by the way links are handled in your External Folders. Could you please double-click on the affected folder and select “Inline Links” instead of “Reference Links” in the “Save Links as” option.
After you saved each sheet where the issue occurred with ⌘S (command-S) the links should be handled the way you want.
I checked - and exactly right - as described - mystery solved.