Tinderbox Forum

Create notes in action code using the "punch" technique

(Pat Maddox) #1

Sometimes you want to create a note using action code. Tinderbox doesn’t provide action code for creating a note directly, but you can still create notes using what I call the “punch” technique. Essentially, you use an existing note to punch a hole in the fabric of space and time Tinderbox document.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick a note that you will use as the “punch” note. I like to give it a specific name like tools.punch, and use it for the sole purpose of making new notes.
  2. In your action code, generate a path name for your new note. Set the punch note’s $Container to this path.
  3. At the end of your action code, reset the punch note to a known location.
  4. Run your action code!

Although Tinderbox action code doesn’t have a function for creating new notes, it will create any intermediary notes necessary to set a $Container.

Here’s a simple example (make sure you have a note named tools.punch):

$Container("tools.punch") = "/My new note";
$Container("tools.punch") = "/Tools";

And a slightly more involved example to create a dynamically-named note based on the current time:

var timestamp(date("today").format("y-M0-D h:mm"));
var newNoteLocation("/Records/" + timestamp);
$Container("tools.punch") = newNoteLocation;
$Container("tools.punch") = "/Tools";

For a working example, see the attached document. It provides two stamps that run action code – one that creates a note called “My New Note”, and another that creates a note based on the current time.

new-note-punch.tbx (59.4 KB)

Automatic Alias if title+prototype already exists
(Paul Walters) #2

Yep, $Container tricks like these (including adding $Text to the newly created note) are things I’ve used for a long time – but judiciously. Since Eastgate has always advised “cannot create notes with code”, I’ve then assumed using $Container to make a note is (a) an unsupported “feature” and thus (b) always at risk of disappearing.

Until then, enjoy.

(Roger Alexander) #3

What other $Container are there?

(Pat Maddox) #4

right, in the code above, newNoteLocation is the path to the new note, so you can do anything with it that you’d do with any other note path.


$Text(newNoteLocation) = "my new note text"