Tinderbox Forum

Creating a website?

Hi all, I’m interested in creating a simple text based website with links between pages, similar to the static sites that are used for digital gardens. Is this possible from TinderBox, or would I need StorySpace? is there any info on how to do this?

You do need Tinderbox rather than Storyspace. Although both share the file format only Tinderbox has the HTML export features. There is no one-press ‘create website’ feature, but it is fairly simple. Google isn’t too helpful in explaining a ‘digital garden’ but if seems a metaphor rather than a functional design.

Tinderbox links to other notes (basic and text) are exported as HTML links to other pages.

A suggest you test the waters with a small experiment, which will show you what you do/don’t understand of the process. to that end, I’ve made a small file that sets up the basics: Specimen Website.tbx (102.0 KB)

Open the TBX document, use the File menu to export to HTML. I would export into a new folder rather than a desktop or existing folder as the export will produce a number of files and using a new folder the ouptut will be easier to see. Once exported, double click the ‘index.html’ file and see how the web pages compare to the source material in the Tinderbox file.

CSS, javascript, etc. are an exercise left to use user, but do ask if stuck. If new to web page creation, I’d ignore fancy look & fell until after you’ve grasped what in the Tinderbox file maps to what in the generated HTML.

You can also try my HTML export demo files.

I hope that helps.

Hi Mark, many thanks for this. Apologies for not explaining a digital garden - it’s very much a metaphor for a text based site that sits somewhere between a private notebook and a public blog, in which you refine and cultivate your thoughts rather than having a chronological presentation of blog posts. https://joelhooks.com/digital-garden is a pretty good overview.

Thanks for your help and the samples: I’ll give it a go and see how I get on.


Great. Because the export approach is roll-your-own rather than a black-box function, it can appears scary at first if new to hypertext. But HTML is ‘just’ mark-up language and it’s really all the fancy effects that make pages complex. Plain text, and the odd picture is easy, and from than you can cluster on fancier stuff. My aTbRef is created entirely from within a Tinderbox; being mostly text it is content-wise, very much in the spirit of the sort of thing your doing. That aTbref is about Tinderbox simply echoes the fact that on 2004 I was trying to learn, funnily enough, how to export from Tinderbox to HTML. The doc’s grown a bit since!

On gardens, see my very, very old paper: https://www.eastgate.com/garden/

Ah yes. Information farming on an artisanal scale :smile:, leaving the hedgerows and meanders alone rather than grubbing them out for large-scale consistency.

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You might also be interested in Obsidian and especially their new Obsidian Publish feature.

Personally, I love using Micro.blog which has recently added an interesting Bookmarks feature where you can almost automatically make posts from quotes of any other web page. For me, it’s serving as my digital garden though I’m just getting started.

Lisa Sieverts

what’s old is new again! Yet again proving that you’ve been ahead of your time since the beginning.

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Thank you. These look very interesting - but I’m not up for a subscription service at this time. Definitely food for thought, though, thank you.

This sounds like it might be simply a wiki - text, links, simple formatting. DokuWiki is an easy to use and free example that I’ve used for collaborative projects.

To fiddle around with locally, TiddlyWiki is even simpler. I’ve used it to organize projects.

Both of these are enormously simpler and less capable than Tinderbox, but also enormously easier to end up with a simple website.

It’s not hard to export from Tinderbox to a TiddlyWiki, if that’s what you want to do.

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Tell more, please.

I did this as a demo, many years ago when Tiddly was the hot new thing. Take the tiddly shell and turn it into an export template, exporting your notes via ^children and ^include in the appropriate place.