Welcome, Guest. Please Login
Tinderbox
  News:
IMPORTANT MESSAGE! This forum has now been replaced by a new forum at http://forum.eastgate.com and no further posting or member registration is allowed. The forum is still accessible via read-only access for reference purposes. If you wish to discuss content here, please use the new forum. N.B. - posting in the new forum requires a fresh registration in the new forum (sorry - member data can't be ported).
  HomeHelpSearchLogin  
 
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
A workflow for learning Tinderbox (Read 25381 times)
Jeffery Smith
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 14

A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Jan 03rd, 2009, 1:30pm
 
Although I feel like a newbie, I have been fiddling with Tinderbox for the past year. As you all know, the learning curve is steep. In fact, I'm not sure where to start learning this program in serious fashion. I have the manual for version 4.1.0, and I have the book "The Tinderbox Way". I've tried to wade through the forum threads, but most of them contain information that is Greek to me.

Do any of you have suggestions of what to do to get my feet (maybe my entire lower legs) wet? I do have a pressing need for this program as I'm assembling a lot of information that I plan to use in teaching (anatomy), and I want to be able to record the information along with the appropriate bibliographic information attached to each of my notes. Should I start with the book, the manual, or something else?

Jeffery

Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Stefan Keydel
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 20
Austin, Texas, US
Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #1 - Jan 3rd, 2009, 5:07pm
 
Hi Jeffery,

I'd recommend reading the book side-by-side with an example Tinderbox file, referring to the manual as needed. A great example file, Jon Buscall's 'Lecturer's Assistant,' can be found on the Tinderbox File Exchange at the following location:

http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Exchange.html

You'll need the free Stuffit Expander to decompress the file.

Bear in mind, however, that the most rapid progress will be found simply by creating a new file and attempting to make it do what you want it to do-- the possibilities are almost limitless.

Good luck!
Back to top
 
 
WWW keydel@mac.com   IP Logged
Jeffery Smith
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 14

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #2 - Jan 3rd, 2009, 5:25pm
 
Thanks so much. I've downloaded the file and will tinker with it a bit. This evening, I'll sit down with program and book and get started.

Thanks again, Stefan!
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Mark Bernstein
YaBB Administrator
*
Offline

designer of
Tinderbox

Posts: 2871
Eastgate Systems, Inc.
Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #3 - Jan 3rd, 2009, 10:16pm
 
Don't hesitate to ask questions!

* There are often several ways to do the same thing in Tinderbox.

* Not all are equally good!
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Jeffery Smith
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 14

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #4 - Jan 4th, 2009, 9:37am
 
I guess part of my hesitation is that I don't want to create a lot of notes only to find that I should have done it another way, necessitating starting over. From what I have read so far, it seems that creating a lot of separate notes won't be risky, i.e., I can go back later and deal with attributes, stamps, containers, etc.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Mark Bernstein
YaBB Administrator
*
Offline

designer of
Tinderbox

Posts: 2871
Eastgate Systems, Inc.
Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #5 - Jan 4th, 2009, 9:47am
 
Tinderbox tries to make it easy to reorganize your notes as you discover new kinds of structure, and as your needs change. I think it's almost always a better idea to make notes now; add metadata if you aren't quite sure what you're going to need, and expect to reorganize as your needs change and as you discover new kinds of structure.
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Jeffery Smith
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 14

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #6 - Jan 4th, 2009, 10:30am
 
The one piece of metadata that I have to be concerned with now is the source of the information (when it comes from a book or journal article). What do you suggest for quickly giving each note some information that will identify the bibliographic source of it?

Thanks, Mark.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Roger C. Eddy
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 16

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #7 - Jan 4th, 2009, 10:46am
 
As an MD I, and maybe others, would be interested in how you organize the (note) schema in your own mind before you begin.

What do I mean? Well do you want to sort notes by lecture, anatomical (physical) link, function (nervous system), surgical relevance (what do you cut thru if you cut here?) etc. And are you talking gross anatomy or microscopic or sub-microscopic? Or by relevance to a particular audience such as dentistry, nursing, biology.

As I try to put my own head around this I see how the sorting on attributes and also the labeled linkages in maps (headbone connected to the tailbone) (a custom one: DON"T CUT THIS) etc might be very useful.

Would love to hear more of your project and teaching.
(I also am struggling thru learning and using this program, but the struggle is more valuable than other program struggles. So I am sticking with it).

So far, in my project,  I have been putting bibliographic sources as footnotes and have some other notes with "GLOSSARY" in the text as a label for a later "GLOSSARY" agent to collect. I will see how this works out over time


Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Jeffery Smith
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 14

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #8 - Jan 4th, 2009, 10:53am
 
I'm currently teaching anatomy and physiology to nursing students. I have a set of lecture outlines in OmniOutliner Professional, but am trying to modify them to keep them current. So, I need to annotate the organ or organ system concerned, indicate where I got the information, and even make notes about how to present the information (higher ed these days encourages discussion in class rather than lecturing). When I find something new and interesting, I also think of questions I could ask the students in class, and need to make sure that the questions end up in the same "bin" as the technical information.

Right now, I'm sticking with outline form and keeping things arranged by system (nervous, muscular, etc.). I need to find new ways to tag the notes so that they can be arranged in other ways without losing their link to the system.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Roger C. Eddy
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 16

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #9 - Jan 4th, 2009, 11:41am
 
One way to introduce discussion would be to ask students to collect "critical incidents" concerning anatomy. When did anatomy or will anatomy affect their in a significant way?
Have they had an "anatomy experience" that "students in the future (next year's class) " should know about.

You can find the original paper on "Critical Incident Technique" on the American Psychological Association website.

If you can send me an e-mail address I can send you a couple of samples of critical incidents from the hospital, from retail sales, and from psychotherapy.

With respect to your current organization.
The outline add on's seem to be references, and teaching notes, maybe distinctive coloring as well as attributes that make you personal notes on teaching "unpublishable" would allow you to print out or export to HTML two different versions, the student's and the teachers.

Again I will be interested in how you proceed.
One other recommendation although it is far from anatomy. "The Education of the Reflective Practitioner" by Christopher Johns (University of Luyton - now I think Birmingham, England) A nursing professor looks at life long learning in nursing.
Roger
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Mark Bernstein
YaBB Administrator
*
Offline

designer of
Tinderbox

Posts: 2871
Eastgate Systems, Inc.
Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #10 - Jan 4th, 2009, 1:46pm
 
Three good approaches to handling source references in Tinderbox:

a) Make a note for each source, kept in a container of sources. Add a link from each note that depends on the source to the corresponding source note.

ADVANTAGES: links are inconspicuous, and stay attached through renaming and reorganizing.

DISADVANTAGES: links are inconspicuous. Making links takes longer than just typing (though using multiple windows helps)

b) Add a "source" field, make it a key attribute, and type a short citation.  PMH 137-9 for "A. B. Clump, Principles of Modern Horticulture, 2nd edition, Providence, Miskatonic Univ Press, 1893.  pp. 137-99:  

ADVANTAGES: conspicuous and fast; you can keep your hands on the keyboard.

DISADVANTAGES: typos and undisciplined abbreviation can eventually lead to inconsistency. In three or thirty years, will you remember that it's PMH and not "Clump"?

c) Use a reference manager like Bookends or Sente; embed the reference manager tag [Clump 174a] or the URL of the reference in the note or in an attribute.

ADVANTAGES: leverage your reference manager. Handy if you're eventually going to need formatted reference lists for publication.

DISADVANTAGES: more moving parts. Tinderbox agents can't see inside the reference, and so you can't look for things like "notes based on 19th century data" as easily.

- - - -

BUT, notice that it's not very hard to switch from one system to another.  Agents help with this, but even for doing everything by hand, the task will, at worst, be just mildly tedious.  

For example, suppose you need to replace attribute-style references with links for, say, 1000 notes.  Sounds hideous, right?  You can probably do it automatically in a few minutes.  But even if you have to make every link by hand, you can doubtless do one or two a minute.  Ten hours of wrestling with references?  There are worse things.

On the other hand, if you don't get the information down in the first place, you can EASILY blow ten hours chasing down three or four footnotes.  Or ten days, if your research depends on archives or rare books and you need to travel to recheck the sources.
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Jeffery Smith
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 14

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #11 - Jan 4th, 2009, 2:28pm
 
Roger and Mark, thanks much for the suggestions.

Roger - I hope to get students doing the very thing you mentioned. Not only will it give the rote memorization of anatomy something more relevant to them, it will also give me good ideas for incorporation into future updates of MY notes.  Wink

Mark - Talk about synchronicity, I just (last night) purchased Bookends to link up with Mellel or Nisus. In my mind's eye (before reading your post here) was something that seemed more like suggestion (a). My concerns with suggestion (b) are exactly what you say here, i.e., that a brief annotation might not make sense to me in 10 years. So, solution (c) is looking best right now. With (c), I can still keep notes and annotations in TB that will make sense to me; I just need to "normalize" the database and come up with a lexicon of words or phrases that I will use religiously.

Thanks again for your help!  Smiley
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Christian Zwieb
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 26

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #12 - Jan 4th, 2009, 3:23pm
 
Jeffrey,

Meshing TB and Bookends works well. Mark B has pointed this out in his blog on Apr0701/Bookends.html .

Below is a maybe relevant note by AlexHannay (sorry lost the the source):

"
Perhaps you'd rather import the reference into Tinderbox complete with the various fields broken into Attributes? Using Bookends' Format Manager and Tinderbox's Tab-delimited import, this is quite easy.

Set up a new 'Tinderbox' Bibliography Format in Bookends using the Format Manager. This could be along the following lines (replacing [T] & [CR] with Bookends' special Tab & Return characters):

$BookTitle$[T]$Author$[T]$Publisher$[T]$Location$[T]$Date$[CR]t[T]a[T]u[T]l[T]d[CR]

The first section lists the Fields that you wish to import and the second (after the Carriage Return) calls the data to be associated with those fields. Then, from the List View window, simply select your reference and drag the text from the 'View Formatted' section into your Tinderbox document. This is an easy and quick way to create a single 'Reference Card' in Tinderbox.

Whole bibliographies can be imported too. Leave out the first Field-defining section in the Bibliography Format, churn out your list and then manually insert the tab-delimited Fields at the top of the resulting document. Import and voila.
"

cz
Back to top
 
 
czwieb   IP Logged
Jeffery Smith
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 14

Re: A workflow for learning Tinderbox
Reply #13 - Jan 4th, 2009, 3:40pm
 
Got it. I just copied your note as well as Mark's comments from the blog into MacJournal (somehow, pasting these into Tinderbox seems like putting all of my eggs in one basket). I have a MacJournal section just for Tinderbox tips. When I get better at using TB, I'll copy them back into TB.

Thanks much!
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print