BoxPress export for Tinderbox


(WAKAMATSU kunimitsu) #1

Dear Mark Anderson,
I would like to know how do you form an opinion of BoxPress1.7 ?

[http://mapself.com/index/Pages/IntroducingBoxPress.html]
“The challange of Tinderbox export”

Yours, WAKAMATSU kunimitsu


Exporting HTML from Tinderbox 7: Oakley example
(Paul Walters) #2

Maybe you could tell the forum what you think about this. Others might want to respond, but if you take the first pass it would be helpful.


(Mark Anderson) #3

Without disparaging the clear amount of effort that’s gone into this, I don’t understand the use case. The BoxPress site doesn’t clearly state what problem its solving. From the demo I downloaded, it seems as if the aim is to make an easy export …to (very styled) HTML, possibly in a single-page blog style?

So, it looks nice but I I don’t know what it’s trying to do. Without the latter, it’s hard to say.


(Pat Maddox) #4

Boxpress looks cool but is way too complex for my liking – at least if I want to make modifications. So if I want to export the way Boxpress does it without making changes, then sure. But if I want some control how over how to export my Tinderbox document, it makes sense for me to build that piece by piece.


(Paul Walters) #5

Certainly a tour-de-force Tinderbox document. (Though it crashes quit a bit.) As a labor of love, clearly it is amazing and full of interesting mapping and other techniques to learn from.

But I would not ever want to try to modify it for my own use.


(Mark Anderson) #6

OK, I’ve dived a did deeper. The example files in the downloadable demo don’t appear to be made from the TBX is the demo and there are no instructions I can find. But… Essentially this produces a site like the BoxPress site, so a main blogroll page, with a few ancillary pages such as an ‘About’ page plus an archive of articles rolled off the front page.

I commend the sheer effort that’s gone into this though it’s not a self-explanatory as presumed, e.g a note outside the TBX that tells you what goes where as the demo TBX doesn’t seem to open with any of it’s tab at the content input area (i.e. where there adds their own material). I think a short video showing how you get from adding your first a note to a newly downloaded BoxPress TBX, through export and what the result looks like can help a lot. Use requires the user to be happy with having lots of export-related Key Attributes (so you can’t have the one you might normally use in your notes). The TBX is quite personal in style - I find there’s too much visual noise/colour making it hard to read (but that’s personal preference as opposed to functional critique). The demo (1 web page) with just CSS and JS but excluding images is >8MB. That’s a lot of scaffolding though thats supports all pages, when you add more content.

@WAKAMATSU, have you tried exporting in BoxPress? It would be interesting to see what the result looks like.


(Mark Anderson) #7

Although BootStrap export creates some CSS it appears you need to use the CSS and JS folders from the downloaded ZIP (and some of the images).

Anyway, awesome work by it’s author but I think PBoxPress needs a clear statement of purpose and documentation stored in a separate doc (TBX or otherwise) so you can read it whilst trying to use the file. I don’t mean that harshly. I’ve done plenty of demos and I know the documentation/explanation is normally by far the larger part of the effort involved. Given how complex this TBX is (I’ve written similar) that’s a lot of writing to do. :hushed:

So whilst this seems intended for a web novice, I’m not sure how easy they’d find it to use. Perhaps someone could report back. If it does work well then it would be good to give this more publicity and perhaps the community could help improve any rough edges/clarify assumptions. I’m all for removing the impediments to getting info out of Tinderbox so as to reach a wider audience. The mention of maps in the BoxPress blog got me excited that someone had cracked the problem of map export, but sadly no (for now, anyway). Still hoping…


(Scott Heftler) #8

Hello all. I’m sorry. The BoxPress website and export system are not ready yet. I will make an announcement in about a week. The explanation on the website makes no sense. What is its use case? What problem is it solving? Is it just designed to make export easier? It seems too complex to be worth the effort, and also so over-structured that it would actually inhibit modification or real control by the user. A straightjacket made out of confusion. Even worse, the sample files do not fit the demo.

I agree with all your criticisms. In fact, mine would have been harsher. It’s a mess. I was afraid someone might mention BoxPress in these forums and invite people to taste the cake before it was done. I should have taken it offline until that time. Lesson learned.

The BoxPress website is not ready yet. The documentation and explanations have not been written yet. A video is coming. As it stands, the site is a mess and makes no sense. Please don’t waste your time trying to fathom what’s going on. Nothing is ready yet, which is why I haven’t made any announcement in over a year. I’ve been trying to lay low until things are seemly. Please avoid the disaster/construction zone for about a week. Downloading BoxPress now is likely to cause nausea and discomfort. I’ll make an announcement when it’s ready. Sorry about this!


(James Fallows) #9

Thanks for your work on this. Very interested to see the finished project and product. (Export is the one area of TB I still am semi-afraid of, so always interested to learn new approaches.)


(Paul Walters) #10

@CSH, don’t apologize – works-in-progress is what it’s all about here!

Thanks for letting us “taste the cake”. I liked the icing :smile:

Will hold on as you advised.


(Mark Anderson) #11

@CSH, like others above, please don’t read comments as negative. Your TBX is is a tour de force as to what might be done in terms of TBX configuration… As already stated, I know the unexpected extra task of documenting what (to the author) is obvious generally takes much more effort than the original TB work.