Tinderbox Forum

Active Hyperlinks in Column View?

If I add a URL or SourceURL to the Column View, is there any way I can format that URL so that it is an active hyperlink which opens the destination when clicked?

Example here:

In short, No. Clicking a column view ‘cell’ puts the cell in edit mode. The normal method to invoke the URL would be to select the note of interest and open the URL as a Displayed Attributes, a text link or Get Info/attributes.

Given that a click on a column view to put the ‘cell’ in edit mode, if URL activation support was added to column view it would need a different means of activation (e.g. [Opt]+click or such)

1 Like

Thanks - are there any workarounds you can think about temporarily while we wait for the but in displaying the globe in Displayed Attributes to be fixed (other than guessing on the presence and location of the globe in Display Attributes)?

Unfortunately not. As the Displayed Attributes and Get Info/attributes use the same ‘table’ I presume the bug affects both. I understand the cause is an issue affecting macOS 11.x users only and I’m on 10.14.6 at present. I think you’re best emailing Tech Support (info@eastgate.com)—being fellow users here were don’t have access to the sort of info you need on the cause/fix, e.g. whether it needs OS or framework updates as opposed to app-level changes).

On a more pragmatic note, experimenting with these buttons on my OS, I see that the cursor doesn’t change when over a useable button control. But as shown below…

…clicking anywhere between the red lines will work (ignore the single red dot: a mark-up error). For some reason the ‘border’ for the Boolean attribute tick-box is different (narrower). I hope the image may give some short-term assistance in knowing where to click the hidden globe icon. I reckon the width of 3 zeros (default Displayed Attributes font/size) to the left of the start of any Displayed Attributes table text is your best bet.

Sorry I can’t help more on this.

1 Like

Thanks - just to clarify by the way - it seems to me that in the Column view I can click to activate Edit on most fields but not URLs - is that correct?

Confirmed. URL-type attributes (both System and User) are not editable in columns.

That came as a surprise. Yes: you cannot edit URL, File, or Color data-types in column view. I’m not sure why!

BTW, here’s a better image than the last indicating where three zeroes-width places you in the controls column:

Thanks - much appreciated.

Yes it works to use the imagination. But the whole point of the app is hyperlink; to have to guess when/where a hyperlink exists seems beyond ironic. Other than that, Tinderbox seems beyond amazing.

I’m a little confused by that. Even without the temporarily not-visible globe icon in Displayed Attributes – it’s a macOS 11 bug, not a design intent – it’s clear from the visible content that something is a URL. And in addition we have Map and Hyperlink views, and the Roadmap, and Browse Links, and other features, for link discovery and browsing.

Is there something missing?

Everywhere else on a Mac (or Windows for that matter) the URLs themselves are active hyperlinks. That’s great to add the globe as a plus - but the standard for 3 decades in virtually every OS I know of has been to click on. the URL to follow a link. Tinderbox is light-years beyond every other hyperlink application in the universe - except that you cannot click on the URL but instead cognitively need to think through some alternate process.

Sorry if I sound like I am whining - I actually think Tinderbox was decades ahead of the rest of the world when it was introduced. I am stunned by the ability to customize it. I love the complexity and learning curve given the benefits that results in. All of which leads me to conclude that surely I am missing something if this app can do all that but cannot do something so basic as to click on a URL to follow a link.

The text in Displayed Attributes is plain text – it is not rich text therefore it does not support “just click me”. Display Expressions is basically a view port into the underlying XML where the key::value pairs are stored. And, there is a hot spot – temporarily on vacation thanks to Apple – provided to activate values (URLs, file links, the calendar popup) as needed.

There is also “Open Link” when the URL text is selected:

1 Like

Thank you - I did not know that

It works - though requires a double click to select followed by a right-click to bring up the context menu followed by selecting the desired choice. My whole goal here is to make hyperlink as effortless as possible so I can view and analyze a large set of links. Would be so much nicer to just see something to click and then it’s done.

Maybe step back and explain the use case for “evaluate … links”. The URL field in Displayed Attributes might not be the best approach for that. There are probably better ways to accomplish th analysis you’re looking for.

I’d cite @mwra here, who uses Tinderbox extensively for source evaluation in his doc / post-doc work.

