Tinderbox

mb
mbbntu
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Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:18 pm Post

linn wrote:Perhaps you can persuade friends and relatives to contribute to a New Year's present? Or persuade the local public library to buy the book?


I think I've used up all my credit as far as the first suggestion is concerned, and I rather think the local library has other priorities (probably survival, given the cutbacks that are on the horizon in the UK). But perhaps later in the year ...

I haven't looked too far into Tinderbox yet, but I find myself wondering if new users might benefit from a kind of "library" of useful items. I don't mean the already existing downloads on their site, which have complete projects for GTD, and so forth (those are perhaps too big for the complete newcomer). I was thinking more along the lines of a library of "building blocks" that people could look at and adapt to their own needs. Even just a set of ready-made adornments might be handy. This may be rubbish -- I'm just thinking out loud -- but I wouldn't say no to a few lego bricks I could use. Ioa's chunks of code are exactly the sort of thing I mean.

Thanks to everyone for the tips and ideas already put forward. Very useful.

Best, Martin.
You should judge people not by how close they get to the top, but by how far they have come from the bottom. Some people have a mountain to climb just to get to the place where others start out. (Me, 2010)

ea
eastgate
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Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:11 pm Post

We're looking at new ways to do this, ranging from screencasts to "master classes", from CDs to webinars.

A difficulty is that so many people do so many different things -- all interesting! It can be tricky, too, to show the elements that different tasks share. And, of course, there are never enough hands for the work.

There's a lot of activity on the Tinderbox forum right now. The Cookbook site http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/cookbook/ might have some of the things you're thinking about, too. And we have a new tutorial CD coming soon, too.

Ed
Eddie
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Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:04 pm Post

eastgate wrote:We're looking at new ways to do this, ranging from screencasts to "master classes", from CDs to webinars.

A difficulty is that so many people do so many different things -- all interesting! It can be tricky, too, to show the elements that different tasks share. And, of course, there are never enough hands for the work.

There's a lot of activity on the Tinderbox forum right now. The Cookbook site http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/cookbook/ might have some of the things you're thinking about, too. And we have a new tutorial CD coming soon, too.


I really enjoyed the videos I found almost 4 years ago (e.g., adornments, container, map, outlines, etc.), as well as Planning a Book with Tinderbox. This last one in particular showed me some "tricks" such as inheriting properties and using prototypes. I would think that having 2 or 3 similar tutorials would be of great benefit, and those could be done for relatively typical activities, like keeping a To Do list, having a Proect Dashboard (http://www.markbernstein.org/elements/D ... dLarge.jpg), or Mark Anderson's process for getting the Afghanistan information into Tinderbox.

At least for me watching a video has worked much better than reading manuals, blogs, books, etc. I would still do my reading, but a screencast would be great. Maybe different screencasts focusing on some specific features, such as prototypes, attributes, automation, and so on.

mw
mwra
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Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:05 am Post

FWIW, as as a long-time demo maker for Tinderbox (TB), it helps massively if users offer up appropriate source data. My Afghan map (mentioned above) worked there was a readily available public dataset. For the current bunch of Scriveners (re-)starting TB, it would be great if one or more such folk had a goo-sized ball of 'raw' text data, references, etc., so demo writers (like myself) don't have to make it up and thus can better spend their available (spare) time on writing the actual TB demos. In context, doing the above-mentioned Afghan map took a few hours. Writing the iterative demo versions which I did for TB w/e 2009 (and going, I think, onto the new CD) took days. Making up the data takes even longer if there's to be a good amount of it.

So, if you're siting on some non personally/commercially data you've collected and want to offer it up for demo use, it could be a really neat source against which to write a series of demos to baby-step folk into the seemingly harder corners of TB. If you have such, drop a line to Eastgate.

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all.

[post edit for typos]

ea
eastgate
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Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:53 am Post

I spent most of the day today reviewing Tinderbox maps for an paper for Hypertext 2011 in Eindhoven (http://www.ht2011.org/. I was looking for small structural details, but I was struck by the remarkable depth of ideas and topics, ranging from the dining habits of Colubus monkeys to the historical roots of Al Qaeda.

And of course some timeouts for support questions, again ranging from historical fiction to software system interop.

It sure is an interesting domain! For the curious, check out the Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/726362@N21/pool/.

ea
eastgate
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Sun May 29, 2011 4:20 pm Post

Bumping this thread because...

... there's a fresh sale under way at http://www.literatureandlatte.com/tinderbox_promo.php and http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Speci ... vener.html

... there's a thread in Feedback debating what (if anything!) Tinderbox is good for

... there's some good stuff in this thread!

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DanielParadise
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Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:32 am Post

Hello, I took advantage of the recent sale and bought a copy of Tinderbox. I am reading through the manual and am watching the screencasts on the developers website, but I figured I would ask here: Is there a good (visual) reference to starting out in Tinderbox? What I want out of this program is the ability to create timelines, character/setting hierarchies, and family trees (all of which seems possible from the developer's website) and I am currently trying to figure out where to start. I know that I will get there eventually but I was wondering if anyone here (those who are more experienced with the program than the guy who took two hours figuring out how to change the default color of notes in map mode) could point me in the right direction. As always, I am amazed by the quality of the LaL forums and I look forward to talking with you soon!

