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Tinderbox Users >> Questions and Answers >> Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
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Message started by Frank on Mar 12th, 2016, 3:26am

Title: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Frank on Mar 12th, 2016, 3:26am

Hello,

I have enjoyed using Tinderbox on my laptop for things like mapping out customer relationships which contains both structured and non structured information, for which Tinderbox is well suited.

Recently I have abandoned my notebook and moved to an iMac on the desk and an iPad pro as my mobile platform. Not having a Tinderbox platform for the iPad is making me consider to move to a combination of DevonThink and Apple Notes / Omni Outliner.

Other option is to find a way to at least export the Tinderbox data to be available when travelling on the iPad, while maintaining the data set on the iMac.

So my question is twofold.

1. are there any plans to support high end tablets like the iPad Pro directly (great for brainstorming by the way)?

2. what is the best practise to export tinderbox to use the data on an iPad?

Thanks,

Frank

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Mark Anderson on Mar 12th, 2016, 11:16am

Eastgate are best places to answer #1. For #2 the answer is "it depends on what you're trying to do". People use Tinderbox in very different ways. If you just want you export your notes to HTML, download the TBX used to create aTbRef as its export demonstrates a number of  things you might try. As the pages are HTML, there's nothing to stop you adding things like a form on each page to send notes (from the iPad) re that note that you can add to the TBX when back on your iPad. Or, instead of a form a low-tech route it to send an email (that is seeded with the originating pages $Name or some unique ID).

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Frank on Mar 12th, 2016, 12:17pm

Thanks Mark, I will have a look at the TbRef source file for ideas on HTML export. Most important to me is to take my notes with me on the iPad with pretty formatting.

I could write my notes on mobile in apple Notes and manually add them into my knowledge base TBX file when I am back home.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Mark Bernstein on Mar 12th, 2016, 12:49pm

We’ve already done a good deal of work toward Tinderbox for iOS, and it does appear that the iPad Pro (though not previous incarnations) has sufficient computational power to handle Tinderbox.

What’s not clear is whether the marketplace exists. Few productivity tools for iOS are profitable or even viable, and the situation appears to be growing worse, not better.

That said, there are already a number of good ways to use Tinderbox with your iPad. Tinderbox has all sorts of export tools -- HTML, pdf, RTF OPML -- that interface nicely with the iPad or with iPad-accessible Web services.  We have good -- and growing -- interoperability with DEVONthink and Simplenote. New folder import facilities (available in backstage builds) work very nicely with Dropbox. And, as you observe, a few minutes of copy-and-paste can accomplish a lot over time.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Willem Smelik on Mar 13th, 2016, 9:17pm

The way I use Tinderbox is perhaps different from others. I write in Ulysses (version III now), which is Zen for writing. I use BibDesk for inserting BibLaTeX references, and Pandoc for conversion to XeLaTeX. Works a treat.

But I use Tinderbox as much as I use Ulysses. Tinderbox is for the organization, structure of content, and above all raw source and data collection with attributes and agents. For each of my book projects I have a separate Tinderbox file. Could not live without it.

Now I am (belatedly!) considering the purchase of an iPad. There is Ulysses for iPad, so I can write. But I am hesitant about losing my Tinderbox files on the iPad. There's no point for me to export to any other format: it's all about the attributes and agents for me. I rarely export my Tinderbox files. When in research, I just live in Tinderbox.

So far it's Tinderbox 1 iPad 0. But I'd love a draw...

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by jasonromney on Mar 15th, 2016, 2:17am

Dear Mark,
I am an iPad Pro user (with Apple Pencil) and would leap at the chance to use Tinderbox with it please.
Cheers,
JR

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Frank on Mar 15th, 2016, 6:04pm

I would also leap at using Tinderbox on the iPad Pro. Probably a subscription service for iPad+Mac could work.

Not having an iPad component probably will move me away from Tinderbox in the future as having a mobile component becomes a major deciding factor on what applications to use.

Regards,

Frank

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Mark Anderson on Mar 15th, 2016, 6:39pm

As the OP cited a need for agents [sic] I think this would need the iPad Pro as 'normal' tablets might not have the grunt for doing agent work. I think this is difficult for the developer as what is the iPad market share of the iPad Pro?

