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2021-09-04: View ![[transclusions]] in edit mode & an end to early bird pricing!

Lots of stuff for developers this week: requests, a way to download all plugin code, & discussions about inter-plugin API best practices.

Eleanor Konik
Eleanor Konik
4 min read

Obsidian Updates

  • There are now over 300 plugins and 40k members of the community Discord!
  • The early bird discount pricing for Sync and Publish is ending at the end of this month (September 30, 2021). Please read the FAQ and remember: Obsidian is created by a very small team of two and they only seem to charge personal users for services that cost them money (servers aren't cheap, especially if you don't have economy of scale advantages).

v0.12.15 is now available for public access, featuring:

Appearance

  • Shimmering Focus is a condensed minimalist theme aimed at working nicely with pandoc. It has a bunch of really nice features, like increased contrast.

Plugins

New

  • Obsidian plaintext will let you edit .bib and presumably .css files etc. directly in Obsidian instead of needing a text editor like Visual Studio Code (although there isn't any syntax highlighting, it's not meant as a replacement for VSCode or whatnot).
  • You can now get a direct feed from the Hacker News top stories into an Obsidian pane. Presumably it wouldn't be too hard to add other RSS feeds to this by forking it or creating a pull request?
  • Obsidian copy block link lets you right click a block and copy the link to the block.
  • A new plugin lets you execute jupyter notebooks, which I'm told are super useful for the data science / machine learning folks, since the python code can actually do computations and then render them.
  • There's a new riff off of focus mode: ghost fade focus.
  • Random structural diary will give you a random list of questions to journal about.
  • This plugin integrates drawio diagramming. If anybody knows how this is different than excalidraw or mermaid I'm interested.
  • Obsidian file link makes it easier for people to link to external files without having to drag and drop from the file explorer.

Updates

  • The Image in Editor plugin has commands to convert Wikilinks to Markdown links and vice-versa in all files within the vault or only in the active file. This is amazing for switching to wikilinks for seeing transclusions in editor mode using this plugin, or for people trying to convert to Markdown links for interoperability with other programs like static site generators.
  • Quick Explorer 0.0.7  has more hotkey support and a quick preview mode. It also has a really amazing Readme.
  • The Spaced Repetition plugin got some love; more statistics, you can review cards from a single note if you want, and some niftier post-review edit options.
  • Obsidian Tasks v1.3.0 has new sorting options, better CSS support, and mobile toolbar icons.
  • Excalidraw 1.2.21  supports transclusion of sections in addition to blocks. 1.3.0 has an extended ExcalidrawAutomate API that lets users access elements of the active drawing and add elements on the fly.
  • cMenu now has a status bar menu and got some QoL updates.

For Developers

  • Here's a nice guide for new programmers who are starting out learning because of Obsidian, written by a programmer who started out programming because of Obsidian.
  • Here's a discussion about inter-plugin communication that is probably important as a central discussion point for best practices for exposing plugin APIs from plugins.
  • @jgauthier is working on a big update to the Citations plugin and is looking for CSS/design help and feedback (or contributions to development). Here's the development branch.
  • Theme developers should be on the lookout for breaking changes coming to the kanban plugin, which is currently beta testing custom drag and drop and some other stuff like hotkeys and lists.
  • This script will download all of the Obsidian plugin repositories to use as a reference for developing plugins.

Requests

  • There was discussion about the possibility of creating a docker instance of a webtop window manager and running obsidian on it. If someone could put together a guide for "how to run Obsidian on a server so that you can access it from the web" I feel confident that a great many people would appreciate it.
  • Rendering citations in preview mode was requested. There's was a good discussion about ways to get started in Discord.

Guides

Different Usecases

Ancillary Tools

  • @pseudometa shared detailed documentation for how they use the (mac-only) tool Alfred with Obsidian. Lots of gems there for Alfred users, I suspect.
  • @argentum created an issue on Github to track the migration of Mdnotes to the new Zotero beta. You can subscribe if you're looking for updates.
  • @Santi Younger shared a video about the Readwise integration with Obsidian.
  • Duplicati is a free & open source backup client that securely stores encrypted, incremental, compressed backups on cloud storage services and remote file servers. It works on OSX, Windows and Linux. @peterOlson says it was easy. Since Obsidian Sync is not a backup service and as best practice you should separate backups from sync, it's been recommended as a nice companion.
  • @pseudometa shared their note about different PDF annotation extraction methods, with some pros/cons of every tool, as .md file on Discord.

Housekeeping

Eleanor Konik

Professionally, I teach pre-teens about ancient civilizations. In my downtime, I enjoy combining storytelling with my love of sharing obscure history and science.