Obsidian Liaisons to CogSci Apps / Hook? (Linkability Advocate)

Given that Hook connects many apps, at CogSci Apps , we are in touch with a large number of developers of your favorite apps. Internally, we try to split up responsibility for usage of particular apps. E.g., one of us uses Things whereas I use OmniFocus and TaskPaper for my own work. We have been toying with the idea of setting up some kind of a liaison programme where some Hook customer(s) informally act as liaisons in keeping track of and communicating with devs of particular apps. Those will not be positions (not formal nor paid), just informal roles by enthusiasts of the particular apps (e.g., with Obsidian, Drafts, Roam, Ulysses).

We don’t have specifics to propose yet, I’m just floating the idea here. And I wanted to start by seeing if there were one or two members of the Hook forum community who are avid Obsidian users (and find Obsidian delightful), that would like to act as informal liaisons to Obsidian. If so please send a PM to our Support Group, or just start connecting with them. (I’ve been on their forum before and have exchanged communications with them.)

I chose Obsidian as a test of the liaison concept, because it’s promising software (it values linkability, plain text; does not require putting one’s life onto a server, etc.) , the good folks at Obsidian have indicated an inclination to provide required automation, and no one inside CogSci Apps is using it regularly yet (we can’t be regular users of all apps, at least not at our current size; my own note-taking is mainly with nvUltra, BBEdit, OmniOutliner and 1Writer).

Listening to Mac Power Users and Focused podcast episodes, I know that @MacSparky has been using Obsidian, which is a strong indicator of the quality/promise of the software. More generally, somewhere past the 30 minute mark of Focused #112: Productivity & Creativity - Relay FM, in relation to Obsidian, David Sparks mentioned his preference for using best of breed apps (such as OmniFocus for task management) rather than throwing everything into a big bucket. In my opinion, an app like Hook that provides inter/inter-app data linking is a good complement to apps that try to do their specific functions extremely well but don’t throw in the kitchen sink. (Having said that Hook can also work with kitchen sinkers if they have a linking API). So, one can connect Obsidian notes to OmniFocus tasks for instance. Some of this can be facilitated by Hook, but last time I checked, Obsidian was not fully linkable via automation. It would be helpful to have a community member monitor progress at Obsidian, interact with their community and support team with respect to automation of linking, and report back to ours.

When interacting with other app devs/communities, one may wish to refer to What’s a Linkable App and Why Does Linkability Matter? – Hook and Contacting Developers of Other Apps and Information for Developers – Hook.

As I mentioned elsewhere, we will publish (on a dedicated website) a manifesto on linking that will be co-signed by several app developers – i.e. many are currently onboard. (others who wish to join can contact us.) The manifesto will be based on the linking web page mentioned above and on a linking manifesto chapter that @danieljomphe and I wrote for The Future of Text book – the book will be published later this month :blush:. The idea of the manifesto is that app users have a right to be able to reference and access their data with links, via automation and the UI. That implies that developers have certain responsibilities to their users.

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Sounds good. I talk to Drafts author Greg Pierce - in case that helps. (I suspect that one is well covered, though, as I think @MacSparky talks to Greg also.)

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Thank you,@MartinPacker. Last time I checked, there’s wasn’t yet automation for Copy Link, so Hook’s current integration with Drafts relies on UI scripting. However, at the time Greg Pierce was in the process of adding or updating AppleScript support, I believe. So maybe the support is there now, in which case we would update the scripts. That would be more robust and immediately support international languages.

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Drafts has a limited AppleScript dictionary – check it out in your script editor.

Katie

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Yes, we had a look in June; it was there but it didn’t have what was needed.

In the context of this topic, I’m hoping that some volunteers will emerge who would informally act as liaisons/advocates for their favorite apps. They don’t all need to be automation enabled, but it helps if they can read apps’ APIs to see if what is needed to automate linking is there.

Not that we’re waiting for a liaison for any particular app, of course. We’ll have another look at Drafts’ dict.

@LucB - I’m happy to act as liaison for NotePlan. @EduardMe and I chatted and this is a good approach. It would nice to see some standardization around xcallback and scripting access with all the research apps out there.

Let me know what you need.
Brad

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Not sure if you meant “only a limited”. In case you did, are URL-based solutions admissible?

Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re asking me. I meant what I wrote.

Please see

Katie

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Thanks! :slight_smile:

Do you someone for Obsidian yet? I’d be willing to do it if there isn’t anyone else.

Lisa

Lisa@lisasieverts.com

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Thanks to @lsievert, who is an insider on Obsidian’s forum, for taking this up with the nice community at Obsidian Forum Compatibility with Hook Productivity on Mac OS - Feature requests - Obsidian Forum. That will help CogSci Apps stay in the loop and update Hook as soon as possible when Obsidian’s linking API is available.

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Sorry @katie_v :

There are two ways to read what you wrote…

One says “AppleScript is not good enough for what you want”.

The other says “it is good enough for what you want”.

I think you mean the second one but I’m unsure.

And sorry to pick up on your English; I’m just trying to understand what can be done with Hook, being new to it but not Automation in general.

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Mr. Packer

A “limited AppleScript dictionary” is one with only a few classes, enumerations, and commands built for that application. “Limited” is not a judgment – it is merely stating: there’s not much to work with here.

I’m sorry that I offended you.

Katie

(FWIW – the nature of Drafts makes it more dependent on URL schemes and other automation features, which are very robust in Draft’s case.)

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I’ve been a big fan of Obsidian since it was first released in Alpha and a paid supporter of the product.

I’m also very active in their forum and discord server.

I’d be interested in being a liaison and will use the link to contact the appropriate parties.

P.s I’m also a big fan and user of Things 3 after using Omnifocus for many years.

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Hi Katie.

You didn’t offend me. I feared I had offended you.

The net of it is we should - for the time being - look to URL schemes (as the AppleScript implementation isn’t good enough.)

I’m genuinely glad we cleared that up.

We’ve looked at Draft’s latest AppleScript dictionary and its website and did not see an obvious way to get the selected draft. So we’ll be in touch with Drafts’ dev.

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Thank you, @PaulWatts . and Welcome to the Hook Productivity Forum !

they wrote to a Hook liaison :

We have custom URL, such as:obsidian://open?vault=Obsidian%20Help&file=Start%20here.md

We also have an API now, so you can write a plugin and access the custom URL automatically.

She adds

I checked and yes, if the user right-clicks on a note in Obsidian, they can copy an Obsidian URL.

and pointed us to https://forum.obsidian.md/t/plugins-mini-faq/7737 Plugins mini FAQ - FAQ - Obsidian Forum

So, I’m truly delighted and our dev team will move on this ASAP. Thank you all for your interest and extending our brains with your brain power!

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I’m close to ditching Obsidian because it’s not a good macOS citizen (which I get, it’s Electron, cross-platform is good, small dev team…really it’s a great app!) but this WILL HELP a lot!

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Great news. This will be of immense benefit for folks using both of these excellent apps!

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