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Tinderbox Users >> Off The Wall: Feature Ideas >> Bookends Tweaks

Message started by Ted Goranson on Oct 18th, 2012, 2:46am

Title: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Ted Goranson on Oct 18th, 2012, 2:46am

I am investing heavily in Bookends.

The recent TBx - BE integration is wonderful, but I would like a little more flexibility.

The use case is this:

I option a reference somehow, read it and decide there is some idea worth using in my work. I therefore want to make a note of that idea and have it begin life in a TBx. Over time, those ideas will be merged with others based on my own insights.

What I am struggling with is how to do this so that it makes sense. I don't think what I need is a note for each reference with full bibliographic detail, which is what I get when I option-drag a reference from BE to an outline field in TBx, though I suppose that could work with some tweaks outlined below.

Alternatively, I could drag a citation somehow into a text field and get a linked marker like this: (Smith, 1999), like I do in a scanned word processor. Then that text is available for me to move around and merge into other notes as structure emerges.

Right now I am thinking I would like both:

1. The ability to tweak the reference prototype so that when I option-drag a BE reference to an outline field, I get a note that has reference as now, has the URL link to BE as now...

but has as the text the contents of the BE notes field, where it seems handy to write my observations on the document by itself. As the TBx evolves, the TBx info would change, but that BE notes field remain. All of the reference info that is currently collected into TBx attributes can be there. I won't use them and don't want to see them as key attributes.

2. The ability to use references more or less like you would in a word processor where dragging a reference from BE into a text field gives me a marker as now...

but uses the format BE uses for formatted documents, not unscanned ones, meaning it looks like this: (Smith, 1999) instead of {Smith, #71390}.

AND the text (Smith, 1999) is a link to the BE reference. By the way, Mark's reference says that option-dragging gives text that is a live link to BE, but this is not the case with me (TBx 5.11.2 and BE 11.3.2 on Lion 10.7.4

Not quite an off the wall request on the surface, but I am supposing this to be a lot of work on your end because of the options that would need to be set.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 18th, 2012, 7:33am

If it's aTbRef's page on Bookends to which you refer, the drag modifiers are Cmd+Opt+ not just Opt+ alone.

Do ensure you hold down Cmd+Opt before you mouse-down to start the drag. If you don't, you won't get the right info when you drop. I would note that's a Ui issue with BE, not TB.

From some experimentation, I think the other ideas also need changes at the BE [sic] end first - I'll send you some more info separately.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Mark Bernstein on Oct 18th, 2012, 7:35am

Aside from other work, making tinderbox documents scannable like RTF documents would be very, very difficult, requiring a complete redesign of Tinderbox files. Every file opening in Tinderbox would then be much slower.  It's a lot to give up.

Note that the URL field of the reference note in Tinderbox does give you a direct push button link to the underlying bookends note.  So any bookends fields that aren't imported by the drag, or that have been changed since the drag, are only one click away.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Ted Goranson on Oct 18th, 2012, 8:33am

To Mark B.

I think you misunderstand. I don't need to scan the TBx doc. You do that to build a formatted bibliography and I don't want that. Not even sure what that would mean. All I want with my second request is that I get a clickable formatted entry: (Smith, 1999) so that what is carried along as the notes mature actually means something when read, and can take me to where I can get more info.

The reason I think this is feasible is because I believe BE gives you everything you need to do this. After all, they gave you all that info for the attributes of the reference prototype.

But I did put this in the off the wall section. And I do think that if I could get the advertised functionality to work, I would be happy. In that case, I would create a reference format in BE that looked the way I wanted, whether (Smith, 1999) or whatever. Then I would get my entry and my link. But...

To Mark A.

As I said in the post, the drag does not result in a clickable in-text link. More precisely:

— A simple drag to a text field produces a marker {Smith #345678}. As expected, no link.

— An Option drag produces a formatted reference in the text. As expected, no link.

— A Cmd Opt drag deletes all existing text in the note, produces the same formatted reference, and puts the BE link in the URL attribute.

This is contrary to what you report in the reference, which I quote: "If dragging to a text window, Tinderbox will insert the title of the source into the text. The title will also be a web link, Cmd+Opt+click on the title will open the reference in Bookends."

Perhaps you meant to say that this went away with TBx 5.11?

Anyway, the second of my off the wall requests is that if I Cmd Opt drag to a location in the text of a note, I get something that when clicked, finds the BE reference.

Behavior 1 I could live with by creating an external macro that when used takes me to the reference.

Behavior 2 I could similarly live with if I figured out how to create an external macro to toggle BE between the reference format for my Word Processor and for TBx, and also used an external macro to take me where I want to go.

Behavior 3 is unacceptable to my desired workflow because it slams my text and limits me to one reference per note. It is only useful if I wanted to make one note per reference and somehow reference that reference note from a TBx note that had my ideas in it.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 18th, 2012, 8:54am

@Ted I think this is two cross-cutting things, one a possible OS-version related UI issue and the other some inter-app clarification. I'll follow up via email if that's OK, as we're already also talking there. We can always post back anything arising that's pertinent to later users.  :)

Title: Motivation
Post by Ted Goranson on Oct 18th, 2012, 7:18pm

Just to be clear, this is a background issue for me, and not a complaint.

The motivation is that TBx is already the most valuable application I use. It is the centerpiece of my concept-related work, and if I can integrate a TBx workflow with Bookends, I will be richer than rich.

I own many other apps and keep trying to use them, for instance Devonthink.

In some Devonthink (and Papers) workflows, you store your documents there, extract and store concepts in the app, then use that in a production setting somehow with another app. The link from DT to a reference manager and the writing app in that case is workable but strange because you have overlapping databases and concept management strategies.

Bookends is quite impressive in what it supports, with one function being a 'notes' field. You can manipulate that in a few ways. BE also has keywords, labels key/value pairs and reference-to-reference typed links, all useable by smart searches. So it is entirely possible to collect references in BE, mine them in some meaningful way, synthesize some useful results for a paper and then manage the references within that paper.

But. But. Knowing TBx as I do, there is so much more I can do with concept extraction and synthesis if I can manage my ideas there. So my idea is to use BE for what it is good for and TBx what it is good for.

I'm simply looking for a workflow that keeps the reference data in BE, with a lightweight way to get at the data and the original reference document, while keeping the fluid, emerging ideas in TBx. A simple reference marker like you get in a word processor, with an in-text file URL to BE seems elegant.

Let me cook on this a bit and see if I can munge a solution.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Sumner Gerard on Oct 19th, 2012, 11:38am

I own Bookends but haven't used it much yet.  However, I do know that it has quite a bit of AppleScript support now.  And Tinderbox can do powerful things in linking with specific items in other apps via AppleScript that are quite easy to set up.  The solution wouldn't be drag and drop, probably more like run a short AppleScript on the BE side that puts tsv data on the clipboard, and paste the clipboard contents into Tinderbox using its "spreadsheet import."  Then, whenever you need to follow the link back to the specific BE entry, just click a Tinderbox stamp (could even assign it a keyboard shortcut).

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 19th, 2012, 12:38pm

As it happens (omitting a long discussion of this off forum) AppleScript won't help in this instance, though the suggestion is welcomed, as the problem boils down to pasting a hyperlink within $Text. This thread is effectively sorted out. I will post a follow up but there are some things I need to check with TB/BE vendors before doing so, so it's a solution based on fact.

I can confirm, and have reported (so no one else has to) that modified-dragging a BE reference onto an open TB note window - as opposed to a main view - will cause any existing $Text to be overwritten and lost.  If you do want to add a BE reference to an existing note that has existing $Text, I suggest you duplicate the note, drag the BE reference to the original note, then use the copy to get the $Text and paste it back in before deleting the dupe. This is, of course a workaround, pending a fix.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Ted Goranson on Oct 20th, 2012, 6:23am

I've had some more time to work on this. After some emails from Mark A. I see that my request is unreasonable, because everyone will want a different workflow.

Here is what I am doing now, and I expect this to be good enough for the duration.

I now drag a reference to the location in the text field where I want it. No option or command. I get a Bookends marker, something like: {Green and Reed, 2011, #28026} . That last number is the Bookends record number.

With my cursor in that number, I execute the Keyboard Maestro macro pictured below. It makes that record number into a URL link to the Bookends record. I am sure you can elaborate the macro to change the appearance of the entry, but this is fine with me.

I believe that I may well write a second macro that clicks the link and then opens the Bookends attachment, which is the actual document being referenced.

This solution is much more flexible than what Eastgate could have supplied. Hope it helps someone else.

Oops. looks like I don't know how to paste a picture. Email me if you want the macro,

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 20th, 2012, 11:25am

Neat solution! This is also nice use case for a suggestion I've made in the past asking that action code be made able to create weblinks. My suggestion was actually in the context of customising links during export but the same premise apples here.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 21st, 2012, 4:23am

Off-Topic replies have been moved to this Topic.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Sumner Gerard on Oct 21st, 2012, 8:17am

Any chance of seeing the Keyboard Maestro solution and why it is fundamentally different from the Automator-created Service "link" using a short AppleScript? (BTW, the Service solution has no Tinderbox agents, actions, or rules, so why put it in that section?)

Also interested in the bit about action code being able to create weblinks. Where can one find that?

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 21st, 2012, 9:18am

Action code can't create weblinks in $Text.

Earlier I referred to making a (feature)m suggestion in the past asking that action code be able to affect links in code. I think you misunderstood that, so I've edited the post to remove any ambiguity.

I have updated the aTbRef page on Bookends to reflect the  issue of $Text being overwritten and the Bookends problem with Cmd+Opt button press order.

@Ted posted that if people wanted to see the macro to drop him an email.

I think we're done here, re feature requests. To discuss scripting of TB & Bookends, please start a new thread in the Actions and rules forum.

Title: Re: Bookends Tweaks
Post by Ted Goranson on Aug 13th, 2013, 9:38pm

I’ve been asked to post the Keyboard Maestro macro I use, and had to recreate it.

Here is my use case. As many of you know, I have an ambitious Tinderbox to web publishing project, but this is for a Tinderbox file that never leaves my machine. In any case, it involves a file URL that doesn’t export nicely and wouldn’t mean much if we refactored it.

This requires Tinderbox, Bookends, BBedit and Keyboard Maestro. I have TBx 5.12.1, BE 12.0.3, BBe 10.5.5 and KM 6.1 at this writing.

In Bookends, I set my markers as | because my markup strategy uses those. You set this in Preferences>Scan & Bib where I also specify Author, Date, Unique ID. That means that when I drag a reference to the text in a TBx note, I get something like this:

|Goranson and Cardier, 2013, #63754|

Which literally was created by dragging. Note, this is not the option-drag that gives you a full bibliographic reference based on the style you have selected. You can do this without any other work. The example below uses APA 6th Ed.

Goranson, H. T., & Cardier, B. (2013). A Two-sorted Logic for Structurally Modeling Systems. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 864. doi:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2013.03.015

Now you have the nice marker in your note. These are designed to be used by Bookends in scanning your document to build a bibliography, but we will do something different.

In BBedit, create two textfactory documents, both GREP-based find and replace. Keyboard Maestro will send clipped text to these and get transformed results back.

Below, I will give images of the three essential scripts. How this works, is you drag the Bookends record to the note and get the |delimited| reference. Select that and trigger the KM macro. You will end up with this: (Goranson and Cardier, 2013) and the entire thing is linked to Bookends. Clicking it opens Bookends and takes you to the entry. From there it is a snap to open the PDF if you have it. Bookends is where I keep all the technical papers I keep.

As it happens, the text engine in TBx 5 has quirks. I suggest you save your note after each use of the macro. If you have troubles, temporarily place the |marker| at the beginning of a (non-indented) line.

Feel free to message me privately if your question is not of interest to everyone here.

Hope these image links work




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