Tinderbox Forum

Question about Favorite Documents

I’d like to set up links to favorite documents in the favorite folder, as described in aTbRef.

However, I can’t seem to get this to work, here’s what I tried:

  • When I put a document or an alias to a document into the favorites folder, Tinderbox opens an unnamed copy of that document. (The files are not marked as stationary pad)
  • When I put a symlink into that folder, it shows up in the favorites menu, but the document won’t open.
  • When I double-click either of those in Finder, Tinderbox opens the correct document, just as ist should.

I am clearly missing something important here, but I can’t seem to figure out what that might be.

My understanding is that currently the ‘favorites’ folder supports a TBX or an alias to a TBX placed therein. I’ve never seen anything to suggest symlinks are supported.

The OS ‘stationery file’ flag may be a legacy issue. Previously this was needed, but I think that reflecting the fact that OS feature may not survive, it appears that all file in (or aliased in) the ‘favorites’ folder as treated as if a stationery pad. IOW, it may be you can’t open a file for normal edit via the File -> Open Favorites -> sub-menu. I’ll check and report back.

Symlinks in folders in ~/Library/Application Support/… are flakey under Mojave and Catalina for some reason. At least, that’s what I’ve observed over the past year or so.

Opening a document from Tinderbox > File > Open Favorites creates a new, unsaved copy of the document selected from that menu. Best practice is to first save that copy into your working folders, then proceed.

Not sure why you would need to link to documents in ~/Library/Application Support/Tinderbox/favorites. The documents there are just starting points for “real” working copies. It’s not a good idea to be storing your work in that folder.

The Favorites folder is a replacement for stationery pads, which are not currently supported by macOS even though they’ve also never been deprecated.

I am on High Sierra. It is beyond me why symlinks in certain locations should behave differently from symlinks elsewhere. But then again, with recent versions MacOS lots of weird stuff happens.

As I mentioned above, aTbRef explains that differently. I might add that this is the common usage for the term “favorite” in apps, a place where you store things you often use, think of the favorites in your browser, in the Mail app, or in Finder. For the use you describe, I would expect this to be called “document templates”.

Indeed, and that is why I tried to use aliases and symlinks.

Thanks, that explains it. Is that a recent change? aTbRef suggests it used to be the way people would expect this to work.

But then my original question remains unsolved: how would I go about storing my favorite documents for easy reference?

Note to self - to update my notes on this.

Tinderbox 6.1.3 (Jan 2015)

Many Tinderboxers simply use their Open Recent menu, because lots of people seldom use more than a handful of documents.

Another strategy is to make a Tinderbox folder in your Documents, and to keep all your documents there.

Yet another strategy is to keep your documents wherever they naturally fit, but to place an alias to those documents in that Tinderbox folder.

One more reason to stay on High Sierra, where the stationery pad still works. Has this been deprecated with Mojave or with Catalina?

Not deprecated, but it’s been years since the stationery pad API was available to applications.

The problem is that, while you can set the flag, there’s no longer a way for Tinderbox to learn that this file is a stationery pad without using a deprecated API/

This is a weird corner of AppKit. I assumed it was transient — a side-effect of the shift to APFS — but the issue has persisted for years.

FWIW, as part of the refresh for v8.1.1 I’ve updated the aTbRef notes on this folder to clarify that it now acts as a stationery file source rather than a place for most-used files.

I’ve 100s of TBXs on my system, plus those users post here for problem solving. Nonetheless, I generally find my regular files stay in my recently used list so I don’t really need list just for favorites. The stationery file angle I do use a lot as I generally use my ‘starter’ file when testing forum users’ problems.

Well, if you really want to make it work programmatically, you might run the mdls command on a file in terminal, parse the output for the value of kMDItemFSFinderFlags and see if the result contains the flag for Stationery Pad (2048). If so, you could duplicate the file and open the copy.

In my case I was looking for a way to pin my important files because they always get pushed out of the recent files list.

I think it might eventually be helpful to have both features in Tinderbox:

  • a favorites menu where one can keep their favorites accessible (preferably sorted alphabetically)
  • a templates menu (or stationery pad menu) where those files are kept which on wants to use as a basis for new files

That’s a simple and obvious solution.

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I do think there’s a point there. Then again, I don’t want that guy and say it’s al wrong. The folder is called ‘favorites’ but _functions as ‘stationery’. This isn’t a deliberate mis-step by Eastgate. Stuff changes: when first implemented, the folder supported favourite and ‘recent’ files.

For my 2¢, I’d suggest renaming the folder ‘stationery’ going forward whilst supporting the older ‘favorites’ folder for us long term lags (and those who don’t want to dive under the hood to clean up.

A pivot point arrives. I haven’t updated to Catalina yet. Updates are cool, but all my old games (Steam) die and a number of useful 32-bit niche utilities die. I’m old, so younger!+sexy by default. IOW, it’s too easy to dragoon Eastgate to a change. But, going forward I’d rename - or rather - add a better-named folder (in context, oldster will still have a v5-era ‘backups’ folder) and support but deprecate the ‘favorites’ folder.

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FWIW I recently acquired a tiny (1.8") used 128GB SSD from Toshiba in atiny metal case, which is fast enough to boot High Sierra and play all those 32bit games. I have a bit of velcro on my Macbook’s lid to attach it to, and a really short cable, so it’s not even an nuisance on a train or so.

It only took a couple of minutes to clone the relevant parts of my MacOS installation via CCC, and I found it also helps my productivity that I now deleted all games from my main MacOS. Best €50 I ever spent on hardware. :grinning:

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