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Visualizing Blog Post Links With Obsidian

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's experience of using Obsidian, a Markdown-powered editor, alongside Hugo, a static site generator, for managing and publishing their blog content. It explores the challenges of integrating the two tools, particularly around handling links and file organization, and the author's experimentation with introducing a new taxonomy called "series" to better organize their content.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Challenges of integrating Obsidian and Hugo

1. What are the key challenges the author faced in trying to integrate Obsidian and Hugo?

  • The default Markdown-style links used in Hugo are not compatible with Obsidian's sub-vault inclusion system, as they include problematic substrings like the leading slash /post and the trailing slash in the file path.
  • Organizing static files like images is also challenging, as the author's approach of storing them in a /static/post/yyyy/mm directory is not easily transferable to Obsidian.
  • Converting the existing 427 articles from the Hugo format to an Obsidian-compatible syntax and then back to HTML would be a significant effort.

2. How did the author try to work around the link compatibility issue? The author came up with a "quick and dirty" regex to replace the Markdown-style links with Obsidian's [[$2]] format, which removes the problematic path information. However, this approach breaks the Hugo rendering pipeline, resulting in <a/> HTML tags that point to nowhere.

3. What were the author's key reasons for wanting to write directly in Obsidian? The author was interested in Obsidian's graph view with backlink support, as well as its fuzzy search and auto-include functionality when typing [[ to link to an existing article.

[02] Experimenting with a "series" taxonomy

1. What was the author's idea for introducing a new "series" taxonomy in Hugo? The author wondered if introducing an explicit "series" taxonomy, in addition to the existing categories and tags, would help organize the content better and make it easier to find related articles. They identified several series, such as "blogging about blogging", "Hugo static site generation", and others.

2. How did the author feel about the results of introducing the "series" taxonomy? The author found that the differences between categories, series, and tags began to fade away, as many of the series mapped perfectly to existing tags. This made things worse, not better, in the author's view.

3. What did the author decide to do instead of the "series" taxonomy? After a "painful git reset", the author decided to simply clean up some of the existing tags and display a curated selection of them in the Archives section to highlight the central themes on the blog, rather than introducing a new "series" taxonomy.

4. How does the author's approach to taxonomies compare to their gaming blog? On the author's gaming blog, also powered by Hugo, they introduced a "series" system because the tags were getting messy. The gaming blog has a more focused topic (game platforms), which made the "series" system more useful, compared to the more diverse content on the Brain Baking blog.

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