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Tinderbox Users >> Moving to Tinderbox 6 >> Navigation in Tinderbox Six
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Message started by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 8th, 2014, 10:33am

Title: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 8th, 2014, 10:33am

Hi to all

I search a note, find it and open it.
How do I go from this note to the one I was before jumping (which can be far away in teh map or outline). Where is "Go back" and "Navigate" of Tbx 5?

Thanks !

BTW, I had an issue in Tbx on that also, since the [ +cmd i simpossible to make on a French keyboard.

Rigas

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 8th, 2014, 10:59am

With the cursor in $Text, use Cmd+Opt+up-arrow for the previous ($OutlineOrder) note and Cmd+Opt+down-arrow for the next note. I believe these shortcuts were new to v6.1.0. Anyway, I've been using them all day today with no problems.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 8th, 2014, 11:19am

Thanks Mark . Agreed.
That doesnt answer to the question of going back to a note where I was previously but far away in the outline (not above/down in the Outline)
Best
Rigas

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by J Fallows on Oct 8th, 2014, 11:38am


Quote:
That doesn't answer to the question of going back to a note where I was previously but far away in the outline (not above/down in the Outline)

You're looking for the equivalent of the "back" button on a web browser, right? Something that returns you to what you were looking at immediately before. I don't know whether TB has such a function.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 8th, 2014, 11:59am

Correct ! That is what I am looking for.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 8th, 2014, 12:36pm

In short, No, and I don't think it ever did. The v5 method of Note->Go Back (Cmd+[ ) for reversing along the last used internal link [sic] isn't implemented in v6.

[Later]. Of course v5 also had the little-used History view. Part of the plan in v6, as I understand it, is to quietly shelve some of these minor views unless a significant number of users showed a strong need for them. Every bit of code in the app needs writing/maintaining so there is good sense in trying to prune parts that have fallen from use.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by J Fallows on Oct 8th, 2014, 2:59pm


Quote:
Of course v5 also had the little-used History view.


I actually liked (and used) the History view!

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 9th, 2014, 3:41am

I also liked the history view !

In short, most of the difficulties I have with V6 concern navigation and seeking things. The search feature is really terrible. I am really disappointed because I had one VERY Large file with thousand notes that served me as a reference tool not ordered, (or very partially), a garden that was not pruned, just growing without order where I could find my way easily. Its no more the case. I also had the problem with the elimination of the arrwos in the toolbar in V5. I definitely cant use anymore Tinderbox for this task... I am terribly sad about it. I will wait hoping Tinderbox takes into account some of the needs in navigation and search facility.

I once bought a Mac because of Tinderbox. Today I will have to sadly look for something else -and its absolutely dramatic in terms of time and organization.

Best to all


Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 9th, 2014, 4:18am

I think it is a little harsh to describe v6 search as 'terrible'. Main view v6 search provides fast basic search. Don't forget you can 'tear off' the results pop-over to a separate window if you need to persist the search results. More complex searches are better conducted in an agent giving more access like opening the matched item's original in a new tab. Meanwhile $Text has it's own separate and enhanced search.

Many of the changes here were pragmatic. They were underpinned, as I understand it, by the need to move off pre-OSX [sic] code frameworks, and the strong push from many users for some sort of mobile (iOS) version or companion app.

This being a user-to user forum, it's hard to see what we your fellow users can do here. If you need new features or the return of old ones it is more effective to write directly to Eastgate (info@eastgate.com). Or, do you have a specific question that users can help you with? It might help, to understand your data better as there might be small changes to the way you use the UI than might achieve a result without difficulty. At present, there's insufficient information upon which to try and give helpful suggestions. Your fellow users here will help if they can, but they don't control app design.

Aside, if we're going to discuss v6 search, might I suggest those interested start a new thread so this one can stay on navigation.

Edit: typo.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 9th, 2014, 4:46am

Sorry Mark, some misunderstanding here.


Quote:
I thikn it is a little harsh to describe v6 search as 'terrible'.


I didnt say that: I said the search feature is terrible.


