Tinderbox Forum

Badges integrated into TB files

(From time-to-time this feature gets mention as being in-progress, or on the list of features to be added.)

Badge Logistics
I greatly appreciate the visual clarity badges lend to outlines and maps. However, sharing these TB files with others requires a great deal of tedium.

  1. I’ve got to zip up the latest badges
  2. Send to collaborator with instructions
  3. Collaborator must unzip and copy badges to support folder
  4. Repeat 1-3 if I change or add a badge

Integration in TB File
The badge files themselves don’t require much storage. So much easier to send someone a TB file and not have to worry about badge logistics. Other than the lack of a Windows-based TB file viewer, the clumsy logistics of badges is the single greatest obstacle I face getting others using TB with me.

I’m intrigued. Tinderbox isn’t a multi-user app. Another user of the app has access to all badges. Rather than bloat each doc with just those badges used (or whole sets including unused badges), it seems more efficient to just send a zip of the custom badges set your using to collaborators.

What sort of badges are you using? How often to you add new badges? What do the badges signify?

How I Tend to Use Custom Badges

(Thanks for the prompt response. I turn away for just a moment, and there are the developer and prime guru asking questions and looking to understand my first post.)

Here are a couple of examples of how I use badges for course design development. Although I’m still scratching the surface of what Tinderbox can do, I do at times create custom badges to show the status of notes. For example, to show documentation that’s been developed, or needs to be developed. As a design evolves, so may badges used to depict various activities or development status.

There are times I’d like to share a TB file with someone. For example a map of a course design, with notes on design features and examples of screens from the learning management system. With StorySpace Reader, I could allow Mac users to navigate a design on their own.

Target Audience: Non-TB Users
Mark A. is correct. It’s not that big a deal for the audience of TB users. It’s more about smoothing the interaction for non-TB users that my posting is about.

Understand that many others I’d like to view TB files just aren’t all that computer-literate. So the steps Mark A. remarks are fairly straightforward, aren’t so much to my audience. And even for myself, badge management gets to be a chore between home and work computers. If a TB document is evolving, I’ve got to be vigilant about tracking badge changes.

I get this issue of custom icons. I can see the ease to the user of ‘just’ embedding the icons but essentially it means all custom icons must be embedded all the time as Tinderbox has no way of knowing if other users have the same icon set(s). I get the need but wonder if embedding scales elegantly.

Perhaps an easier way might be to allow an optional location for custom artwork like iCloud or Dropbox as these have local repositories and can be shared with other users.

I’m sure there are considerable app-design issues with embedded badges. If TB could track which badges are actually used in a specific doc, then most bloat like you describe could likely be avoided.

The Existing Solution
TB provides a nicely comprehensive set of icons already. Sometimes I try to steer in the direction of using only those, to avoid the issue. It just feels limiting to do so. Plus, I like being able to use iconography in TB design documents that directly mirrors visual cues I build into the developed course/project. So I decided to make my post this morning.

Thanks again to the thoughtful questions and replies.

As a sidenote, this is already possible:

$Text = values("Badge").sort.format("\n");

The result is a note $Text contain a sorted list list of all unique Badge values currently in use, with each value on a separate line. If you use a common prefix for the names of your custom badges, then it would also be easy to extract the subset of the listing that are (your) custom badges .

[Edited: typo in code example]


Fixed that for you. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for flagging that up, I’ve corrected my code typo in my post above. As it happens, this is one code where a $-prefix isn’t used!

See more on values().

That works very well. Also a good suggestion to use a common prefix for badge names that would make them easy to identify.

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