Tinderbox Forum

Debugging a TBX file that doesn't open

What’s the best way to figure out why a TBX file (that was opening fine last week) is not opening when I go to it today?

Do I need to dig into the XML? Is there a place where I could find some kind of logs from Tinderbox as to why it doesn’t open the file?

Thank you!

There is no app log as such. It used to be the case (still is?) that if XML parsing broke whilst loading, Tinderbox showed an error dialog with a line number. Opening the TBX in BBEdit or similar and going to the specified line (you need an editor that can show line numbers), there or in the lines just preceding an error may be evident. Recalling some of your past work and the range of languages it encompasses , it might be something like a section of right-to-left script (Arabic, Hebrew, etc.) that is tripping things up—although I think the newer unicode in v6+ is much better at that sort of thing than when I was helping you on projects c.v5.

The cause of the latter used most often to be styled data pasted into $Text that brought unseen extra characters along for the ride. Note that such extras don’t cause an error at the time. It isn’t until the document is next (re-)opened that the gremlin shows itself. Murphy’s Law. What on earth was I doing last week?

As the doc won’t open, and if you’re not able to share a coy with Eastgate (noting MB’s travelling at present) try to recall the last editing session. What were you editing. Failing that TimeMachine roll-back is the next net, albeit at the loss of some recent edits.

If you do spot something odd, make a copy of the TBX and start by deleting the <rtfd> tag contents for that note and try opening. You’ll still have the <text> content, i.e. the $Text but without any styling.


Send me the file; I can usually spot issues fairly readily.

Thank you for these suggestions.

Yesterday there was no error at all. Tried to open the file and just no response. Today (having since restarted my computer), the file opens fine.

Not sure what was going on there, but at least I hope this thread offers some suggestions for people who get into issues with files that fail to open.

And yeah, the last few times it was always some character that was imported, saved into the file, but then that strange character was unable to be parsed. Appears not to have been the case this time round, esp since my file was a very vanilla document relating to software engineering. Nothing arcane or esoteric inside AFAICS.

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