Quote:
I Don't forget you can 'tear off' the results pop-over to a separate window if you need to persist the search results.


How do you do this?

Where the manual? Isnt that urgent? No, sorry, Tinderbox 6 is just for experienced pilots...  who can also be mechanics.


Quote:
More complex searches are better conducted in an agent giving more access like opening the matched item's original in a new tab. Meanwhile $Text has it's own separate and enhanced search.


Text is much better in v6. Agreed. MUCH much better. Problem is Tinderbox is not my typing machine.

Tinderbox is my box of material dumped in there to help me make connections between ideas, material, references, published docs, and so on. SEARCH IS VITAL ! By the way, this is how I ended-up with Tinderbox some 10 years ago, by looking at an intelligent search-and-think feature with hypertextual features.

As for my use of the forum: I am a self-taught experienced user and when I ask something its becasue I cant find a way. I have NEVER bothered without reason and communication with Eastgate is excellent.

>:(

So user-to-user forum is just for information... ? Thanks, but you are just wrong. Its become the main manual for version 6. You contributed grandly and effectively to that. You known better than to tell me I cant express my disappointment.

Best

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 9th, 2014, 5:40am

Several points to unpick here.

First up, the app's manual (Help). It really isn't a conspiracy against users. The v6 UI contains views/data used in v5 but is a complete re-write, plus it is still evolving and ironing out kinks. It is written primarily by the developer (who is writing code otherwise) and the two main volunteer contributors are currently busy in other things. As one of the latter, I'm doing a full time MSc - indeed I'm writing this as a break from writing up my dissertation; less free time. I'd agree the manual lacks an article on the tear-off concept. It's much harder to write a manual when the subject matter is still evolving build-by-build. Plus one has to balance the users who get angry that there's 'too much to read' in the manual against those similarly angry 'everything isn't explained'. There's a similar turf war between those who want in-app help and those who insist it must be a form of 'paper' (i.e. PDF) book**; no one's ever happy.

Tough gig, writing a manual for a multi-facted tool. Although TB's now 14 years old, v6 is in many ways a 1 year-old but as complex as the v5 that had 13 years to ease into current form. So, could the manual be better right now? Yes. Is it laziness? No, and the manual is being worked on. v6.1.0's Help (manual) added new content - not just release notes.

** TB Help is written, like v5 in a TBX.  After my course I hope to be able to build into the new help TBX the structure I devised for making a PDF that I did for the v5 file. But the open source tools have changed, etc., so it's another not-simple thing. Same goes for aTbRef6; the current one took 9 years to write and again i'm starting from scratch. These things take time.

Tear-off windows. Off the top of my head two pop-overs, Get Info and Search (Find) results, can be 'torn' off; there may be others.  By this I mean if you click on the pop-over (but not on a control or input thereon) and drag, the pop-over alters to become a stand-alone window. It is tied to the original source note / search made; with find, I believe you can run still run a new search from the tear off, plus the drop-down in the search box lists recent searches- click one to re-use it. The window persists until closed or the TBX is next closed. You can try tearing off other pop-overs - they either will or they won't.

$Text also has a sort of 'tear-off'. Select a note, View -> Text window (Cmd+Opt+X) and that note's $Text are shown as a separate window; from v6.1.0 this also includes the notes key attributes (KA) table - great! These separate text windows only last for the session (I think!). This area of extra text window is evolving, not least as it get TB6 back into the scheduling problems v5 had in trying to keep all windows in synch and updated (i.e. annoying for the user but really hard stuff for the developer). A known issue is $Text scrolling to start or end and losing the insertion point, but it's work-in-progress.

"Tinderbox is not my typing machine". I very agree. I'm in the same camp but for many other users TB is their primary typing machine (output/word processor). It the latter for whom much of the new RTF improvements were added (plus the new frameworks offer support for them). It is a big headache for the developer of a toolbox like TB as groups of users make heavy use of small parts of the app and resent work done on other aspects of it which appear as wasteful for their own use perspective.

