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Tinderbox Users >> Storyspace 3 >> Writing life stories using Storyspace
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Message started by Dominique Renauld on Jun 27th, 2016, 4:32am

Title: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Dominique Renauld on Jun 27th, 2016, 4:32am

Hi!
I've been leading a life stories workshop for many years now in France and I would like to work next year on a collaborative project which would be dedicated to the writing of a life stories hypertext. This hypertext would be published on line. Each person involved into the telling of a life story would be invited to stress some words and each stressed word would become a hyperlink to another souvenir (texts and images). So the reading would be the same as for a hypertext: a navigation determined by links. My questions are the following ones:
1. Between Tinderbox and Storyspace, which is the most fitted to that project?
2. Is there another way to read hypertexts than using a Tinderbox or a Storyspace Map?
3. In his website, David Kolb gives an overview of some of his philosophical hypertexts (http://www.dkolb.org/ht/seulmonde/Apology.html) and it's quite easy to read. But, there are, in my experience, some inconvenients: for instance, the width of the page is quite too long for a confortable reading (unless you reduce the size of your browser screen). Therefore, is it possible to set some specific layout attributes as for a Latex document (I have particularly in mind the pretty Tufte-Latex class which I use for some texts: http://get-software.net/macros/latex/contrib/tufte-latex/sample-handout.pdf)?
Thanks for your answers and your reflections.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Mark Bernstein on Jun 27th, 2016, 10:00am

For HTML export, you'll want Tinderbox.  Of course, with modern HTML/CSS you have fairly good typographic capabilities.


Storyspace has a stand-alone reader (coming soon) and of course the demo; this has, I think, quite nice typography.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Dominique Renauld on Jun 27th, 2016, 10:12am

An online reading and a stand-alone reader: ideal combo for my project.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Mark Anderson on Jun 27th, 2016, 3:11pm

If you've not seen it already, Howard Oakley has some excellent articles on Storyspace 3: https://eclecticlight.co/tag/storyspace/

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Dominique Renauld on Jun 28th, 2016, 4:04am

Thanks for the link. I already knew Howard Oakley's articles, but I didn't know that set of articles.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Dominique Renauld on Jun 30th, 2016, 4:18am

I've just discovered the online work of Bill Bly and We descend. The more I search on the web and the more I realize that I knew nothing of hypertexts... As I'm more familiar with Tinderbox, I think I'm going to work on that project with it.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Mark Anderson on Jun 30th, 2016, 6:42am

Given you're working on stories with a longitudinal (time) axis...

Storyspace and Tinderbox share the same nice timeline view, but there's no simple push-button export to an HTML timeline.  Those who've used the latter will know it's not easy do do - especially if the timeline elements aren't nicely distributed along the timeline (or there are a lot of things to plot). So, if you want your HTML output to include a timeline (in HTML) you might want to look at the Aeon Timeline app. Its v2 came out recently and has a nice new HTML web export that's push-button to create. Tinderbox is perfectly capable of exporting data in a form Aeon Timeline can ingest. It might mean involving an extra app but if a functional interactive HTML timeline is important, it's worth consideration.

Whilst on this topic of timeline apps, there is also BeeDocs Timeline (now only in the AppStore). It's nice but has limited functionality and isn't, to my eye, designed for other than small projects. Beyond that there are lots of open HTML+JavaScript libraries but these require a degree of HTML and JavaScript knowledge to make them work plus you'd likely need to do a fair bit of visual design to (so ass CSS knowledge to the mix). That's why depending on need (and budget) apps like AT2 may be a help realising a story you'll still craft in Storyspace and/or Tinderbox.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Dominique Renauld on Jun 30th, 2016, 7:07am

Thanks for those links. The fact is that I'm searching for a visual way of presenting individual stories which could be interlinked each other. For instance, in a workshop session of life stories, an individual souvenir can produce effects on another person whose similar memories can emerge. Then, if you write those two or more souvenirs, you could stress some words which would be linked to similar souvenirs or some aspects of a personal memory. So how to show that specific process? An hypertext is probably a very good idea. But the question becomes: how to visualize that interlinked memory? Using Map view in order to show and see links would be great. I have in mind Thomas Hirschhorn's maps : http://www.art21.org/images/thomas-hirschhorn/foucault-map-2004. Or writing hypertexts? I think the latter solution is fit for my project and it may be interesting to add some timelines as specific points of view. I'm searching.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Mark Bernstein on Jun 30th, 2016, 10:48am

Cathy Marshall and I have been exchanging sketchy notes about writing a hypertext fiction as a spatial hypertext, relying heavily or entirely on the map.  And, yes, the Hirschorn maps might be a good precedent; I've seen other efforts like this in contemporary art, of course, and a number of projects on the art/architecture boundary are intriguing, too.

A sociology researcher at Sophia University in Tokyo -- I'm spacing on the name just now -- did some fascinating work training students using Storyspace to gather oral histories about the war years from their grandmothers, a group that is notoriously reluctant to be interviewed on this era.  The combination of text and artifact turned out to be quite compelling.

Laurent Sauerwein, a media scholar now in Berlin (if he can be said to be anywhere -- he seems constantly in motion) made some very interesting observations on how this style of hypertextuality relates to the fictions of W. G. Sebald.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Mark Anderson on Jun 30th, 2016, 11:14am

Thinking back to the (now shuttered) Emberlight which rendered much of the (then) Tinderbox map functionality is seems JavaScript has come on apace. D3.js could probably work in this area. However, D3 isn't for the novice - it can do a lot but you have to specify pretty much every detail. Were there an HTML/JS map 'system' one could use by connecting up data, I'm absolutely sure Tinderbox could generate (i.e. export) the necessary data for it and create a very nice hypertext.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Dominique Renauld on Jun 30th, 2016, 1:10pm

Thanks for your suggestions. I didn't know Laurent Sauerwein. His online work entitled The Ink Pavilion http://www.youcantouch.com is exactly what I'm looking for: a combination of texts and images. I've uploaded on my site a Tbx file: it shows the project in its "babblings": https://dominiquerenauld.squarespace.com/s/Writing-life-stories.tbx

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by B.Moreira on Sep 19th, 2016, 7:03am

Hi everyone. I too am interested in exporting TBX data into Aeon Timeline V2 ... has anyone ever created an export template for this, or have any suggestions on how to to it? Thank you!

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Mark Anderson on Sep 19th, 2016, 10:47am

There isn't a specific template as such. AT certainly can import data exported from Tinderbox (Note: Storyspace users would need to open their TBX in Tinderbox and export from the latter). Bach at TBv5/ATv1 I did quite a lot of testing for AT's author to ensure the apps had reasonably interchange.  I also did some limited tests during the AT2 beta.

AT2's help page for import is at http://www.aeontimeline.com/support/importing/ - see the section 'Rules for CSV files' and note the comments about escaping (straight) double quotes used in exported strings. The latter need escaping by doubling and that's something TB can't easily do (depending on the exact context - IOW it's not a simple yes know).

I believe AT used to support the easier tab-delimited format for import but it looks like AT2 dropped that.

The general approach is to write an envelope-and-letter pair of templates. Use the envelope template on the container (agent?) holding your notes to export. The letter template is then used with each data note you wish to export. Due to the vagaries of the CSV format, if any of your data included straight double quotes in them you may have to post-process the export and escape any " characters.

If you want guidance on how to make the sort of templates described above, I suggest starting a new thread in the 'Exporting from Tinderbox' section of the forum. If doing so, it might be useful if you can cite the attribute('s) you wish to copy across or even better, post a small TBX we can use as a reference example.

I hope that helps.  :)

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by B.Moreira on Sep 19th, 2016, 11:52am

Thanks for the suggestions. Will work on something!

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by abdelhamedbe on Oct 3rd, 2016, 7:15am

okay.
i like this idea.
now i will write my story, and i hope like you.

Title: Re: Writing life stories using Storyspace
Post by Mark Bernstein on Oct 3rd, 2016, 10:48am

Keep us posted as you write!

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