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Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox (Read 8908 times)
John Plumridge
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Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox
Oct 07th, 2008, 11:32pm
 
Hi folk, glad to join you fellow TBX users here in the forum. By way of introduction, I have been using tinderbox for 2 and a half years, fairly intensively. I spent some considerable time testing others, and peeking, as I developed my computer use for writing, but could not stop using it.
Before that I used the standard appleworks, and newnotepadpro, Drupal, freeway,  ViJournal, and a few other things

I use TBX alongside Notational Velocity, the simple and elegant clippings/notebook/database, writeroom and Textmate. Thre is also Jers Novel writer for assembly, but i haven't written one, and hope not to.
Although I have a textpattern  site, it is Tinderbox that is enjoyable for electronic publishing, as well creating the best sites.
I do blog from textmate, or ecto occasionally. Ideally , I would like to blog to the web-based sql textpattern too from tinderbox, but have only partial success, because I consider tags to be essential and I can't do that with tbx. there may be another problem or quirk I can't recall, about time settings.

I found tinderbox to be an excellent GTD tool, journal and so forth, as well as project files for interests such as music performance/studio notes, business project, and even family projects such as stories and games. in fact most projects. ALnogside I have project management software for business use and use that , occasionally.

But Tinderbox and Notational velocity are the main thing.

Being on unix, I also use sqlite for business via terminal rather than excel. ANd my local Tinderbox sites are opened in textmate with subversion in their setting up whilst developing the site.


I also employ applescript to cull clippings into tinderbox from any application and with growl  Angry notification of success. Cheesy

Conclusion: the four essential pieces of software (no particular order) tinderbox, NV, textmate and terminal.
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russ lipton
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Re: Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox
Reply #1 - Oct 8th, 2008, 10:44am
 
Notational Velocity is tres cool - but what need does it meet that cannot be fulfilled by Tinderbox?
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John Plumridge
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Re: Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox
Reply #2 - Oct 8th, 2008, 2:45pm
 
I like the question! I'll give it a shot.

This piece of off-the cuff writing was composed in NV. It needs revision, and serves as an example.  I post it now unrevised. If I wanted to revise it later, time undetermined -  where should I put it right now ?

I found in practice:

Many files:
I have about 15+ TBX project file. Some I use frequently. Not all.
I attempted to make the largest file tinderbox and OSX could handle. I find the size is limited. Admittedly my memory  could be more in a new mac. I compared tinderbox and Mori with large files. Both suffer lags in operations with large files, depending what e.g. the most important being save. Tinderbox auto-save is limited. I have tried the scripts.

For clippings  NV is superb, keyboard only. There's a short cut for bring NV  to the front too, system-wide. AUtomated clippings with TBX and applescript go to the frontmost document, so when you have a number open, they could go to  the wrong one when working in other apps too.
I require one clipping file, and for that, NV is the best, therefore. I have it open on startup. YOu cannot run two NV files. No need.
Both lack tagging with auto clipping, but clips require review..so that is not necessary at clip stage, and I find slows or interrupts the reading or work in hand. THe navigation in TBX and NV are both excellent by keyboard commands. SO no problems there.

Because NV LOOKS different, it is easily recognisable as the CLippings Box.
Many clippings are not for TBX, e.g reminders, additional notes, scribbles, email, things I wish to say to people, ideas.
I used a pencil for scribbles working at the computer, but would lose some important notes, or have to chase the nits of paper up, unless I have one dedicated notebook. However, NV can handle scribbles like that. I might have an entry like contacts, with new contacts, or just those I am using, or wish to.
To do lists are OK... I jot on paper.
I found I needed to use my memory or it become poor, alternatively the work is merely an exercise, not a passion.
Memory and motivation work hand in hand, along with immediacy, importance etc. The importance is not just rating you may choose to give it , but the  ability to remember! Focus is the workstation, true. ANy collection of notes would do for that.

So its less immediate things that need to be jotted down..they are all there in NV. Its very easy to add a tag whilst dropping a clip by  renaming the note, but as it shows the whole first line too, in NV, its hardly necessary.


Creative writing...plain text files

For larger authentic writing, say two plus pages. I like writeroom and don't need hypertext. Like letters. They go in plain text. Tinderbox is for hypertext projects, and for leaning notes, project notes etc.
I tried Tinderbox for creative writing projects at the outset, but I find I like a blank page to draw the force of inspiration,  or, if inspired I just go t the poooter  and start, without thinking of organisation, which is often death to a flow. An application with project files is not required, it is  a hindrance. So I could take single notes with TBX i any open project file,  It does work well , I admit and would do fine. But would need to export soon enough or become confused with spurious notes littered in an organised project. But then how do you open all those notes, without first committing them to a project file? If I keep TInderbox for project organisation, and use NV plus writeroom for initial creative writing  and letters.
I say initial, yet I rework that stuff in plain text over time and in review. It is only later that I start to assemble. I do plot about that time in tinderbox, using maps. I like working with plain text files, and putting them into tbx for publication as hypertext, and use ToBeCompleted checkboox attributes and agent, categories at that time.