Search is indeed vital. The move to a (primarily) one-window app reflects changes in the Mac environment and the advent of a more mobile on-everywhere expectation of users (or in broadband connected parts of the world!). I too found TB in the same way. I can't point to a strategy but I've managed to adapt to v6; there was a period of pain but now the benefits (many) outweigh the comfort a complex UI I knew well. It does seem some sort of a return for the history view (or the queue of notes visited) might be a good thing to add back.

Self-taught? Me too! Never had a day's formal computer/app training in my life. I help here as it returns the kindness of strangers I get elsewhere online. You are not alone. I learn by simply by not being too embarrassed to ask if I don't know stuff when all around seem to.

The point about the general concept of online 'user-to-user' forums are they are not formal tech support and if vendor staff participate, they are doing so as fellow users. The lines can blur, but the point is that complaints to the vendor should go to the vendor, otherwise complaining posts are simply blaming fellow users who can't alter the design and thus can't help; plus everyone gets a little unsettled and new users get disheartened.

So, here it's better to frame a question differently. "Search sucks, I can't do X like I used to…" which basically says the design is wrong. But, "I'm used to doing X via search is this way, but I don't know how this is now done". this lets users either point out the replacement method, a workaround if no direct replacement or a suggestion that you make a feature to the vendor for a closer replacement for your old workflow. That way the user-to-user model can do the best for all involved.

I do get that changes have left you annoyed, I get days like that too! Still, I hope the above has helped explain it's not a conspiracy.  :)

As ever, if stuck, ask a question. now, back to dissertation writing/beta testing TB (bold or foolish choice to combine the two?).

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by J Fallows on Oct 9th, 2014, 9:41am


Quote:
Tinderbox is my box of material dumped in there to help me make connections between ideas, material, references, published docs, and so on. SEARCH IS VITAL ! By the way, this is how I ended-up with Tinderbox some 10 years ago, by looking at an intelligent search-and-think feature with hypertextual features.


Just one user's opinion, but having used TB6 for a while as a paying member of the "Backstage" project, I find that I am more able, more easily, with less friction, to get it to do what I want than before. Like any change, it has pluses and minuses, but I personally notice many more of the pluses. The Attribute Browser is an enormous breakthrough from my POV -- for me, it obviates the need to search in many cases.

I know that a program this open-ended has different results for different people, but these are mine.

Update: Last night, on the Atlantic's site, I did a tribute to the "clown prince" of tennis, Vic Braden, who IMO was actually quite a serious figure. The item is here,http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/10/vic-braden/381271, and in a way the third of the four Braden videos I link to at the bottom is related to our discussion here.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Bernstein on Oct 9th, 2014, 11:29am

Rigas:  reading between the lines here, I suspect there's some specific feature that's an issue here.  

In broad terms, search in Tinderbox 6 is just like search in Tinderbox 5, but with a nicer interface.  There are a few new things you can do, like tearing off the popover (just click and drag the edge of the search results) or reusing an old query.  There are probably a few old things that we left out because we thought no one really wanted them.

So: send me an email with an example of what you used to do easily, why it's harder now, and perhaps we can make it easy again.  bernstein@eastgate.com



Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Bernstein on Oct 9th, 2014, 11:33am

HISTORY VIEW:  This originally came into being in Storyspace, where it's necessary. In Tinderbox, it seemed seldom useful.

Thinking for a moment, the main use I can imagine is the following:


Quote:
I'm working in a very large document that I don't use frequently.  Earlier this morning, I edited a note on JOHN STEINBECK.  I just realized I want to change something there!

I don't know where JOHN STEINBECK is in the document. I suppose I could search.  But if I had a history list, I'd just scroll back and there it would be.


Is this the scenario people have in mind?

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 9th, 2014, 12:10pm

(Others, do please reply to MB's above, this below just my personal 2˘ worth as a user and thus of no more weight than anyone else view on the question he poses.)

Yes to MB's last. It solves the "I'll know it if I see it" sort of search problem for a half-remembered item title. As one bounces between series of (to the user) interconnected notes that may not appear so in terms of the doc, this history of visits also becomes a little spatial hypertext of is own.

