Tinderbox Forum

BoxPress export for Tinderbox

Dear Mark Anderson,
I would like to know how do you form an opinion of BoxPress1.7 ?

[http://mapself.com/index/Pages/IntroducingBoxPress.html]
“The challange of Tinderbox export”

Yours, WAKAMATSU kunimitsu

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Maybe you could tell the forum what you think about this. Others might want to respond, but if you take the first pass it would be helpful.

Without disparaging the clear amount of effort that’s gone into this, I don’t understand the use case. The BoxPress site doesn’t clearly state what problem its solving. From the demo I downloaded, it seems as if the aim is to make an easy export …to (very styled) HTML, possibly in a single-page blog style?

So, it looks nice but I I don’t know what it’s trying to do. Without the latter, it’s hard to say.

Boxpress looks cool but is way too complex for my liking – at least if I want to make modifications. So if I want to export the way Boxpress does it without making changes, then sure. But if I want some control how over how to export my Tinderbox document, it makes sense for me to build that piece by piece.

Certainly a tour-de-force Tinderbox document. (Though it crashes quit a bit.) As a labor of love, clearly it is amazing and full of interesting mapping and other techniques to learn from.

But I would not ever want to try to modify it for my own use.

OK, I’ve dived a did deeper. The example files in the downloadable demo don’t appear to be made from the TBX is the demo and there are no instructions I can find. But… Essentially this produces a site like the BoxPress site, so a main blogroll page, with a few ancillary pages such as an ‘About’ page plus an archive of articles rolled off the front page.

I commend the sheer effort that’s gone into this though it’s not a self-explanatory as presumed, e.g a note outside the TBX that tells you what goes where as the demo TBX doesn’t seem to open with any of it’s tab at the content input area (i.e. where there adds their own material). I think a short video showing how you get from adding your first a note to a newly downloaded BoxPress TBX, through export and what the result looks like can help a lot. Use requires the user to be happy with having lots of export-related Key Attributes (so you can’t have the one you might normally use in your notes). The TBX is quite personal in style - I find there’s too much visual noise/colour making it hard to read (but that’s personal preference as opposed to functional critique). The demo (1 web page) with just CSS and JS but excluding images is >8MB. That’s a lot of scaffolding though thats supports all pages, when you add more content.

@WAKAMATSU, have you tried exporting in BoxPress? It would be interesting to see what the result looks like.

Although BootStrap export creates some CSS it appears you need to use the CSS and JS folders from the downloaded ZIP (and some of the images).

Anyway, awesome work by it’s author but I think PBoxPress needs a clear statement of purpose and documentation stored in a separate doc (TBX or otherwise) so you can read it whilst trying to use the file. I don’t mean that harshly. I’ve done plenty of demos and I know the documentation/explanation is normally by far the larger part of the effort involved. Given how complex this TBX is (I’ve written similar) that’s a lot of writing to do. :hushed:

So whilst this seems intended for a web novice, I’m not sure how easy they’d find it to use. Perhaps someone could report back. If it does work well then it would be good to give this more publicity and perhaps the community could help improve any rough edges/clarify assumptions. I’m all for removing the impediments to getting info out of Tinderbox so as to reach a wider audience. The mention of maps in the BoxPress blog got me excited that someone had cracked the problem of map export, but sadly no (for now, anyway). Still hoping…

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Hello all. I’m sorry. The BoxPress website and export system are not ready yet. I will make an announcement in about a week. The explanation on the website makes no sense. What is its use case? What problem is it solving? Is it just designed to make export easier? It seems too complex to be worth the effort, and also so over-structured that it would actually inhibit modification or real control by the user. A straightjacket made out of confusion. Even worse, the sample files do not fit the demo.

I agree with all your criticisms. In fact, mine would have been harsher. It’s a mess. I was afraid someone might mention BoxPress in these forums and invite people to taste the cake before it was done. I should have taken it offline until that time. Lesson learned.

The BoxPress website is not ready yet. The documentation and explanations have not been written yet. A video is coming. As it stands, the site is a mess and makes no sense. Please don’t waste your time trying to fathom what’s going on. Nothing is ready yet, which is why I haven’t made any announcement in over a year. I’ve been trying to lay low until things are seemly. Please avoid the disaster/construction zone for about a week. Downloading BoxPress now is likely to cause nausea and discomfort. I’ll make an announcement when it’s ready. Sorry about this!

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Thanks for your work on this. Very interested to see the finished project and product. (Export is the one area of TB I still am semi-afraid of, so always interested to learn new approaches.)

@CSH, don’t apologize – works-in-progress is what it’s all about here!

Thanks for letting us “taste the cake”. I liked the icing :smile:

Will hold on as you advised.

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@CSH, like others above, please don’t read comments as negative. Your TBX is is a tour de force as to what might be done in terms of TBX configuration… As already stated, I know the unexpected extra task of documenting what (to the author) is obvious generally takes much more effort than the original TB work.

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@CSH Would you mind to tell us how things have been going and if BoxPress (currently version 1.8.1) eventually turned out the way you conceived it?

As @JFallows rightly put it: Export in Tinderbox is something we all frequently return to this forum in order to learn something about and up our individual games.

Hello! BoxPress 2.2 has just been released. It’s up to date with TB 8.7.1.

You can now export, zip, and email your entire TB ecosystem and anyone with a browser can explore it. Or upload it to your phone—and actually use your maps to click-navigate it.

BoxPress exports the essence of your Tinderbox entity automatically: maps, outline structure, text links, Basic Links, and 56 macros to embed things in your text flow. It also lets you control page frame, layout, granularity, and styles with pop-up menus and dashboards. There’s no coding required .

We’re using BoxPress a the University of Texas to teach classes and create hypermedia note packages that students can explore . Maps, outline structure, text links, Basic Links, and embedded media—all get exported automatically. You can even use your TB maps to click-explore your TB system on your phone!

The trailer for BoxPress 2.2 has also been uploaded. It’s very short—it merely shows successful map export.

Next week’s video will show how you can liberate your already-existing maps, and share them with the world.

Check out the minutes-old (and very short) trailer for the new video tutorial series here: https://youtu.be/L_wnLCb_FCI

Download BoxPress 2.2 here: http://mapself.com/index/Pages/IntroducingBoxPress.html

———

Summary of important BoxPress stats

  1. Lets you manage the page frame, layout, and granularity of your export via popup menu.

  2. Lets you assign default layouts, backgrounds, and display expressions from Control Panels.

  3. Loads and saves entire themes with a single click, with backgrounds managed from the Finder in Theme Folders .

  4. Lists outgoing Basic Links automatically at the bottom of each exported page, and incoming ones optionally, via popup.

  5. Lets you “code” your CSS by setting attributes in a WYSIWYG Dashboard.

  6. Populates your navbar with dropdown menus simply by dragging aliases.

  7. Converts your Map Views into clickable HTML Imagemaps.

  8. Hands you a rich arsenal of 56 macros that let you embed anything, including:

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@CSH Scott – looks very intriguing. Lots of “what can happen” on the site, not a lot of “how to do it” – also with the teaser. Looks like a lot of assembly is required to use BoxPress – hope the next video drops soon to show that is not the case.

Yes, agreed. a BoxPress 101: how to import your tinderbox document and export it…step by step would be helpful to me.

Thanks
Tom

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