Tinderbox Forum

Debugging performance issues

It’s actually been an issue for me in the past. Tinderbox lends itself to very personal notes and when these struggle with performance, it is a wrench to send them to somebody else. I’m again having such an issue (the note is a map of my life).

Some suggestions for sensitive documents:

  • Let us know how long something is taking, and what the size of the relevant document is. That, at minimum, let’s us say “that’s insanely slow” or “I’m not surprised it takes that long!”

  • Beware of old cruft. One user had a document in which the default value for $Rule had accidentally been set to some arbitrary string. The rule didn’t accomplish anything, but it was being evaluated thousands of times a second.

  • Consider ripping out everything sensitive from a test copy, even if that seems to be nearly everything. Replace it with dummy notes. Is it still slow? Perhaps you can share that version.

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Along these lines, find a lorem ipsum generator online and use it to replace the text of sensitive notes.

Thanks for your idea, Katherine! The problem: I’ve used Tinderbox to create a model of my brain - to map thoughts, experiences, desire, memories, dreams. I built the foundation from a series of psychoanalytic sessions that made explicit my internal processes, and it has spiraled out from there. This sprawling map of 6,000 notes is like a “low-poly” mirror to my self. It’s a glowing tribute to the power of the software that I’ve been able to create a map of connections that could one day be used to build a useful simulation of my being from the inside, out. It’s a debugger. This is also the reason that it’s not possible to use a Lorem Ipsum generator to replace sensitive notes: every note is sensitive.

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Handling that amount of notes within a single map is not even possible in my early 2015 MBP. It’s even impossible for professional chart drawing apps to handle, like Omnigraffle.
I don’t know Mr. Bernstein and other old users will say about this quantity. For me, simply feeling shocked.

I think your project sounds amazing.

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If you really needed to send a clean copy for tech help, would select-all and this stamp clean up a duplicate file you could send?

$Name="Lorem ipsum"+$Created;$Text="Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, blah blah.";

(It assumes all the sensitive info is in the note title and text.)

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I opened the Tinder Box to organize various clothes. And even though I didn’t use it much, I encountered an unexpected performance drop. Fortunately, it’s not a personal note, so I can share files. If you’re okay, check this file and check the cause of the performance degradation.

Performance degradation occurs in the map view. It’s okay on the top note, but it’s incredibly slow when you get into a folder to organize note of clothing’s history.

The notes are organized in Korean, but I think it will not be difficult to find out.


It would be helpful to know (a) what you’re doing that’s slow, and (b) how slow it is.

This likely seems obvious and unmistakable to you, but sometimes we find ourselves looking in the wrong place, or for the wrong sort of thing.

What a lovely document! Is this for a history of clothing?

In the map of container 옷의 종류와 역사, we have a number of image adornments.

I suspect the underlying images might be the problem — especially the black-and-white silhouettes in the lower right-hand corner, which weigh in at 500M uncompressed. When the adornment moves on screen, Tinderbox has to unpack the image and then scale it to make a thumbnail; that takes almost a second on the 2019 MacBook Pro I’m using this morning.

You might use an image editor to scale the image to a smaller size and then paste the smaller image as an adornment; that will save Tinderbox a lot of work. If you don’t require the visual reference in the map, you might include instead a note with a $File or $URL reference to the image.

We’ll investigate further; it seems to me that, even if the images are larger than strictly necessary, Tinderbox ought to be faster than it is.

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