Tinderbox Forum

Autofetch couldn't retrieve a note

I’m trying to get Autofetch to work, but am not sure if I’m doing things properly.

What I did in a note
set URL to the path of a plain text file (not RTF) by dragging the file to the URL field. It has as url now in the form of: /Users/myuser/Documents/text.txt
Checked Autofetch checkmark.

Then I get the warning AutoFetch couldn’t retrieve a note: URL of my text file.

I don’t know what could cause a reading error? Any pointers in the right direction are appreciated.

(edited to add I’m on Version 7.2.2 (b277))

Your $URL does not contain a URL, just a local path. You need to use the file:// protocol, e.g.:

file:///Users/myuser/Documents/text.txt
(yes, that is three slashes at the start!). such an approach works for me, albeit on v8.x but I assume the above error is what’s stopping it work for you.

Thank you Mark, that fixes it.

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I’ve updated my notes on $URL and URL data-type attributes to reflect this edge case (i.e. accessing a local asset via a URL rather than File-type attribute so as to use AutoFetch).

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hi @mwra , one follow-up question. From what I read on the forum here I concluded that autofetch should be able to fetch markdown files. I find that it only works if the file extension is .txt, but not when the file is markdown text but has a file extension .md. It does not throw an error or anything, but it doesn’t show the file content in the note. sametext.txt gets shown, sametext.md doesn’t. Can I influence somewhere which/how file extensions are treated?

I think this is one to take to formal support (info@eastgate.com) as we’re just fellow users here. Autofetch was designed to web assets and pre-dated Markdown by >10 years. I’ve no idea what sort of filtering is applied to fetched assets—web or local—as it’s has never been documented. At the time it was created it was for HTML & RSS feeds. I’m not aware of any user-configurable control for this.

I’d agree that it would be useful for Markdown to be recognised, though I’d guess it may need a change to the app internals, i.e. likely isn’t possible before the next release at the earliest.

HTH :slight_smile:

Thank you @mwra, it’s always a bit of a search to find the point between something that is clear and documented, but I just couldn’t find in the exisitng material, and something that requires ‘official’ response. So yes, it helps to know this maybe isn’t a newbie question after all. I’ll mail Mark / Eastgate.

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Autofetching .md files treats them at text file in Tinderbox 8.8.1.

I don’t know about Tinderbox 7.2.2, which has just celebrated its fourth birthday.

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Thank you very much Mark, just replied to your mail, and returned here to add your answer…only to find you already did that. Thanks! (took out an update subscription just now)

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Hi there. After owning Tinderbox for quite some time, I’m now trying to get back into it. And since New Zealand is back in a total lockdown, I can’t think of a better time than now to revisit it.

In order to assist my learning, I’ve decided to create a load of learning notes and tasks in Tinderbox. When I visit Michael Becker and listen to one of his tutorials, I’ll simply create a note to write down some of the learnings. Equally, I’ll create a to-do note to investigate a particular function or feature at some point. So to the problem:

I’m scanning through the forum and I’m looking up some info on how to create or modify a template that I can use in other Tinderboxes. So I create a note with a URL link to the forum item - easy. What I wanted it to do was to retrieve the web page inside the note. Easily done by following Mark Anderson’s Atbref guide and setting a valid URL in the URL attribute and also setting AutoFetch to true. Well - it sort of worked:

  • I click on the note and the web page is retrieved correctly
  • An error notification pops up adjacent to the left of the note title AND
  • the same error is also on all the other notes too.

So it does work, but not cleanly. So what am I not doing?

I couldn’t see any way to add a screen picture into this post, so I just dragged it below this text - hopefully you’ll be able to see it.

You aren’t getting the error on every note. The yellow error flag shows as part of the text pane UI until all errors are cleared. The path at the bottom of the listed errors shows the note worth the problem. Once fixed, if the error icon is still lit, click the icon and click on the now-fixed error. The list should clear off that error and if it is the only error listed, the error icon will turn off.

The error is simply telling you that the forum server wasn’t returning that post. I’d wager that if you client the error in the pop-up the error will clear as the note has managed to fetch at least once as the AutoFetch note has some $Text.

I’ve listed the above in deliberate order as it helps to understand the error mechanism before addressing the possible AutoFetch error. If AutoFetch retrieval is patchy - e.g. target web server is under heavy load or in maintenance with lower capacity - the warning may re-appear. In fairness Tinderbox has no reason to know the cause of the failure of the target resource. But, I don’t think the same error is recorded more than once in the error list.

The error list is just there to warn you of things you might have overlooked: an AutoFetch fail, a missing template, etc. These are not show-stoppers to general use of the document, you can address them at your leisure.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

My guess is that your browser has the forum cookie with your sign-in credentials. AutoFetch doesn’t, so it’s being asked to sign in.

Thanks, gents - much clearer now. The fact that “The yellow error flag shows as part of the text pane UI until all errors are cleared” certainly gave me more insight. As it happens, I was toying around further after my post and did something inadvertently to clear the problem - all is good now.

Now onto my next discovery …

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Good to hear. Thanks for the follow up. :slight_smile: