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Tinderbox Users >> Tinderbox applications >> Linking Values?
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Message started by DrStein on Jul 7th, 2013, 10:44am

Title: Linking Values?
Post by DrStein on Jul 7th, 2013, 10:44am

Is it possible to link the values of different attributes?  I am using a Qualitative Data Analysis strategy in psychological case analysis to distill and connect factors (similar to coding and super-coding).  I can run an agent to extract the notes of all of the values in an attritbute.  I can then manually create new notes with titles matching each value listed.  These copied notes can then be linked.  Is there an easier or more direct way to link selected values?

Title: Re: Linking Values?
Post by Mark Anderson on Jul 7th, 2013, 12:02pm

Action code can't create new notes, or delete existing notes. However, it can simplify note creation paired with Explode. Use your agent's rule to set a note's $Text to a line delimited list of all the note names matched by your action query. Assumption: there are no duplicate note names in the matched items, or else this solution won't work.

Now Explode the note (again a manual task as Action code can't do this). The result is a child container ("Exploded Text") whose grandchildren are new notes each named for one line from the source $Text.

Linking. I asume you want that note to link to all notes where the value of $SomeAttribute is that of one of your new 'value' notes? If so use linkTo() and similar operators to link your notes. For instance if you give your new per-vlaue notes this rule (which you could do via a prototype, for ease):

linkTo(find($SomAttribute==$Name(that)))

Or optionally make all those links use a link type 'Special':

linkTo(find($SomAttribute==$Name(that)),"Special")

Title: Re: Linking Values?
Post by Henry Stein on Jul 8th, 2013, 2:00pm

To clarify, is it possible to link the specific values of an attribute to each other?  

Title: Re: Linking Values?
Post by Mark Anderson on Jul 8th, 2013, 5:12pm

No, as links run between notes. Although all notes have all attributes, notes are effectively the smallest discrete component of a tinderbox document.

However, it is possible using action code to get a note to link to** another note sharing the same value of an attribute, or indeed to link (via discrete links) to every note with the same value.

** Tinderbox notes are unidirectional and have no attributes, though you can add as many link types as you like.

I do wonder in ssuch a scenario if links are actually what you need, and action code can query and act on such relationships without the needs to draw actual links. Bear in mind that links:
  • appear only in maps.
  • only show fully if source and destination are on the same map.
  • can be styled and shown/hidden down to per-linkType granularity although such controls are manual (you can't use action code).
  • can quickly clutter a map if you have very many links, including making enactment (animating links) sluggish.
If you start out linking and change your mind, the good news is that action code can query links and set attribute values to capture the relationship and then delete the links.

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