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Tinderbox 8 is released

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Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Apr 13, 2019 at 01:11 PM

 

One thing is clear from this discussion and others elsewhere: Tinderbox isn’t for everyone. It isn’t even for most people. And there is nothing wrong with that. What may seem a waste of time to one person is part of the exploration and learning process for another.

What I’ve always tried to convey about Tinderbox is that it can be remarkably useful even if you only scrape the surface of its capabilities. I think Beck’s videos demonstrate this very clearly. I hope my videos have demonstrated this as well.

You can usually find a dedicated application to do the stuff you can do in Tinderbox (at least to some extent), but you get stuck in that application’s method. That can be good. But if you like more flexibility, Tinderbox can give this to you. And there are things you can do in Tinderbox that would be hard to replicate in another app.

My very first Tinderbox article shows two very different applications for the Tinderbox:

https://welcometosherwood.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/an-introduction-to-tinderbox/

1. Management of a single project
2. An active information “garage”

You could probably do these two disparate jobs with Curio, but there are very few other apps that can handle it. (Note: this old post uses a version of Tinderbox far removed from the current version.)

The way I used Tinderbox in this other article would be hard to reproduce in any other application, I think:

https://welcometosherwood.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/tinderbox-chronicles-part-3/

I guess my point here is to add my support to Paul, which is you need to bring your own needs and imagination to Tinderbox, otherwise you will be stymied by it. It is entirely understandable that many people don’t want to spend their time this way. For those that don’t mind experimenting, Tinderbox can be a remarkably rewarding application.

Steve Z

 


Posted by Simon
Apr 13, 2019 at 02:16 PM

 

Stephen Zeoli wrote:
One thing is clear from this discussion and others elsewhere: Tinderbox
>isn’t for everyone. It isn’t even for most people.

I think the point being made is that it could be.

I used TB for a couple of years and really liked it. Forum support was good, the aTBref also helped and Mark Anderson’s small tutorials and often template files were also extremely helpful. The problem for me was that if you used it intermittently you forgot how to do things. This necesitated a log of how you built your TB what actions you were running. The more ambitious your TB the more friction this created.

The idea of adding any meta you like to any notes you create and connect them in multiple ways and views is a superb idea. My reason for dropping TB is that it was an all or nothing investment. Either you used it for everything and kept your knowledge on using, scripting, configuring active and fresh, or you ended up dreading opening a document you created a couple of months ago as you forgot how to do something simple. I often found it took me two days to solve a problem, right in the middle of a busy period. Someties I just couldn’t solve it and so moved on to other tools.

The final difficulty was my move to iOS for over 50% of my work. But, this doesn’t affect TB alone but other apps like Curio that don’t do iOS.

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Apr 13, 2019 at 03:04 PM

 

I disagree that Tinderbox could be for most people without making it something completely different than it is. Having a thorough User’s Manual would help, but it wouldn’t change the fact that unless you’re using the app all the time you’d have to figure out how to do things all over again. I have that problem with apps that are far less complex than Tinderbox.

Perhaps a stripped down version of Tinderbox (not the ill-conceived Twig app) would create a wider audience. Simple map and outline views with notes, prototypes and links, but no agents. Easier to execute exports.

Of course, Tinderbox can be used that way now (except for the exports, which I continue to find convoluted).

Simon wrote:
Stephen Zeoli wrote:
>One thing is clear from this discussion and others elsewhere: Tinderbox
>>isn’t for everyone. It isn’t even for most people.
> >I think the point being made is that it could be.
> >I used TB for a couple of years and really liked it. Forum support was
>good, the aTBref also helped and Mark Anderson’s small tutorials and
>often template files were also extremely helpful. The problem for me was
>that if you used it intermittently you forgot how to do things. This
>necesitated a log of how you built your TB what actions you were
>running. The more ambitious your TB the more friction this created.
> >The idea of adding any meta you like to any notes you create and connect
>them in multiple ways and views is a superb idea. My reason for dropping
>TB is that it was an all or nothing investment. Either you used it for
>everything and kept your knowledge on using, scripting, configuring
>active and fresh, or you ended up dreading opening a document you
>created a couple of months ago as you forgot how to do something simple.
>I often found it took me two days to solve a problem, right in the
>middle of a busy period. Someties I just couldn’t solve it and so moved
>on to other tools.
> >The final difficulty was my move to iOS for over 50% of my work. But,
>this doesn’t affect TB alone but other apps like Curio that don’t do
>iOS.

 


Posted by Robert Luke
Apr 13, 2019 at 03:50 PM

 

Argh, why did this have to drop on Friday? :-)  I paid for my upgrade immediately after seeing this thread this morning but suspect I won’t get my registration code until Monday. I am endlessly fascinated by CRIMP software like Tinderbox, although I am not able to use it at work. But I dream of what I could have done with it all had I had it when I was back in graduate school, a mere mumblety-mumble years ago…

 


Posted by Jeffery Smith
Apr 13, 2019 at 04:29 PM

 

All of my attempts to incorporate Tinderbox into my workflow begin as making notes without diving into the Getting Started Manual (which could use some work by a technical writer). My frustration with that manual is that it refers to facets of the program referred to in the manual, but the same terminology is not used in the program. I think I immediately bog down in the attributes part, right at the beginning of the manual, So, for example,  if the manual were to refer to the “attributes pane”, one could go to help and type “attributes pane”, and the pane would be opened or at least point to something in the menu system. Power users would know what the attributes pane is, but power users are not reading the first 5 pages of the “getting started” manual…I am.

That said, it could be argued that when you buy a pack of 3x5 cards, there are no instructions on how to use them. So, we create our own system of index cards for research without reason to complain. The very first version of Info Select. I loved that program. When it turned into a folding text sort of hierarchy, I found it much less helpful, and stopped using it.

 


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