Tinderbox Forum

Exit strategy [pre-purchase questions]

I’ve just installed Tinderbox and worked through part of the tutorial. I’m really impressed, but this is clearly a big time commitment, and will result in most of my data existing exclusively in Tinderbox. So, two questions before I go down this path.

  1. What happens when the developer retires?
  2. How difficult is it to extract data should it become necessary to migrate?


All your document’s information is stored in an XML-format TBX file. Drag a TBX file into a text editor (e.g. BBEdit and not a Word Processor). Also see here for more on the TBX format.

So not complex. If you don’t understand XML, it would be easy (i.e. not costly, if at all,) to get help extracting the data.

Or you could export the data you want (i.e. not every setting) using formatted export. Tinderbox has very powerful/configurable export processes but you the user write the templates. That is because there is no one-size-fits-all solution here.

As to your Q#1, that’s something we fellow users can’t answer., noting this is a user-to-user forum and not official tech support.

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Echoing @mwra here: One of the appeals of Tinderbox is that the information is not locked into any kind of proprietary format. You can export it in just about any form you’d want — as text files, as CSV files for spreadsheet use, as PDFs, as images, etc.

I’ve used systems over the decades that did keep the info quasi-hostage. That’s not the case with Tinderbox.

Also, Tinderbox’s flexible export templates facilitate export to all sorts of formats — OPML, RSS, XML dialects, CSV, JSON — that might prove useful.

That’s about what I figured. The ability to extract flat files into some common format is about the best that can be expected with a tool as complex as this. Even a simple setup like a linking machine sitting on top of a directory of markdown files (e.g. Obsidian) is going to create a lot of functionality that can’t be transferred.

But I’m going to be in over my head for a while with Tinderbox. So part of my reason for asking was to see how responsive the community was. One response within a few minutes, and two more within an hour and a half – in the middle of a weekday. Not bad at all. >; )

Thanks for your help. I just bought a license. Time to dive in.

Welcome to the community _dp. Please take some time to watch the tutorial videos as well as go through the help. Your 5 primary resources for assistance are:

  1. the many dedicated wizards on this forum
  2. The many tutorial videos made and posted by other users (@satikusala alone has made over 60 such videos) -
  3. atbref !! The irreplaceable and untouchable resource on all things Tinderbox - brainchild of @mwra, refined over the last 17 years?!
  4. Our regular meetups - look for posts here on the next meetup. Also indispensable are the repo of videos of our past meet-ups (also posted elsewhere on this forum) on @eastgate’s vimeo channel
  5. The outstanding publication by @eastgate “The Tinderbox Way” - available on www,eastgate.com

Have fun!


This is excellent. I had already bought the book (couldn’t pass up the Winterfest discount), but was not aware of the other resources (except the forum). Thank you!


Here are th links:


SUNDAY Meetup January 2 (for this Sunday, normally we meet on Saturdays).

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Thank you. It’s also helpful that you put them all in a playlist. I’m looking forward to working through them.

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