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Message started by Ted Goranson on Jan 2nd, 2015, 1:21am

Title: Filemaker and Tinderbox
Post by Ted Goranson on Jan 2nd, 2015, 1:21am

Some long time ago, I mentioned that I am integrating the two in some fashion and promised to report my findings.

General background: a primary Tinderbox use for me is as a structured authoring environment for material, some of which gets published to the web. I have some rather complex export code that Mark Anderson helps with.

I use Filemaker for some of the same reasons: I can flexibly structure and script documents on my desktop and publish them to the web.

In both cases, I handle the in-application code and have someone else handle the web presentation code.

Filemaker hardly qualifies as 'artisinal' but the working environment I have created is as highly personal as that of Tinderbox.

The specific situation is that I will write essays on certain qualities of film in Tinderbox. These will have examples in certain films. There are reasons I want this to be in Tinderbox.

I also write comments on individual films, and these carry a lot of metadata about the film. This is best handled in Filemaker.

Some of these films exhibit qualities noted in the essays.

So the goal was that I would write in both applications (on the desktop) with some information from each published on the web. The Tinderbox essays as published to the web would contain examples authored in Filemaker. Each film record in Filemaker as published would include the Tinderbox authored essays pertinent to that film.

I tried a great many strategies. The initial one was mutual ingestion: publishing special pages from each application that would be ingested by the other from the web. I lost months chasing this down to abandonment.

The solution I have now will not likely be used by anyone else, but here is what it is.

Tinderbox to Filemaker. I am publishing special versions of the essay pages to a web location. These are not ingested into the Filemaker database. But if you are on a Filemaker-published film’s webpage, you can view the Tinderbox-generated essays in an iframe, integrated into the UI. This preserves all the special effects I use on the pure Tinderbox-generated site.

Filemaker to Tinderbox. When I finish with a film’s entry in Filemaker, I have fields for each Tinderbox essay. If a film is an example of that quality, I make a note in that field. That text automatically is appended to the Filemaker-generated web page. I hit a button and in the background that same text is emailed to Simplenote with some indication of where it should end up in Tinderbox.

It is automatically ingested into Tinderbox. I have to manually move it. I then apply a stamp to make it conform properly and connect it in as an exported include to an essay. It works.

Unfortunately, I have no published examples of this yet, because no essay is finished — and I have v5->v6 transition issues. But I am happy to share any element of this that folks might find useful.

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