So, initially  I don't need an application, just one big folder. It's easier to find.
I put just quick statements into NV rather than a page. My NV is melange.
My text file folder is too. Organisation comes later in working at the stuff.  AS a work progresses it has its own folder. Then, at that time Tinderbox can be useful there. However, I believe that's later on. Better to hold the thing that that has emerged in your mind: you have to live it with creative writing, when you start to pursue creative writing goals with themes. It can be done by technique, but we have so much writing now , all examples of technique and craft, but lacking force of inspiration. Better not to write and publish.
I tried all the tagging and so forth and collecting notes from the outset, but, for me, it doesn't work.  I do not believe creative writing is a task of assembly until the end.  

Phew.  Tongue Now I got to cut this down andmake it good........but I never will!

Regards,
John




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« Last Edit: Oct 8th, 2008, 2:47pm by John Plumridge »  
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russ lipton
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Re: Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox
Reply #3 - Oct 9th, 2008, 1:12pm
 
John,

Thanks for taking so much time to explain your process. I can definitely see a personal use for NV and will be exploring that. In many respects, you have made the same (sound) case that is made for Yojimbo.

Now, Mark B. does frame a persuasive argument in his book for Tinderbox as a product designed expressly so we may defer premature decisions about organization. This suggests that you might yet exploit Tinderbox more fruitfully, at least for your extended first draft writing. You are already aware of that.

I myself don't like my TB documents to become overly 'messy' with still unclassified, though important, junk notes or drafts. However, these can be segregated within outlines/maps. Alternatively to heavy reliance on NV, you might dedicate a TB document to serve some (not all) of the purposes for which one might use NV.

These are just thoughts helpful first of all to me. I am delighted to have discovered NV. It's the kind of simple, elegant, quirky - yet obvious - OS X utility application which makes the platform so much fun.
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« Last Edit: Oct 9th, 2008, 1:14pm by russ lipton »  
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John Plumridge
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Re: Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox
Reply #4 - Oct 9th, 2008, 8:25pm
 
Quote:
Now, Mark B. does frame a persuasive argument in his book for Tinderbox as a product designed expressly so we may defer premature decisions about organization.


The idea may have come to me from Mark.  I found that in practice, for sure. His words - those I read  spurred me on to discover that.
I think it's set me free to compose through writing without the need for technique and filling in  with a motive of finishing.
In the process of recording freely,   we create a place to focus on our recordings. Like writing helps us remember, and so we can reflect, and our mind becomes powerfully good?..as it is refined.

Yojimbo , rather like Mori, very good but i I didn't like to use them. It does too much to early.  And I want TBX for projects, otherwise I'd only use textmate for projects.

The search and title/display of NV is great. Its In its simplicity is also its adequacy for the job.  The speed is exceptional.
You get in, you refne stuff, you leave it there , you shed it, you transfer it. MY most immediate tasks and brainstorms  are there in, project name + Something..it doesn't matter. Even adninstration/unix stuff mixed in.  I  tend to rename that stuff with a unix prefix when I come across it.  I have my organised unix tbx place too. I use that less often now. Recent stuff is in NV..which could be a year, I don't mind.

Quote:
I myself don't like my TB documents to become overly 'messy' with still unclassified, though important, junk notes or drafts.

Yes, I call them projects, and that's what Tinderbox is for. I use it for business planning and notes (-a hub including important contacts), personal, family, creative, and technical-craft, and  articles, web publishing.

Quote:
However, these can be segregated within outlines/maps.


Can be, - danger of classifying prematurely. I f I need something I can find it in NV, if it's not been 'project classified in tbx'. An emergent project in tinderbox can be focussed on creative  processes,  without the premature thought, focus of  reflection, inspiration. Definitely.  I draw from NV at the same time. NV isn't a project. It is also a focus at times.

Cheers for for the fine thought. I thinks it's helped me to reflect that , for the first time for over three years, I am definitely happy  and confident with he set up. In that time I learnt Tinderbox, unix, perl, html/css, javascript, much bedsides and made many comparisons.
I also intend to use Jers' novelwriter for a penultimate and ultimate revision.
Perhaps not?
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« Last Edit: Oct 10th, 2008, 7:55pm by John Plumridge »  
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russ lipton
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Re: Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox
Reply #5 - Oct 10th, 2008, 7:27pm
 
Right. NV as a structure-agnostic pre-processor.

I am increasingly using Tinderbox as a pre-processor (writing as well as brainstorm-mapping), at least when it comes to CMS kinds of stuff ... Tinderbox -> Expression Engine.

As the 'book' says, it's just so easy to start fiddling in TB with attributes and prototypes without having to over-commit in advance.
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John Plumridge
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Re: Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox
Reply #6 - Oct 10th, 2008, 7:51pm
 
Yes., sounds spot on.

That's a distiction you've made not overcommitting in making (premature) decisions...but playing around whilst continuing to get more familiar, reflecting, refining. Yes, that's what i do in tbx.

NV is making no committal or wish to, that commence when you move it into a tbx project. ( but it is working with the idea(s) itself, repeatedly getting familiar and refining seeing associations).

The playing around but not committing. Sounds almost irresponsible!


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Evan Harmon
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Re: Introducing myself and, What I use with Tinderbox
Reply #7 - Mar 15th, 2009, 12:59am
 
Thank you both for your input. I'm certainly liking a lot of your ideas and have already made some changes to my workflow. John, would you mind posting your applescript for clipping to TBX? As an applescript plebeian, I would be hugely grateful!
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