If re-appearing as a feature, the tear-off-able pop-over UI ought to suffice; power users would tear off, others likely would occasionally use the pop-over. Interaction (using items in the list) would likely follow that used by Search/Find?

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 9th, 2014, 12:30pm

EXACTLY !

That is what I meant by jumping from one note to the other that "located far away".

When using large documents with many notes, this can be vital.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Bernstein on Oct 9th, 2014, 12:51pm

Woud an alternative interface be a submenu in the View menu

    View ▸ Recent Notes ▸

by analogy to "Recent Files"?

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 9th, 2014, 1:34pm

Presumably that would be gated to N recent items. v5 History was session-scope was it not? The menu idea is nice but in a busy doc an MRU list might not be long enough (depending on # items allowed!).

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by J Fallows on Oct 9th, 2014, 3:05pm


Quote:
I don't know where JOHN STEINBECK is in the document. I suppose I could search.  But if I had a history list, I'd just scroll back and there it would be.

Is this the scenario people have in mind?

Exactamento.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 11th, 2014, 3:39am

Mark Bernstein asks:
Quote:
Woud an alternative interface be a submenu in the View menu

   View ▸ Recent Notes ▸

by analogy to "Recent Files"?


YES ! that would be excellent.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by James Barrett on Oct 11th, 2014, 7:59am

At the risk of stating the obvious:

A submenu with a list of recent notes would be great, but please include in the menu something like 'Previous' and 'Next' so that (with keyboard shortcuts assigned) one could navigate backwards and forwards by means of the keyboard alone.

This is the functionality which Rigas originally asked about, and the one that I would find most helpful.

Thanks,
James

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 11th, 2014, 8:09am

James is right about Back and Forward arrows with a keyboard shortcut, but please not [+⌘ or ]+⌘  not accessible in a French keyboard (the [ in French kbd is ⌥ + Shift + opening parenthesis)  , ... although, okay, I know, we are small minority :)

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by J Fallows on Oct 11th, 2014, 12:37pm


Quote:
A submenu with a list of recent notes would be great, but please include in the menu something like 'Previous' and 'Next' so that (with keyboard shortcuts assigned) one could navigate backwards and forwards by means of the keyboard alone.

This is the functionality which Rigas originally asked about, and the one that I would find most helpful.


FWIW, I think the original request was for something like the old History view, which had a list of a lot of recently viewed notes but did not (to my recollection) have Previous/Next commands or buttons. http://www.acrobatfaq.com/atbref5/index/Views/Minorviews/Historyview.html

So I agree that having those Prev/Next menu labels would be great, for those of us who would like to assign keyboard shortcuts to it. But from my POV, having something like the previous History functionality, with a list of recent notes, would be a big step on its own, whether or not it can be burnished with this additional convenience.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by JB on Oct 11th, 2014, 2:46pm


Quote:
FWIW, I think the original request was for something like the old History view

Well, fwiw, Rigas began by asking:
"Where is 'Go back' and 'Navigate' of Tbx 5?"

Anyway, v5 did/does have a "Go Back" command under the "Note" menu with Cmd-[ assigned and this does indeed go to the previously viewed note.
There's also a "Navigate" menu item, with Cmd-] assigned, but it doesn't work for me on 5.12.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Christian Zwieb on Oct 16th, 2014, 10:55am

Short of a history browser, I consult five agents:
$Modified="today"
$Modified="yesterday"
($Modified < "today - 2 days ") &! ($Modified < "today - 8 days ")
($Modified < "today - 8 days ") &! ($Modified < "today - 30 days ")
($Modified < "today - 31 days ") &! ($Modified < "today - 90 days ")

For me, this is good enough to identify notes that I have been working with in the recent past.

Chris

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 16th, 2014, 12:11pm

Thanks for sharing. Queries ignore spaces outside quoted strings, but I think your join, in syntax terms is ') & !(' as opposed to ') &! ('. The point, for the learner that the the !(…) contruct negates, i.e. flips, the condition in the parentheses. Thus:

($Modified < "today - 8 days ") evaluates 'true' if $Modified is more than 8 days ago

but…

!($Modified < "today - 8 days ") evaluates 'false' if $Modified is more than 8 days ago, as the leading exclamation makes '!' flips the operation.

