No outgoing link listed for Markdown images

It seems that in a Markdown document, links to image files, e.g.


are not listed in the inspector pane for outgoing links. If the exclamation point is removed, the link appears. Is that by design? One could argue that an inlined image is not a true link, since it can be viewed in the document without following the link. That might be the perspective of a viewer. Someone who needs to see relations between files independent of rendering would prefer to have such a link listed in the outgoing link pane. For example, they might want to access the link lists via scripts for some automatization.

The image file indeed lists the incoming link from the Markdown file, as expected.

Despite the inlining of the image, my gut feeling is that the situation should be symmetric. But this is not an exact science.

It is as the inspector uses only real links (e.g. in case of HTML <a href="...">) but not references of resources like images.

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Fair enough. That’s the “it’s not really a link” interpretation, which is entirely credible. I do note that the Markdown file shows the outgoing link icon in the name field. So for that purpose, it seems that DT interprets the image link as an outgoing link. That’s in fact how I came across this. I looked at a file listing that had for a particular md file an outgoing link icon, but the inspector pane showed nothing, and I became curious.

In SOURCE mode you can see all links but not in PREVIEW mode.



Ha! Excellent observation. I only use side-by-side mode, where the image link does not appear. But indeed, in edit-only mode, it starts to appear. So this means that this list in the pane is not absolute, i.e. an analysis of the underlying source file, but takes into consideration the rendering and if and how you display the file contents.

That’s now opening a whole new can of worms! If this depends on the display style of the document, what happens is I choose the pane view “None”, i.e. just the file listing, but don’t display the document? Turns out, if I select an item in “None” view, there are no outgoing links displayed in the inspector at all. Yoinks! It gets better: Incoming links are still displayed in “None” view.

I’m using DT day in day out. Never realized this.

Edit: This can be very misleading, because it looks natural to browse in “None” view and look at the link pane. If incoming links are not displayed in None mode, the link pane should be greyed out as non-functional?

It is well known the Inspectors are for the most part context-dependent. This means much of the data shown is only available with the view/edit pane is displaying the selected document.

I learn something new every day! I was aware that some stuff is not shown if the file is not being rendered, namely the “rich metadata” that live inside the actual document. So yes, thumbnails and tables of content are not shown (and also not file-internal annotation), because they reside inside the file itself, which does not get opened while selecting a file in “None” mode. Pretty much everything else is shown, such as concordances, Finder comments, special fields etc. Because that’s metadata stored in the DB, not the file. Incoming links also fall into that category. I don’t know how outgoing links are implemented. Is DT analyzing the file on the fly every time it’s opened and then displays them? Or is the outgoing link list kept as DB metadata?

Independent of this, the language in the panes is then not consistent. In “None” mode, when thumbnails and ToC are not shown, the pane says “No preview”. That’s correct. It tells the user that this info is currently not available.

However, with annotations, outgoing links, and mentions, it’s different: In “None” mode, the pane says “No annotations” etc. Which implies that there are no annotations. It should say “annotations/links not available” or similar in this view.

An analogy might be a closed folder/group indicating “zero files” until you open it, and notice that there are many files in there.

Development would have to assess and weigh in on the specifics of the behaviors. I’m just reporting the state of things. :slight_smile:

Yes. That’s all good. I’m not really even claiming that this needs to be changed. But the thread might be useful to readers. Now that I know about the pane-dependence of the links, I won’t fall into any traps in the future. To be honest, I rarely use “None” anyway.

Fun side note: The link to Google in my screenshots is also displayed differently in the views. Once with and once without title. So I vote for a feature request to make the views “identical”.

Thank you for the hint, the next release is going to fix this.

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