Markdown Links

I’m at a loss as to what I’m doing wrong.
Issue: The MD formatted link is not being correctly parsed onto the MB “timeline”, or on any of the crossposts (I’m using bsky and nostr) but it does show up correctly on my blog feed, and on post preview.

Here’s the contents of the post:

Biology is facinating:
[The Baffling Intelligence of a Single Cell](

I wish that this type of content, was more prevalent! Screw these 24 hour news and political commentary cycle on TV, give me a channel with this kind of stuff on all day.

I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I had heeded my college biology professors anecdotal advice. Taking up a study in biology rather than technology - the professor having changed careers themselves; and perhaps seeing themselves in me; or perhaps a glimpse of my possible potential.

I’m not really finding anything related when searching the forms, or internet…

Additional testing it looks like it has to do with hitting the 300 char limit.

MD links work as expected when under 300…

That’s right. Markdown/HTML gets stripped in the excerpt on the timeline if the post is > 300 chars (600 if you use a blockquote). This is a known limitation and often confuses new users.

May want to add it to the documentation somewhere. Most places it mentions the “Title” behavior, and that it will truncate the post, and add a link — but does not mention it stripping MD/HTML.

It’s not mentioned here

Or here in the timeline display rules:

It also seems a bit broken for cross-posting, if the target has a higher char limit, forcing the mb convention.

I guess what I would like/expect for how something follows POSSE, and the flow of automated/semi-manual cross-posting, would be for it to somewhat honor the destinations conventions.

Yeah, it would be nice if the timeline/cross-posts retained formatting up until truncation. But my understanding is that would be a challenge.

We should document the part about striping styles while truncating, you’re right. I’d still like to improve this.

@manton the use-case here specifically was trying to share a link with comments. … The m.b bookmark feature/flow doesn’t follow this exactly.

Like I can upload a photo, and have comments for it below. (Which also breaks down a bit when you hit 300+)

What I imagine I want in its short truncated (timeline) form is.
/text Link to external picture,video,link/
Truncated text of post…link-to-post

And then the other side of this is the cross-posting part. And the more I look into this, I think the behavior I actually want is for cross-posting of 300+ is to basically form an OpenGraph/Preview Card of my post for the target to ingest. (That maybe I can modify/chose the meta for).

Edit: just found the OpenGraph plugin that does some of this.

This will work on your blog and other timelines but not on the timeline.

Yeah - this, and how terrible “Posts with a title” look on the timeline, are what I dislike the most with

I had an example recently, on how this becomes really frustrating for me:

Me, yesterday:

I’m sitting here, writing a micro post, working really hard to make it under 300 characters, so that my hyperlink won’t get killed on the timeline. This is not a good user experience!

“OK, I guess I have to kill this piece of context, and this nuance…” :thinking:

“Hmm, also I could write “Watch" instead of “Apple Watch” to win a few characters!”

“If I use commas instead of parentheses, I win another character! And I could swap this emdash for a comma as well…”

“Does markdown markup count? Maybe I don’t need to bold this word? I could maybe win two more characters if I user italics instead!”

“OK, now I have 300 characters in Ulysses - but can I post it from there, like I want to? Maybe counts it differently? Guess I should copy it into the web editor to check…”

(Turned out I didn’t gain anything by turning bold into italics - but when Ulysses said 300 characters, said 303.)

I can’t even describe how frustrating I find having written av micro posts that’s about 400 characters, and then have to spend literally 10x the time editing it, to not have ruining it. And it’s extra frustration because it feels so arbitrary! It could be fixed by changing one string in a code somewhere, but no: I have to sit here wanting to throw my Mac out of the window, or just not post at all.

I’m sorry you’re frustrated, but just like that number can be changed at any moment, this exact post could be written regardless of what this number is set to. People said it at 140 characters, but Twitter lived there for years. They say it at 280, 300, and 500. The cutoff is set somewhere, and some posts always go longer. And some posts are always close.

Yeah, it has to be somewhere - but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter where it is.

I think a good benchmark for what constitute “micro posts” is what it takes to get One point across. And I often find 300 is too low for that, if you want to give a little bit of context and nuance.

I think this may be your main complaint instead of the characters for a micro post. Coz as @jsonbecker said, it’s always a struggle to keep posts within the timeline limit. Nowadays, I just keep writing. If the point I want to drive across (distinct from the text of the post) exceeds the char limit, I just consider it a macro post and keep typing. Otherwise my micro posts now are far under the limit so that I don’t have to keep an eye on the char count.

During my Twitter days and given my mild OCD, I had to grapple with which grammar/punctuation sin to commit when posting there :upside_down_face:

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Haha, yeah - I absolutely have strong feelings about Posts with title as well. :sweat_smile:

I also have some compulsive traits, so I know that that makes it worse. But I still just don’t completely buy the notion of “The limit could’ve been whatever, and people still would’ve struggled”. A limit of 100 is different to a limit of 300 which is different to a limit of 500, etc.

And I do agree that there should be a limit, and that a bunch of long posts on the timeline is a bit messy (even though I think read more buttons fix that pretty easily). I just think 300 is unnecessarily frustrating.

I like the idea of micro posts being a thing and, as I mentioned, mostly be “one idea”. And if I were to pick a limit that feels like a sweet spot to me, I’d go for something like 6-800. Even though not all, or even most, of micro post would go towards that limit, it would remove my frustration at least. But as some might find the occational 700 character post offensive to the senses, I wouldn’t mind going with 500 - with the interoperability gains that entails.

(I know this is a losing battle - but I still feel the need to say that I find this really, really frustrating.)

If you feel mischievous, you might enjoy this post. :smiling_imp:


I do think it’s important to separate this into distinct feature requests because there are a couple of things going on here. Of course, altogether it contributes to the frustrating experience. Priority number one should be to fix the “you lose all links and styling” when it’s truncated.