(I'm not against the idea per se, but just see some practical business issues. That said, i'm not a programmer!).

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Willem Smelik on Mar 17th, 2016, 10:27pm

If it's about the processor in the iPad Pro, the iPad air 3 (provisional name) is expected to share that processor, A9X.
That said, I'd understand if it was considered too complicated to port Tb to iOS. Regrettably, yet understandably.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by andreas grimm on Mar 23rd, 2016, 6:02pm


Quote:
The way I use Tinderbox is perhaps different from others. I write in Ulysses (version III now), which is Zen for writing. I use BibDesk for inserting BibLaTeX references, and Pandoc for conversion to XeLaTeX. Works a treat.



@Willem Smelik: Even if slightly off topic: Could you kindly elaborate on your mentioned workflow of using TB, Ulysses, BibLaTeX and Pandoc.


Cheers,

andreas

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by boots on Mar 27th, 2016, 6:17am

Tinderbox on the ipad would be awesome.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Anand on Mar 28th, 2016, 11:46am

+1 for tinderbox on iPad Pro.  The Pro does change the game.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by J Fallows on Mar 29th, 2016, 9:14am


Quote:
Not having an iPad component probably will move me away from Tinderbox in the future as having a mobile component becomes a major deciding factor on what applications to use.


I have a yes, sort-of reaction: Obviously synching among a variety of platforms will become more and more important. A major advantage of something as streamlined as Workflowy and as complex as Evernote is that they are seamlessly omnipresent: laptop or desktop computer, iPad, Android (which I use), also iPhone.

I mainly use Tinderbox for "real" work situations, which for me means: situations in which I type. It would be more convenient if I could have mobile access to Tinderbox for (a) quick reference to material that is there, and (b) capture of info on the fly. I end up using mainly Workflowy, sometimes Evernote, as the middleman for both converting TB info into a form I can have with me and refer to on the iPad, or capturing info during the day and then importing it to TB when I'm at an office.

If Eastgate were a big enough company, like Evernote, to support all these different platforms; or if what it offered were as straightforward as Workflowy, so that a mobile version would be easier, then naturally I'd be glad to have it on all platforms. I can understand why the cost/benefit calculation is difficult from Eastgate's perspective.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Jim Reid on Mar 29th, 2016, 11:28am

Mark mentioned this briefly above, but Simplenote makes an excellent inbox on an iPad (or iphone, android, or windows pc...). With the now fully reinstated tag recognition, you can even direct your notes into a specific tinderbox file.

It is well worth checking out if you want a quick and easy way of getting information into TBX.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by J Fallows on Mar 29th, 2016, 2:31pm


Quote:
Mark mentioned this briefly above, but Simplenote makes an excellent inbox on an iPad (or iphone, android, or windows pc...). With the now fully reinstated tag recognition, you can even direct your notes into a specific tinderbox file.


Thanks for this. I wonder if I could trouble you for a brief step 1-2-3 cook book on how to get the tags synched up with the appropriate TB files? Asking "in public" in case others might also benefit from the tip. Thanks

Update: I see this link in aTbRef which gives a lot of the 1-2-3 steps. http://www.acrobatfaq.com/atbref6/index/Formatting/Supportforotherapp-speci/Simplenotesupport.html

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Jim Reid on Mar 30th, 2016, 10:48am

The atbref looks like it covers much detail. But on the assumption that nothing is as obvious as you think:

1. Open document preferences in your target tinderbox file.
2. On the 'accounts' tab, enter your simplenote account details and any tags you'd like to select.
3. (hopefully) watch it all appear...

Cheers,

Jim

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by J Fallows on Mar 30th, 2016, 11:13am

[img][/img]
Quote:
1. Open document preferences in your target tinderbox file.
2. On the 'accounts' tab, enter your simplenote account details and any tags you'd like to select.
3. (hopefully) watch it all appear...


Steps 1 and 2 work just fine for me! Unfortunately, nothing happens for me (yet) at step 3. Have the proper password and Simplenote ID; have it set to sync; have opened and closed multiple TB files after setting them up this way. And so far, no new Simplenote container at the root level, and no synched notes. Will keep experimenting.

Here's a linked Dropbox photo of the way the configuration pane looks in Tinderbox. In the real pane, my real email address is filled in. I have specified the TB tag for notes I want to import; the Simplenote file has a number of notes with that tag, with same capitalization. (But the sync doesn't work even with the Tags field left blank.)  https://www.dropbox.com/s/8afmwmzq6e1ulou/TBPane.png?dl=0

Update Just a minute ago, the Simplenote sync came to life! During the two or three minutes when I was posting the Dropbox update, above, the sync kicked into action. I now have the appropriate folder in the right place in Tinderbox. So I guess there is just a little more of a first-time latency issue than I realized. Now all three steps work for me.  

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Mark Anderson on Mar 30th, 2016, 2:53pm

aTbRef6 will be updated shortly. Done - see here.

Edit - updated as I finished quicker than expected.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Desalegn on Mar 30th, 2016, 5:20pm

If I were Mark, I wouldn't develop TBx for iPad; I would rather do it for Windows.

There is a big market; larger audience-->more money-->more developement

I also have an iPad. But, my enthusiasm has faded away; and find it very limiting machine. I even have bought a good keyboard to it. But, I am not using it that much. It is not just the great machine for a serious work.

I also heard a rumor  that the effort to develop for IOS was the reason Sente went out of market. They have been sucked by the process; and gave up. I don't want that to happen to Tinderbox. So, if I have the power, I would oppose the idea of the IOS.


Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Willem Smelik on Apr 12th, 2016, 10:14pm

Hm, this is indeed a valid observation. I would not like a drain on Tinderbox either. If I remember correctly, there was once talk of a Tinderbox viewer on iOS? A viewer would be enough for me, but I cannot assess how difficult that would be to create. Nor do I know how much appetite Windows users would have for this sort of application.

Perhaps I should try to export Tbx to html automatically, so I can always read my documents. That should be easy, just never did it.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Mark Anderson on Apr 13th, 2016, 3:27am

@Willem. As being discussed elsewhere, there is a bit of set-up to getting export working to one's individual style. However, that's a once only task. Your idea is how aTbRef web pages started, as a way to read the infomation when Tinderbox wasn't to hand for whatever reason. HTML Export doesn't currently export the visual element of maps, charts, timeline, etc.

For anyone wanting timeline, a specialist timleine tool Aeon Timeline has just launched v2.0 and there's a discount until 25 April 2016. You can export data from TB to AT and the latter deos export a pretty sweet HTML timeline. Lovely as it woyuld be to have that in TB, it 's quite a bit of work for something only a few will use. I'd love to see a Map view HTML export one day, as map view is TB's most interesting view yet hard to share.

If you want to experiment with HTML export, here are a few exercise files to show the basics. Just ask here in the forum if you get stuck.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Alexey on Jul 18th, 2016, 5:37pm

The Scrivener for iOS will be released in a couple of days. It's very good news actually because I hope this fact will open the way for iPad professional applications!

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Mark Bernstein on Jul 19th, 2016, 11:15am

And, since Tinderbox imports Scrivener files, and exports fairly readily to Scrivener as well, this provides another route to sharing Tinderbox information with your iPad Pro in the short term.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Willem Smelik on Sep 22nd, 2016, 5:02pm

I use Ulysses rather than Scrivener.

And having had my iPad Pro for several months now, I confess I used it a lot more than anticipated. Like half of the time and especially when travelling, despite having an Air. Which makes it a lot more important to use Tinderbox on the iPad Pro 9.7 as well (I have had several meetings where I needed to say I did not have the data available as I only had my iPad with me, and that's not good). A viewer would be enough, I'm prepared to edit later. Exporting to html just will not cut it, however.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Paul Walters on Sep 23rd, 2016, 10:21am

I am curious about Mark B's thoughts on how attributes, links and agents would work on iOS.  Without attributes and agents Tinderbox iOS would seem to be little more than a mindmapper, a category with strong players already on iOS (many of which play well with Tinderbox).   Nothing on iOS has anything like agents or attributes.  Is that because they are hard to do on iOS?  Or the market is tiny?  Or why?  

Of course the same questions apply to OSX -- why is Tinderbox unique in remaining unique?  :)

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Mark Bernstein on Sep 23rd, 2016, 11:18am

Very briefly, Paul Walters hits on three of four crucial challenges for Tinderbox and iOS.

First, all sorts of mouse gestures familiar to Tinderbox users will need to be rethought for iOS. Much of the user interface will need to be reimagined. That's particularly challenging because you also want Tinderbox documents to look (more or less) the same on each platform.

Second, iOS is designed to be a mobile platform where power conservation is central, while Tinderbox is designed to exploit the largely-idle computing power of modern desktop computers.  The newer iOS machines do have sufficient speed to handle Tinderbox map views, agents, and rules, but we're taxing the machine.

Third, Tinderbox is big, and it relies on some facilities (especially rich text editing) that are poorly supported on iOS.  That’s not insuperable -- Scrivener managed -- but it took Scrivener years. And that’s just one of several facilities we'll need.

Finally, it's extremely hard to sell software for iOS at a price that even comes close to supporting development.  The collapse of Vesper is just the latest in a long series of such stories. Like items 1 through 3, this issue is contingent and might well change.


Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Willem Smelik on Sep 26th, 2016, 12:09pm

Thanks Mark for this thoughtful response. Very insightful. But do I recollect correctly that you once hinted at a viewer being more manageable? I may well be wrong here, or the situation with iOS may well have changed to make that less desirable than it once seemed. I just want to be able to check my Tinderbox files, rather than edit them, mainly because I realise that a full editor might be taxing at the current stage of affairs.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Mark Bernstein on Sep 26th, 2016, 12:41pm

Sure, a viewer is more manageable. There remain important challenges, though -- most significantly economic challenges.

Title: Re: Tinderbox and mobile platforms (iPad Pro)
Post by Willem Smelik on Sep 26th, 2016, 12:42pm

@Andreas Grimm:

My workflow of using TB, Ulysses, BibLaTeX and Pandoc was disrupted shortly after my post, which explains my delay in answering. (Basically, a Pandoc issue.)

For each of my projects, I have a Tb file. Be it a monograph, edited book, or administration file, it always receives a Tb file. For the books, they contain the raw data, as well as chapter titles and bibliographies. Tb makes it very easy to reorganize the order, and I use Tb very much as a brainstormer. Moreover, for some specific textual issues (I work in Ancient Literature), I use Tb maps to chart the connections between texts, or topics. This has given me major insights over the years. And each project has its own agents, which I use intensively as well. It makes it possible to quickly mine the data for specific attributes. And all of that with an easily constructed personalized set of attributes. There are many things I would never have been able to handle without Tinderbox.

But when it comes to actual writing, I use Ulysses. Initially Ulysses 1 and 2, now 3. I find Ulysses offers the most distraction-free writing zone. Moreover, 1 and 2 exported to LaTeX (3 uses Pandoc to achieve the same), which is what I use to submit my books to the publisher. It allows me full control over the layout and fonts.

Since I had to use Pandoc, I decided to also try to use Biblatex for the very first time. A belated decision, really. But it worked a treat. The real advantage is that you never have to reformat footnotes when you reorder them. And writing them is a much more brief affair. [This is where an error manifested itself. Pandoc no longer found, it seems, my Biblatex bibliography. Since I have been focusing on other things since my post, I have not yet sorted this out, but I soon must.]

The great advantage of Ulysses 3 is that I can do quick exports to PDF—not the fully polished PDF in XeLaTeX, but acceptable for courses, notes, and  papers; but also to Word, ePub and HTML. And the footnotes are implemented in a much nicer way.

To top it off, Ulysses runs perfectly on the iPad. And it's been very reliable. Tinderbox and Ulysses are a perfect match, I could not live without either. Biblatex (in Bibdesk) and Pandoc are the dressing.

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