Tinderbox Forum

Does TB8 fits my needs before I buy a macbook

I concur 100% - I should have been more specific. ‘Tags’ is a slippery term and can vary in meaning depending on how much exposure people have had to structured metadata. Breaking out strands of your information into discrete attributes makes your analysis much easier. Certainly, using only general ‘tags’ from other sources, such as import to Tinderbox’s $Tags, is very much driving the Tinderbox app in a very low gear.

Sure – I was just trying to keep the message as simple as possible for somebody trying to find their way in (and not working in their native language). Sometimes less is more. Sophistication can come later :slight_smile:

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More like getting out, emptying the fuel tank, and pushing the vehicle like a wagon. :slight_smile:

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No confidential material in what I’m trying to achieve. I took a simple situation involving Paul trying not to be boring with my personal stuff.
I’m a physics researcher and teacher. I’m trying to find new relations in a large set of theories and experiements. The situation I’m facing is somehow similar to the situation of my students: Learning different approaches for same phenomenons and figure out the interactions. I deal with it using the method I learned as a student (except that I now try to use numerical tools). The example below is a simplified situation that could be find in one of my student notebook.

I have the map of thermodynamics theory according to Lavoisier (image 1)
I have the map of thermodynamics theory according to Newton (image 2)
Some elements in Lavoisier theory can be translated in terms of Newton’s. (image 3)
Some elements are the same in the two theories (“Hot bodies warm cold ones” in the example, see image 4).

Just wanted to know if I can display these 4 maps in a clic or 2 using Tinderbox. Keeping other maps up to date after any change in one of them. Based on what all people here said, answer is yes but not the way I initially thought: I will have to get how agents and attributes work first.


Maps like those can definitely be composed in Tinderbox. Be aware, that maps portray all the notes, adornments, and aliases on the same outline level. Notes that are containers for other notes, or aliases, are shown in a particular way on the map. Like this:

There’s a little “viewport” in both cases showing little icons for the child notes inside the container or agent, and you can navigate into the container by double-clicking the background of the viewport. There are other navigation features available.

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This may be useful:


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Isn’t that always the case, though? Large data sets always pose visualization challenges that smaller ones don’t. The sun that a five year-old draws is qualitatively different from the sun as seen through NASA’s tools, which is different yet again from the assembly of all stars in the observable universe.


Don’t make the same mistake I made and make this note: Tinderbox is not a database (in the sense of storing all of your notes in one place)!! By the time I got to a 1/100th integration of my old notes, it was acquire apparent that Tinderbox was not created for that; It become sluggish rather quickly. Considering the cost and amount of effort required learning this tool I would advice you consider such impediments.

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Thanks for warning. Actually, I’m trying to install a virtual machine MacOS on my PC to have a try before buying.
What do you mean by:

I actually look for something to store all personnal notes that have powerfull display capabilities. Thought Tinderbox was the best for this. Since dedicated mindmap apps lacks of note-management tools and on the other hand soft like Devonthink have no graphical display for relations between thoughts.

Unnecessary patronizing comment. Thanks.

There’s a lot to unpack there. We don’t know what “all” means, of course – 100 or 10,000 or more. It might not have been clear in this thread, yet, that most users have many documents – not a single document – so you can spread a lot of notes across a lot of documents. There are some users (@mwra is a well-known exemplar) who have individual documents with thousands of notes. He can weigh in with his views of using and managing big documents.

All of us are posting opinions in response to your questions, @jfaure, without knowing your circumstances or your data. Your idea to get a VM with macOS on it and a trial of Tinderbox running on that VM is excellent. You’ll be able to use your data, see your own results, and if you want, post more pointed questions based on that experience. I hope the VM works out for you.


Really? I read the comment as a mild metaphor about the relation between scale and data size.


I think it useful to understand ‘note’ is a very loose term here. One users note’s might be a few sentences of un-styled text, another’s might be a bit of text and a lot of user attribute values, yet another’s might be the equivalent of several pages of styled text with images/documents inserted in the text. All these behave differently in scale and also depending on which view type(s) the user chooses. It’s simply not possible to say “this works up to N notes” or “view type X only works well up to Y notes”.