If there is some easier/better way to set up a view so I can easily click through to the source URLs, I am all ears - thanks

OK, this is from my 2002-2017 analysis of the Wikipedia bot ecosystem. This traced c.1.1k true bot-user accounts (c.1.8k before weeding false positives) plus a further 2k+ bot operator user accounts, which tool much sleuthing as much Wikipedia logging/documentation behind the curtain is plain broken. Data arising look like this (this grab taken after the main work in the doc had occurred):

This note is atypical as many have next to no $Text. The Get Info shows about 80% of the 56 user attributes. I use 7 user URL-type attributes as well as $URL. Note too, there are 21 booleans which as a very helpful way of ‘fixing’ a reference to an emergent property or relationship. When working on a bot’s data, I’ll be using these URLs and have about 10-20 browser abs open on them and related links (trying to route around the holes Wikipedia’s patchy and incomplete logs). So, I was opening URLs a lot. having the Displayed Attributes text be clickable would have been a productivity drag. Edit/review (without kicking off a page call) in the value box, call the URL with the button. Much nicer. URLs inline in $Text can be clicked as if in a web page.

The file’s data moved beyond map-friendly size so most work is in Outline, Outline+Column (O+C) and Attribute Browser (AB) views. As the work required about eight close ‘reads’ of each source (the latter passes to consolidate/normalise metadata), O+C was really valuable as whilst editing one note (text pane) I could review data on 5-6 attributes for c.40 sibling notes (on my 24" screen) which helped catch typos and missed entries. The latter is easy when you’re essentially doing the same reading task for weeks on end.

There were far more agents early one but once done I tend to weed them so I haven’t 100s or 1000s of aliases clogging up all the queries. Queries I tend to back off onto edicts and run as needed. The Rules have also been pruned back. In work like about I generally (learned from experience) bypass rules and go straight to edicts for more control, but that won’t suit all, if only because work tasks and styles will vary. I’m just showing one example of a mature ‘live’ file. It wasn’t intended for any sight but my own so I’m unworried about the ‘look’ - view prettiness can be the enemy of productivity. Another action use was a total of 23 stamps.

Pre-calculated Display Expressions (i.e. calling stored strings called from prior calculation) work well as a form of dashboard for O+C use. For example:

In fact, on reflection other research docs of mind are even more URL-heavy, but then again Web Science is my field. :slight_smile:

Thank you - I think that actually makes my point - better than my own example in fact. His work is heavily URL-dependent and many of his URLs are within Attributes. I suspect he would be quite disappointed if he were to upgrade to Big Sur and lose the hyperlinked Globes.

Well, they aren’t lost, the button artwork is just not rendering due to what I believe to be an OS bug. The ‘button’ works, even if the artwork is MIA. I’ve already explained where to click. Having the URL texts as a clickable link in a Displayed Attributes would make me most unhappy. Do not want! :frowning:

Put another way, if others want to request a new feature to make Displayed Attributes and O+C URLs into live links I’ve no concern, though i’d prefer it be a non-default option. I would be unhappy of such a feature completely replaced the current behaviour which works just fine. That’s my 2¢, I’m sure others may feel differently.

I’m unsure of the engineering involved but if not too complex, I think a possible interim fix/assist is for the cursor to change when over an active button in an attribute table. The cursor change would give back currently-missing visibility as to where the image is.

The latter idea and the issue of not being able to edit URL data in O+C view have both already been reported to the developer by other channels.

I am by far the newcomer - I will defer to you in that regard (unless it could easily be an option for anyone to set per preference). Out of curiosity - why would it ever be undesirable for a URL to not be an active link?

Agreed - either that or the ability as an option to make the URLs active links would be helpful in the interim.


Possibly a quick email to the owner (bernstein @ eastgate . com), as this user-to-user forum can only explain what is, but not determine what should be part of Tinderbox.

1 Like

There are several different things going on here.

First: I agree that, in column view, it makes sense to have clickable URLs. That’s fairly straightforward.

Second, in the Displayed Attributes table, we have two click targets: one to open the URL, and one to edit the URL. I think both operations are useful and necessary; we can discuss precisely how to achieve them.

Finally, there’s the question of the globe and file icons in Big Sur. Yes, this is a nuisance! (And yes, there are other buttons that aren’t quite right in Big Sur!). It turns out this particular problem is a bit complicated; it impinges on a tricky bit of automatic layout that changed in Big Sur, it hit at a busy time of year. Updates have been a bit behind, and will likely continue to be slower than I’d like for a week or two.

1 Like