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Message started by Amafortas on Mar 19th, 2009, 9:39pm

Title: Academics
Post by Amafortas on Mar 19th, 2009, 9:39pm

Hello all,

From what I can gather quite a few academics use Tinderbox, and I'm intrigued by the possibilities of the software.

I understand that Tinderbox is more of an explore-as-you-go program rather than something that forces the user into a predefined template. However, I could do with a bit of guidance and perhaps an example or two. At the moment, I'm about to begin a new chapter for my dissertation on the American novel and will need to synthesize quite a bit of research. Does anyone know of or have a sample Tinderbox file that would help me to see some of the possibilities and pitfalls of using the software for this purpose?

Thanks,

~A

Title: Re: Academics
Post by Jean Goodwin on Mar 20th, 2009, 10:53am

Try a search on "citation" in this forum for discussions of some of the elaborate ways Tinderbox can support academic writing. Personally, I find playing with Tinderbox so fun (and frustrating) that getting it to do EXACTLY what I need for some task or project can become a major distraction from actually getting the project done!  So as a matter of self-discipline, I try to use Tinderbox just a little more elaborately for each project.

FYI, here's one current project:  a conference paper due at the end of the month.  

http://picasaweb.google.com/isujean/Public02#5315280179139844754

It went through the following phases:

1.  For the last 6 months or so, as I researched I stuck random notes about the topic in a container.  I looked at these notes visually, using Map view.  And every so often I would re-arrange some, clustering them roughly using Adornments.  A few also got linked.
2.  About 2 months ago, I began to have a sense of what I was going to say.  So I started a new container and began roughing out an outline.  No surprise:  I tended to have this container open in Outline view, with the notes still open in Map view.  Some notes got moved into the outline, but most I just used for brainstorming.
3.  About 2 weeks ago, the outline was pretty much set in my mind. So I duplicated the container, & called it "paper."  I look at this container in Explorer view, filling out the outline with text, and keeping the other two containers also open for reference.  I also automated the process of collecting the scattered notes into the old outline, by adding a new attribute called "Section," building a series of agents that would move notes from the Notes container into the right part of the OUTLINE.  That makes it easier for me to pull stuff from them into the paper.
4.  Sometime next week, I'm going to export the draft and from then on use Word & Endnote to do the final writing & clean-up.

OK, I have a question for the board.  Can I write an action moving a note to a container whose name is set by another attribute?  E.g., something like this:

$Container(original)="/OUTLINE/$Section"

I played around with that a bit, but couldn't get it to work.

Title: Re: Academics
Post by Mark Bernstein on Mar 20th, 2009, 11:32am

I believe you want

     $Container(original)="/OUTLINE/"+$Section(agent)

assuming that the specific container is a parameter of the agent.  If it's a parameter of the note, then you'd want $Section(this) or, simply, $Section.

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