Tinderbox Forum

Guidance on size of a TBX file


Is there any guidance on size limits for a TBX project - things such as how many notes, how many links, how many attributes per note? I’m thinking about implementing a project where there could be more than ~10k notes, thousands of links and ~20 attributes… I can modularize this in different ways but wanted to get a feel for what practical guidelines I should include…



20 attributes is absolutely no problem. There are ~500 system attributes already; 20 more won’t be noticeable.

10K notes is getting up there. I don’t think this is technically prohibitive, but you might want to think about organization a bit. A list of 10,000 titles is not very useful; a map view with 10,000 items is too big to see. So, you’ll want to use containers, or possibly separate documents, to get a handle on your notes.

What sort of notes are these?

Hi Mark,

This would be for authoring/managing things like glossary terms in a data governance system where we already have some fairly robust data model content and the ability to exchange with an external governance system (https://egeria-project.org). I built a smaller glossary (just a couple hundred terms) and that worked pretty well. The size of the text per note tends to be pretty small - often just a short paragraph. Within the file, I do use containers for modularity - and I could refine this to break it down further (if that helps). I’m just trying to get a feel for how I should try to scale it up and what changes would be useful to maintain performance at scale…



I don’t anticipate terrible problems.

In the old days, I’d worry about file loading time, but that was before SSDs and multiple cores.

When in doubt, it sounds like you could make a dummy model of the document with realistic structure and fake text pretty quickly. That’s give you some reassurance, or identify sticky points we could find ways to avoid.

@dwolfson, I attempted several times to work with large sets of data in Tinderbox. In my experience, anything above 5k notes is asking for trouble (it will make the app slow and crash-prone). I would suggest you experiment with dummy data before committing to it.

Would you mind telling us which Mac model you own? I’m courius whether new M1 Macs have the same issue as older ones…

I haven’t yet had a chance to run my scaling experiment - currently have under 1000 notes in one of my files. That said, I have a big M1 machine - so we’ll see what happens.

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