It is useful where there is no reverse operator set, such as a 'does not contain' test. Wheras == has != and < has >. The latter could have been used to replace < in the latter above and thus not need the '!', but this also shows there's often more than one perfectly valid syntax to get to the same outcome (i.e. no specific right/wrong to the choice).

You may see examples like !$SomeAttribute, but I recall this can confuses TB's parser and !($SomeAttribute) is recommended instead. As the examples above show, you can as easily put an expression in the parentheses as a single attribute name



Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Rigas Arvanitis on Oct 16th, 2014, 12:21pm

Christian , thanks


[edit]...$Modified="today"
$Modified="yesterday"
($Modified < "today - 2 days ") &! ($Modified < "today - 8 days ")
($Modified < "today - 8 days ") &! ($Modified < "today - 30 days ")
($Modified < "today - 31 days ") &! ($Modified < "today - 90 days ")
[/edit]

This works when notes are modified. Would like to have this when they are visited.


Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Anderson on Oct 16th, 2014, 12:31pm

$SelectionCount and $ReadCount do sort of track that but unless you're storing old values somewhere to compare them with current ones, it doesn't help much. Thus, I do think there's a valid need for the old History view, even if not everyone uses it.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Michael Bywater on Aug 13th, 2015, 2:37am

Late to this party but I want to add my voice here.  I hadn't realised two of the things I use most frequently aren't yet restored in 6.1.3.  They're both pretty crucial and while I'll put in a request directly to MB, I want to put it up here to see if it suits, or arouses wrath in, any other users.

(1) Scenario: poodling around notes looking for Emergent Structure - Tb's unique skill.  I remember seeing a note n notes ago which should be linked to the one I'm looking at right now. But what was it?  If I can have a Go Back In History/Go Forward In History keystroke it would be so easy.  And the History (on whose information this would rely) should ideally have its own View as well ("I know it was around *then*, the nearest we can get to the old codex trick of "I know it was around *there*").

(2) The old [ and ] for following links back/forward is also useful. A different purpose -- re-orienting yourself -- but equally good for rapid work. Raising Roadmap or Browse Links windows is too cumbersome for rapid connection-spotting, I find.

Left to my own devices, I'd have cmd-[ and cmd-] for going back and forward in History (a de facto standard command) and something else for travelling back and forward along links. Others may disagree.

But both of these are crucial to the way I use Tbx.  Without them, I can easily get lost while browsing my stuff looking for connections;  moreover, the old routine of
--spot a note
--park a link
--find the one I saw a few minutes ago, about which the only thing I remember is that I saw it a few minutes ago
--go there with a few keystrokes if it was close, or via the History view if it was over the other side of the file's solar system,
--make the link

...just doesn't work.  It reduces the scope for "Aha!" moments, which is, for me, one of Tb's great & unique strengths.

Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Mark Bernstein on Aug 13th, 2015, 10:50am

Link-following and selection do follow undo, but I see that better access to the history stack is desirable. One particularly convincing scenario is:

a) Follow a link to from "Abilene" to "Omaha."

b) Notice a mistake in the text. Correct it.

c) I want to check that the mistake isn’t in Abilene as well. Undo won’t help, because I don’t want to Undo my correction. And Abilene is nowhere near Omaha, so I can't easily go home again.


Title: Re: Navigation in Tinderbox Six
Post by Michael Bywater on Aug 13th, 2015, 2:05pm

My scenario is more like

-- Wander round aimlessly, whistling through my teeth.

-- Find myself in Omaha with no idea how I got there.

-- Remember a while ago passing through Abilene.  Suspect there's a link to be made.

-- Park link.

-- Try to retrace my steps.

-- -- Used to be able to via History.

-- -- Can't now except with search.

And what's the problem with search?  None, except that I'm not sure it *was* Abilene; maybe it was somewhere a bit before, or after, I passed through.

It may just be me, but that's a common way for me to spot emergent connections...

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