Tinderbox Forum

Attribute Browser wish list


I’m just starting to use the Attribute Browser a bit more instead of Agents — there’s a lot there which is really useful.

There are two issues thought that I’d like to propose for future versions (if they’re not in already and I’ve missed them).

  1. The ability to control the sort when using the summary count

  2. The ability to collapse the headings, both individually and ‘collapse all’

The use case:

My book list — I used to have a dashboard containing several agents to classify the books I’ve read. One category was per year – which means having several agents, of course.

Attribute browser would be a perfect and simpler replacement but for two things: I can’t see all the counts at once and if I want the counts, then the years are out of chronological order.

So, please can these be considered for a future version.



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We’ll see what we can do!

On a related note, though, there’s no longer an obvious reason for avoiding the use of agents in things like this. In the old days, agents could interrupt your work, but now that’s not an issue. Don’t hesitate to use agents, rules, and edicts in dashboards and repeaters.

Still, I agree that finer control of attribute browser sorting would be nice to have.

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Speaking of “off the wall,” I think the “Attribute Browser” might benefit from a better name. Suggestions?

Thanks Mark!

On the issue of Agents, I use them extensively normally and in fact that’s how the file was originally set up.

I didn’t mention this in the original post, because I didn’t want to confuse the feature request, which I think stands on its own, but I started looking at the Attribute Browser because this particular file was becoming increasingly flaky and I think the agents were probably to blame in some way. I was reducing them one by one to debug it, when I started to look at the AB in more detail and found it would probably do most of what I was using the Dashboard for anyway — and the two feature requests would make it more so.

This particular file is about six years old now and there’s a lot of cruft in it — some of the data has been exported and imported between org mode / bookends / DTPO more than once. I think what’s happening is that there are some odd characters in there which get in the way, causing the program to crash (every few minutes in fact).

I haven’t really had time to investigate further yet (not in enough detail to send in a meaningful report yet anyway). Instead I’ve exported to plain text and started again with a new file just to keep working.

As a general question: is there a set of troubleshooting steps for such circumstances? Apart from the obvious, such as deleting agents one by one till it stops occurring, are there are any known triggers I could look for in the file itself, such as problematic characters in certain types of attribute etc?

A new name for Attribute Browser? Mmm — Spreadsheet View? Table View? Nothing really springs to mind that’s definitely better.

Thanks again.

I think Attribute Browser is a good name. If you really must change it, then perhaps “Note Explorer” (or Notes Explorer) would be a possibility.

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Do you make a difference between “Attribute Browser” and “Note(s) explorer”? If I had index cards in a cardboard box and I would find some notes with specific tags, would I explore my notes or would I browse them? English is not my native language, but I think there is not here only a lexical question. How does “Data Browser” sounds in English? In French, a translation of “Attribute Browser” could be “Navigateur d’attributs”.

Change usually just amounts to churn in these areas. BUT the way I always think of “Attribute Browser” to myself is “Category View.”

  • Outline View
  • Map View
  • Category View

These are the three I make most use of, and the ways I think of them, respectively.

Update Given that “category” is not an official term within Tinderbox, and “attribute” is, I’d also endorse “Attribute View.”

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One more off-topic wish for the Attribute Browser: please use the Description for the query as the name of the “tab” (or just give us some more freedom to name the tabs). Right now I’ve the Attribute Browser view in four tabs, three of them named “Attributes”.

One more: please allow a right-click in the AB (esp. “Open in New Tab”).

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Yes!! I don’t know from the tab names which of the many ABs I’ve created is which.

As for me, I realize that I think of the Attribute Browser more as a Tabs Browser (to use these words in the plural as we do in French) than as an Attributes Browser, which it is indeed:

Sorry, I don’t know what that means :slight_frown:

I suggested Notes Explorer because the attribute browser is used on the fly to display notes with various characteristics (attributes) – i.e., it is used to “explore” notes. Similar to the meaning for File Explorer or Finder, perhaps.

@Jfallows’ view on this has more weight than mine. So I’ll defer to whatever he wants.

If I had a box made of wood or cardboard full of index cards, as I use to have many years ago, one way to explore my notes could be to read some of them in an alphabetical order. For instance, starting by Aristotle, then Bergson, and inside of each author, searching some notes from Act to Knowledge, for example. It would be what I’d name searching by using a Note explorer. If I had an Attribute Browser, I could also searching into my notes for a certain colour, a certain date or anything else that could be an attribute, that is a characteristic, which is not essential to my main purpose, which is learning how Aristotle used to define Act or Knowledge, and in which book, and in which chapter. But that’s what Tinderbox does, in any way we call it.