Tinderbox Forum

Automatically link children to parent and siblings


(Neil ) #1

Is there a built-in way to add formal links within every container? The use case is to expose the hierarchical relationships in the new hyperbolic view and the chart views, where parent containers, their children are linked by suitably named links e.g., “parent-child” and “sibling”.
If not built in, how would I go about making a suitable prototype linked-container


(Mark Anderson) #2

This seems like overload on the link network. The whole point of the hyperbolic view is not to replicate the outline view but to show only those notes with actual intentional links. If every parent and child is linked just to replicate the outline, the hyperbolic view’s purpose is rather lost.

So do you want to link parent to child or vice versa? (Doing both would be overkill and not alter the hyperbolic view). For sibling links, do you want to link to all siblings or just next/previous in outline order.

For this task you tan test linkedTo() and if the link is missing use linkTo() to create it. If you use agents be aware to want to link the originals and not aliases in the agent. Thus, I’d suggest using a stamp or edict to do the work. Don’t use a rule as you generally only want to do this task once.


(Malcolm) #3

I find such links “to the parent” useful when using Agents. For instance my notes from a typical meeting include a Container Note holding all notes from the meeting. The container note itself may contain a lot of useful reference text (when the meeting took place, why, who attended etc…). Then I have children notes for each of the Agenda points to hold my observations and actions to be taken, ideas etc…

Fairly often one of the children notes shows up in one of my Agents because it is relevant to the search and information retrieval e.g. one of the notes might concern a currently on-going satellite project but the rest of the meeting was about something else. Within the Agent I’ve lost the context for the note provided by the Container. Having the link helps quickly check and remind myself under what circumstances the note identified by the Agent was created.


(Mark Anderson) #4

Bearing that in mind, don’t forget there is also a linkToOriginal().


(Neil ) #5

My primary work is in simulating dynamic systems, where one of the recurring issues is revealing the unexpected consequences of policy changes. Typically these arise when existing relationships within the target system are overlooked in the analysis leading up to the formation of a particular policy.
I have been using another concept mapping application (TheBrain ) that supports discovery of existing relationships in a system model by traversing pathways through the emerging network of nodes, where related nodes are exposed at one or two steps. It’s still a question of focusing on the policy question at hand, but, with attention, some overlooked relationships are exposed. Sometimes, the relevant pathways lead not through intentional linkages, but through adjacent concepts that can be masked as children of a common parent concept and are what I would call implied linkages.
Exposing and defining hierarchical relationships at some level in a Tinderbox document would enable this type of traversal of a system model – particularly with the new hyperbolic view – while enjoying all the other benefits that TinderBox provides compared to the other application.


(Malcolm) #7

It would be interesting if you could provide more examples on implied linkages to get a feeling of how these map to current and possibly future Tinderbox developments. In particular how would a hyperbolic display work inside something like the Outline view ? Note than in addition to links between children and parents which are preserved in structure flattening information retrieval actions such as Agents I also count:

  1. Attribute based which can be visualised effectively within the Attribute Browser (as per Paul Walter’s suggestion). There are a few examples in this forum of this in action especially one long discussion on the Attribute browser use.
  2. The new filter function in Tinderbox version 8 which allows queries and identifies notes matching this query while maintaining their position within the outline structure
  3. Speed dating discussed in previous posts which is a sort of manual scanning method to match two notes retrieved in a user defined way and develop new insights into how they are related

Personally I would love to see more possibilities based on the concept of user defined distance metrics or similarity measures in the future. For instance right now it’s difficult to retrieve and range notes with “similar” attributes or $Text characteristics in an automatic way. There is a “see related” function in the info popup but that’s as far as it gets. A step further would be a display of notes in 2D centred on the note of interest where the distance to other notes based on their similarity, connectedness or other criteria.


(Mark Anderson) #8

But, wait … hyperbolic view is a doc-scope view of all items linked to/from the focus note. It is not outline/map view in a different form. Thus I’m not sure the question as stated makes sense.

ISTM @eolach is asking for a option in hyperbolic view to show implied parent/child releationships as links_in addition_ to actual links in the document.


(Neil ) #9

Thanks for the conversation. Yes, the use case seems to apply at the document wide level by exposing at the same time relationships that exist within containers and ones that may straddle a number of containers. In approximate UML language, it would need a view that concurrently shows composition and aggregration. It is probably not feasible in the current version but may be worth considering in the future as an option.


(Mark Anderson) #10

Hyperbolic view is very new still, and so there’s no harm in mailing in a feature request.