Sincerely,
Daniel Paradise

PS:
What the heck is this the small floating tool bar that appears at startup that contains the "select area tool" the "select tool" the "create weblink" "create link" and "link parking space"? Can I add commands to this toolbar or simply get rid of it (I close it but it reopens like it thinks I am playing wack-a-mole)
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

El
ElegantlyMac
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Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:17 am Post

Hi Daniel,

Tinderbox is just a very flexible piece of software, you can have different ways to use it.
And you would probably never need to know or use all of the features it presents.

Part I: Bare Essentials
There are a few things to get started on:
  • The Outline view - this is where you just type out your thoughts in outline format.
  • The Map view - great for visual people
  • Using Links (explore this. You can always undo them with Cmd-Z)
With the above features, you will be able to get most of your characters mapped.

Every Tinderbox note comes with the Name (title of the note) and Text (body of the note). Think of Text as an extension of the Name. It's up to you how you want to use the Name and Text of the notes, different users may input the same information differently, so it's up to how you organize your information in your brain.

Part II: Getting used to the interface
Just about everything you want can be customized in Tinderbox. The color of the background, the notes, the font - size and color. You can even draw graphs on your notes in Map view (this is advanced stuff)

You can change the document interface (colors) at Edit > Document Preferences.
You can change the note properties by selecting the note and effecting changes at Window > Inspector.

Tinderbox is not hard to use if you enjoy it in plain vanilla (less on customizing colors). It will hold all your information like a personal brain, and you can organize the information to your liking anytime using Agents (you'll need to know a little bit of logic for this to work) and Adornments.

Shortcut keys are great to use with Tinderbox. I don't know where I'd be without them.
<space> : opens the note for editing
<backspace> : deletes the note
<fn-return> : opens the note properties
<cmd-shift-return> : edits the note Name in place
<shift-return> : creates a child note
<return> : creates a new note (on the same level)
<cmd-up> : moves the note up (do the same for down)

Part III: Organizing the information
In Map view, Adornments (right click anywhere on the map and you'll see it) are great for grouping notes (again, for visual people). They are specially created for Map view only, so you won't find them in other views (yes, even Outline view).

Agents are like your little elves or assistants. They filter through all your notes in the document and show only those that meet a particular criteria. This particular criteria will require a little brain logic, input into the "Query" in order to work. It's simple if you understand a little programming.

I'm not using Timelines yet, but you could always create a new document to test out the functionalities. Consult the aTBref. It answers most of the questions (just do a google search at the bottom of the page). Ask your questions in the Tinderbox forums, they are very helpful over there.

Good luck!

Hu
Hugh
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Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:09 am Post

Daniel:

- visual reference: try this for a start: http://welcometosherwood.wordpress.com/tinderbox/. The posts are written by a Scrivener user and contributor to these forums, Steve Zeoli. Also, in case you haven't noticed, there's a parallel thread here that contains some good stuff, especially brookter's post: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13413

- the "small floating tool bar" is precisely as you've described it. It comes into play particularly when you're creating links in the Map view. As far as I know, you can't add commands to it or remove it. If you persist with the application (which I too am certain will do what you want and more), all will eventually become clear!

H
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

mb
mbbntu
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Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:03 am Post

You can hide the toolbar -- Command-Shift-T -- it's under the Window menu.

Cheers, Martin.

PS: you can also choose whether to have the toolbar appear on launch of the program, or on opening a document -- remember that there are preferences for the whole program and for each document. Go to Edit>Tinderbox Preferences>General or Edit>Document Preferences>General and tick or untick "Toolbar initially visible".
You should judge people not by how close they get to the top, but by how far they have come from the bottom. Some people have a mountain to climb just to get to the place where others start out. (Me, 2010)

Hu
Hugh
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Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:58 pm Post

It’s worth recording that the first in what is promised to be a new tutorial series -- CD or download -- is now on sale: http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Tutorial_CD.html

I haven’t had time to download it yet, but it looks like the kind of thing that many Tinderbox novices have been calling for.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

cr
crimewriter
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Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:58 pm Post

Thanks for the reminder, Hugh. I bought Tinderbox a few months ago and every few weeks I have another go at learning to use it in more than the most basic fashion. I have a collection of notes in colour-coded containers but the screen on my MacBook is so tiny that I can't read them and I haven't a clue what they're all about. But, following your post, I've now bought the tutorial CD and I look forward to long evenings of puzzling over yet more passages of impenetrable jargon.

It makes writing a novel feel so easy in comparison.

cw
Some quiet night when you've shirked your work because of fatigue or distraction, open a window of your house and listen. Do you hear that distant clicking sound? That's one of your competitors, pecking away at his keyboard in Paris or London or Erie, PA

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vic-k
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Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:05 pm Post

crimewriter wrote:I've now bought the tutorial CD and I look forward to long evenings of puzzling over yet more passages of impenetrable jargon.
Lot easier with a double, single malt and ice. cr. :wink: 8) :twisted:
Vic
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

cr
crimewriter
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Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:20 pm Post

No ice. Just a dash of spring water, please.

cw
Some quiet night when you've shirked your work because of fatigue or distraction, open a window of your house and listen. Do you hear that distant clicking sound? That's one of your competitors, pecking away at his keyboard in Paris or London or Erie, PA

Hu
Hugh
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Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:31 pm Post

crimewriter wrote:I look forward to long evenings of puzzling over yet more passages of impenetrable jargon.


My favourite (of many) is the term “deprecate”, as frequently used in the Tbx forums. It took me a while to realise the folk using it were not expressing severe moral disapproval of the computer code in question, Downton-Abbey dowager-duchess-style, but something else entirely. :)
Last edited by Hugh on Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'