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1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps (Read 33302 times)
Jean Goodwin
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1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Jun 28th, 2010, 6:44pm
 
How many apps would it take to emulate all Tinderbox's features on the iPad?  Here are the results of a month of study.

1.  Hierarchy (outlining):  Carbonfin Outliner ($4.99) is a good, basic tool.  It exports Tinderbox-readable opml files through a web synch, and I betcha one of you clever types could write a Tinderbox export file that would make the TBX-->CO loop easy. (<--Hint)

2.  Linking:  Trunk Notes ($3.99) is a great app that allows you to build a wiki on your iPad using an easy markup language.  It will upload plain text files, so it's easy to get data into it from Tinderbox, although I haven't figured out the other leg.

3.  Spatial hypertext:  Once you get over the too-kawaii look and feel (and name) of Popplet ($4.99), you'll find that it does a good job at creating moveable, linkable and partially customizable little boxes in a nice big open space.  Very good for brainstorming!  Problem:  the only way to get data out is through a screenshot.

4.  Attributes (tagging):  There are several notetaking apps that allow at least basic tagging of notes, e.g. Moe's Notepad ($4.99) or ableNote ($4.99).  Tags of course make the notes searchable, but although I haven't tested them out, I doubt if they automate actions.  No agents!

So:  4 iPad apps sum up to a primitive version of Tinderbox.  But wait!  Tinderbox doesn't just do these four things--it does them all at once.  To represent that degree of complexity and interaction, I propose to use a factorial in the formula:

Quote:
1 Tinderbox=(iPad apps)!=4x3x2x1=24 apps


But then to take into account the power of agents, we should probably double the final result.  In conclusion, 1 Tinderbox = 50 iPad apps.  At $4-$5 per app, that's a bit over $200.

I note with interest that if I enlarge the "noter" screenshot on the Twig webpage, it just about fits my iPad screen.
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Mariusz Pisarski
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #1 - Sep 7th, 2010, 7:43pm
 
Great research, thank you Jean!

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas too Wink
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #2 - Sep 7th, 2010, 11:09pm
 
Prescient (to the best of my current understanding) in several design dimensions-- including timescale.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #3 - Sep 8th, 2010, 10:31am
 
@Jean, interesting.  Note too that simplenote (iPhone/iPad) just added tagging and that TB has some simplenote round-trip integration built in as of v5.5.0; I've only tried the latter on the iPhone (no iPad, sadly).

CF Outliner.  I know that's on my iPhone since after SF09 weekend and I'm sure we've done TB-CF-TB- indeed I see discussion here from back in 2008 re OPML & CF. OPML's had a good polish in v5.x. If you don't know how to round trip the data please start a new thread in the Export forum and we can help you through the process. Note: if you want my input you might want to wait a week I'm going to be offline 11-18 Sep.
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beru
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #4 - Sep 8th, 2010, 11:46am
 
I also have to say you need just one and it is free: simplenotes.

I wish it was dropbox rather, but no big deal.

I do hope that either simpelnotes will integrate tags within the text of a note or tinderbox will recognize tags.

my setup is using "tags" via textexpander on both iPhone and mac and organizing the notes within tinderbox.
where I live, the iPad is not yest available, but I think having the note text and arraning the notes on the mac is not so bad as a workaround.
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Mariusz Pisarski
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #5 - Sep 8th, 2010, 12:54pm
 
I meant its better to wait for Twig on the iPhone and iPad (hoping it is out by Christmas) than trying all these apps. I havel done my research as well, looking for some brainstorming and mind mapping  apps, to no avail. Most of the apps still assume that it is all about fun, the good example is the mapping tool Jean mentions,  that lets you only take a screenshot of your map.
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Jean Goodwin
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #6 - Sep 9th, 2010, 6:44pm
 
As an update after another two months of study:

For whatever reason, I haven't often felt the need to get Tinderbox notes onto the iPad (but thanks for the offer of help!).  I do want to get notes off the iPad and into Tinderbox, and for that Outliner-->OPML-->Tinderbox works well.

Simplenote:  Tagging does make it more useful.  But I'm still not using it! (Except for a bunch of recipes clipped from web sources, that I never end up looking at.)  I think what I need most from my notes is hierarchy (outlining) and spatial hypertext (visuals of little boxes)--Simplenote doesn't help with that.

Two apps I have started using since first writing are neu.notes, a free whiteboard app that allows drawing of the little boxes I like so much.  It has excellent zooming, which allows a bunch of little notes to be clustered in a container-like way, if you see what I mean.

The other is TaskPaper, which like Tinderbox makes plain text do nice things.

So if someone clever wanted to be helpful, how about a script that would import TaskPaper documents into Tinderbox preserving hierarchy?  I know I can do this by importing and then exploding, but that turns out to be too much work for lightweight notes.

Aside from that, I'll just wait for my "Christmas present"!
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Mark Anderson
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #7 - Sep 9th, 2010, 7:06pm
 
I find this page has a TaskPaper file format description. Basically:
  • A task is a line that begins with a variable number of tabs followed by a hyphen followed by a space ('- ') which can optionally be prefixed (i.e indented) with tabs or spaces. A task can have zero or more context tags.
  • A project is a line that isn't a task and ends with a colon (':'), or a colon (':\n') followed by a newline.
  • A note is any line that doesn't match the task or project rules.
  • Indentation level (with tabs) defines ownership. For instance if you indent one task under another task then it is considered a subtask.
  • Tasks and notes own all objects that are indented underneath them.
  • Projects are a special case, they own all objects that are indented underneath them, or indented at the same level as them. The exception being other projects, that are indented at the same level as them.
  • A context tag has the form "@tag", i.e. it starts with an "at" character ("@"), followed by a run of non-whitespace characters. A context tag can optionally have a value assigned to it. The value syntax immediately follows the tag word (no whitespace between) and is enclosed by '(' and ')'. The value text inside can have whitespace, but no newlines. Here is an example of a tag with a value:@tag(tag's value), e.g. @priority(1) or a date value @due(2007-11-27)
Hope that helps anyone interested in playing with import.
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Charles Turner
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #8 - Sep 9th, 2010, 9:16pm
 
Hi Jean-

In the meantime, if you have Omnioutliner, you can open TaskPaper documents in it and save them as OPML.

HTH, Charles
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Jean Goodwin
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #9 - Sep 10th, 2010, 8:37am
 
Thanks, Charles!  I tried that route a couple of times, and got about two-thirds accuracy-- I think TaskPaper allows irregular indenting that omnioutliner doesn't like.  So cleaning up omnioutliner results seemed a little too cumbersome to do on a daily basis, although it's good to remember if I have some fairly significant set of notes that I want to get where they belong, back in Tinderbox.

As a first time owner of an "iDevice," it's been fun to watch the creativity of app developers trying to figure out what a biggish touch screen is really for, and what smallish tasks people need to do.  Plus it's been fun figuring out again what *I* really need to do.  For me, this early/evolutionary period of iPad app development has encouraged the same kind of experimental/non-judgmental attitude towards what's optimistically termed "my workflow" that Tinderbox does.  

Of course, there's also the constant amazement that people are apparently spending money for highly accurate visual representations of faux leather bindings, the tattered edges of spiral bound pages, or brilliant yellow legal pads!
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Paul Walters
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #10 - Sep 10th, 2010, 10:24am
 
@Jean

I've had some success selecting text in a TaskPaper document and click-dragging the text into Tinderbox.  Nicely outlined and indented just as in the orignal document.  ("Some" success because dragging text into a document doesn't always work over here.)

TaskPaper files are merely text files.  Tinderbox will open them as a single note, which can be exploded.  Some cleanup work for indenting needed, but OK for small jobs.
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Charles Turner
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #11 - Sep 10th, 2010, 12:06pm
 
Jean-

Do you have TaskPaper for the Mac as well as iPad? It would be easier to write a script using its Applescript support...

Best wishes, Charles
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Charles Turner
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #12 - Sep 10th, 2010, 5:59pm
 
As a follow-on, you'd have to make some decisions about how to handle Notes and Tasks.

I don't think that you can maintain the distinction between Tasks and Notes translating to OPML. For example, you can have this:

Project
 Note
 - Task
 - Task
     Note
 Note

So you have 4 children of the Project: 2 Notes and 2 Tasks. And 1 Task has a child that is a Note.

So you could say that an OPML entry could have a Task for a $Name and the child Note for the $Text, but what to do about the Notes that (here) are children of the project? You could make the first Note the $Text of the Project, but what about the second? Either it gets treated like a Task to preserve its order, or it gets concatenated with the first Note in preserve its identity as a "Note."

I think I would solve this by treating Tasks and Notes identically in OPML, but maybe you have other thoughts/preferences.

Anyone?

Best wishes, Charles


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Charles Turner
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #13 - Sep 10th, 2010, 6:27pm
 
As a final remark, this lack of distinction between Tasks and Notes is what OmniOutliner does. From what I can tell, it gets everything else correct.

The only thing a custom export script would do is enable the translation of Tags to Tinderbox attributes.

C.
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beru
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Re: 1 Tinderbox = X iPad apps
Reply #14 - Sep 11th, 2010, 8:57am
 
concerning this hierarchy issue:

I use tags (via textexpander on mac and iPhone) in Simplenotes combined with nested agents in TB for that.

I like tags just sooo much better than OPML hierarchy. There should be a tag browser in TB for user defined tags (in addition to this great word frequency feature).

--
just as a side note: the path from TB to TaskPaper is very easy via note export and tags within notes. it kind of solves, but in a cumbersome manner:
http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/forum//YaBB.pl?num=1284024096
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