A lot of people use Tinderbox in tandem with DEVONthink. Why? DEVONthink works well as an ‘everything bucket’. That is not a term of disparagement. Rather it describes a tool intended to track lots of items and to cope with the scale involved. Tinderbox, by original design, was intended for personal notes. Back in 2001 that would have been small sohrt notes with little.minimal text styling. In response to use request, there is now much more complex style support and the ability to add images.files to notes. But all this extra complexity is stored in the note.

So, any issues of performance and scale are a user choice. If you want large notes with lots of styling, I’d use multiple Tinderbox documents files (and not open lots at the same time). If your note-taking is more restrained, you may have less need for multiple Tinderbox documents.

With such a multi-facetted tool, the hardest answer for your fellow users here to answer is “How do I use this?” There will be a best way for you but as we don’t know the overall count of your notes and their size/complexity, it’s hard to suggest what that might be.

Cost and value are separate things. The sticker price is the cost. Whether that is value for you is a personal judgment. Tinderbox certainly isn’t a 99¢ AppStore impulse buy. At the same token, the fact that there are those here who’ve used the app for many years (and this (presumably) kept engaged and updating it should give you confidence that the app can deliver useful value to its users.

Tinderbox’s ability to visualise relationships isn’t a case of tipping all your info into a bucket and being given a pretty picture. Rather it provides a set of tools (nuanced in function once you get familiar with them) for exploration of your notes/information/data.


This above is the crucial point. Tinderbox won’t do your work for you, it will do your work with you. It has few preset paradigms, apart from (very fundamental) things like different views, note attributes and prototype inheritances. The rest is largely up to you. This can mean a bit of a lost-at-sea feeling at first, but once it clicks its vast utility and flexibility can open up possibilities that prebaked solutions often can’t.

The learning curve is steep, but in my opinion, well worth it. It’s aided by this forum, @mwra’s website and the Getting Started and Actions and Dashboards documents in the app help menu.

(As for MacBook vs Windows, I use both OSs. I strongly feel that on a laptop, macOS is by far the superior, largely because of Spaces. You can have multiple desktops running and swipe between them with ease. Windows has a version of this, but it’s just nowhere near as good, again in my opinion. There are things I prefer in Windows, but if I had to choose between all-in on one or the other, macOS would be my choice. Tinderbox and DEVONthink are 2 of the many reasons.)


Now, that’s a maxim worth pinning to the top of this forum! :+1::+1:


Actually, modern Tinderbox should not experience performance problems on modern machines, even with thousands of notes.

If you do experience problems, get in touch.

If you have hundreds of thousands of notes for a single project, Tinderbox might not be a good fit. But of course there’s no known way to display an information visualization of that many notes in which individual notes play a meaningful role.

this makes me happy. i’m concerned that some of my files may become unwieldy.

each file is discrete, yes? or…can we link files? could i create a master file called latin.tbx and create containers such as verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc, and then in each container link the appropriate files: verbs.tbx, nouns.tbx, adjectives,tbx and so on?

i don’t think i’d need or want to embed the files, just link them so i can access them when necessary without creating 100,000 notes in one file?

i just found this article:

so if i can paste note URLs, surely i can link a note.

and that said, my inclination is to keep everything in one file per mark’s comment.

I’ll give you an example. I have parsed the “Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science” which in its original format wold total to around 800 pages of simple dictionary like book format. In Tinderbox the book contains 8733 words (1 container per word) with the description of each word residing in the text pane. The maximum depth of the outline hierarchy container is 1 (with two top containers for organizing purposes). I have no actions, a couple prototypes, and 23 aliases.

I didn’t even consider creating links and attributes to use in the hyperbolic & attribute views because it’s already to slow. Create some actions and the project will load from pane to pane yester-year; the “beach-ball” effect will become your best friend. I stopped using Tbx for this very reason. I simply cannot split a document for performance benefits when that document has relationships which are not mutually exclusive…that would be non-sense.


mind you I have an extremely capable Mac to handle a full Logic Pro music ensemble loaded with hundreds of plugin instruments. Loading up a virtual machine to test Tbx will diminish performance as well (I use VM for MindManager Windows version).

That’s one book that I have a hard time managing in Tbx. It’s a tremendous piece of software otherwise…

8700 notes is, for Tinderbox, a big document. 1000 notes in a containers is a big container, too; it might make sense to split those containers into smaller sub-containers

Please send a copy of your document; if Tinderbox 8.1 doesn’t perform well with your document, I’ll be (a) a little bit surprised, and (b) will make it perform better.

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