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Multi-dimensional map and link wish list (Read 7325 times)
Brian Gregory
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Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Feb 23rd, 2010, 12:21pm
 
[Admin note - rather than cross post to existing threads, I've put this in it's own thread]

I posted this in another thread, but it seems to relate to this thread.

Tinderbox...multi-dimensional map and link wish list...

This should make it possible to visually explore an infinite amount of connections among notes with the additional information that a mapped relationship renders.

1. I'd like each agent's map to act like the map of a container note with the ability to move and link the notes within them. Adornments should be possible also.

2. Also, I'd like the links of all aliases to a note to show up in the browse links window (both to and from the note) for the original or any of the aliases. I'd like the browse link window (and roadmap) to show the note, link, and container for that originating link.

3. Whenever a new agent is created, if two aliases collected by that agent already have a link together from another map, that link will show up on the new agent's map.

and as a bonus...
4. Links should be like mini-notes: the ability to have user attributes attached to them (including a text attribute)

[Admin added thread cross references:]
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« Last Edit: Feb 23rd, 2010, 1:59pm by Mark Anderson »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #1 - Feb 23rd, 2010, 1:57pm
 
Re #1. This is possible  - when agents are turned off (see their Rename dialog).  Re-enabling the agent re-imposes agent sort order and removes (for good) any adornments.

The contents of agents are aliases that cease to exist if the source note *or indeed other alias) matches the agent query. So if criteria change (I presume your assumption is that they won't( the the contents on your in-agent map could be destroyed in a manner you didn't intend.

I do see a way to meet the aim. Make a container note and 'export' the agents aliases to the container using the $Container attribute. The agent will re-create the now missing alias next cycle so your export action would need to ensure the alias hasn't already been exported or the process would churn on filling the 'export' with more aliases. The upside of this extra work is the map inside the container, whilst holding only aliases, is a valid map allowing the things you want.

#2. I believe the reason this doesn't occur is whilst aliases can have their own inbound links, they inherit their original's outbound link.  Remove the latter and you're creating a different sort of alias which opens all sorts of considerations. Currently the Roadmap for an alias shows no links. It should (will in due course!) show its inbound links - as discreet from its original's such links.

#3. See #2. Unless the design of aliases is changed, they don't have their own outbound links, only discreet inbound links.

#4. This was raised in this thread. Apart from extending map visualisations it seems unrelated to the first three issues. If one looks at the way links are stored in a TBX, I suspect such a change would require significant design change to accommodate it.  That's not an argument against - it's an interesting idea - but simply to indicate it is a less simple task than might be assumed.
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« Last Edit: Feb 23rd, 2010, 2:02pm by Mark Anderson »  

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Brian Gregory
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #2 - Feb 23rd, 2010, 4:21pm
 
#2. My aliases have their own inbound and outbound links in the roadmap, not those of the original.

#3.  I manage to link aliases without a problem even within agent query maps.  The links persist when more notes are collected and the agent updated. I can even have two notes with the same name, both appearing in the agent's map without affecting each other's link on the map. I just can't move the notes around to where I want them, and adornments don't persist but for a split second, and adding an adornment will erase the links on the map.

#4. This note is related to the prior three notes since it opens the possibility of adding information within the link so that the alias note text does not need to be changed for the context of the map.
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Brian Gregory
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #3 - Feb 23rd, 2010, 5:02pm
 
Thanks for the tip to move the aliases from the agent to another container, it will work well for my static situations. Unfortunately, for my dynamic situations, it will be difficult to see when I have new notes meeting the criteria of the agent as I will have notes meeting and ceasing to meet the criteria on a regular basis.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #4 - Feb 23rd, 2010, 6:43pm
 
Re the first of your replies above. My earlier answers on points #2 and #3 were, on retesting,  incorrect - I've been doing a lot of beta testing and I think I got some incorrect results in the tests I did earlier.

Testing specifically in v5.0.2 I do see both inbound and outbound links for aliases which confirms that aliases can have their own outbound links. (FWIW, the latter's arguably not what should happen but for now it is the status quo).

The aliases links don't show up in Browse Links as that is the original's links - though perhaps it ought not to be!
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« Last Edit: Feb 24th, 2010, 4:02am by Mark Anderson »  

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Brian Gregory
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #5 - Feb 23rd, 2010, 11:11pm
 
In my version of Tinderbox, if I click on an alias, then open its browse window, it shows me the links for that alias, not the original.
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Brian Gregory
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #6 - Feb 23rd, 2010, 11:16pm
 
Further expounding on my wish list:

I'd like the potential for every link for every alias of the same original to show up when I click on the browse window or roadmap for any of them.
But... I'd like a toggle switch to limit the links to only the map of the alias  where I'm clicking.. The best of both worlds.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #7 - Feb 24th, 2010, 4:24am
 
In my quick test, late at night with a small demo, I got confusing results.  Retesting in the light of day, I get the same as you in Browse Links.

I've no idea how complex the engineering under the hood, but a UI aspect of your last suggestion would be to have a pop-up list (in Browse Links and/or Roadmap) of the original and all aliases. Perhaps the menu would only show is aliases existed. To enable the user to tell which alias is which, they'd need to be listed as paths - perhaps in OutlineOrder with the original in bold. How well this scales - in a big TBX with a lot of aliases - I'm not sure; for instance aTbRef has 2425 notes and 1017 aliases at present.

The latter stats illustrate another complicating angle to aliases. Aliases can be just that - created manually and placed where needed. aTbRef has less than 10 of those.  The other 1000 are thus all made by agents, and illustrate that there are effectively 3 sorts of agent-aliases:
  • Aliases in agents that are effectively static. Once set up and although in an agent, the content changes rarely, if ever. Indeed, these agents can be switched off and the aliases treated effectively as actual notes. As such, it becomes pertinent to start linking to/from the aliases
  • Aliases in agents that change, e.g. something reviewing progress with a task or newly added content. Aliases here will have a shorter lifespan so linking to/from them is less likely.
  • Aliases in search/utility agents.  These agents may exist only briefly or live 'behind the curtain' doing structural/tidying work.

It is the latter group that are interesting in the context of the ideas suggested above - does it matter if they are included in listings? Probably not - for the user - as they likely won't have links but searching for an listing them may be unwanted overhead.
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Charles Barnes
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #8 - Aug 7th, 2010, 7:24pm
 
First -- I fully second the suggestions Gregory makes re availability of link data from aliases. I think that would be a great feature.

At this point, is it possible at all to "force" aliases to inherit the links of the originals?
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #9 - Aug 8th, 2010, 10:10am
 
Quote:
At this point, is it possible at all to "force" aliases to inherit the links of the originals?

The alias does inherit the links - except at export some note-level links are discrete to the original vs. alias which enables exported aliases to acts as a page in their own right. Case in point: this is an original in the TBX and this and this are aliases. The alias versions outbound text links are the same; note level links form an alias may or may not be the same.

If there is a particular problem re aliases that you're having by all means start a new thread in the Q & A giving a bit more detail.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Multi-dimensional map and link wish list
Reply #10 - Aug 8th, 2010, 10:33am
 
Let me echo Mark Anderson's suggestion; let's separate the issues in different threads, and let's discuss exactly what we want to do!

With regard to new map paradigms, this is a good moment to explore possibilities. A good place to begin might be

  • a task that you need to do, and
  • a sketch of how the new map might appear


Understanding the goal helps a lot.
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