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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][6]
</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: ;

[1]:    http://blottings.philpin.com  
[2]:    http://john.philpin.com  
[3]:    https://feedly.com/i/my  
[4]:    https://pinboard.in/u:fractals  
[5]:    https://www.instapaper.com/u  
[6]:    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.

Later

I 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.

Screen Grab - per help from Ulysses.Screen Grab - per help from Ulysses.

I checked - and exactly right - as described - mystery solved.

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