Tinderbox Forum

Is TiddlyWiki still working? (+ some suggestions)

Hi there,
I’m interested in the TiddlyWiki at Tinderbox Public File Exchange . I opened the attached tbx file and tried to export, but generated “Unable to find this template”. I found there is a warning bubble on the top-left of the window:

Seems something is wrong. TB could not find the template it required.
So I may ask that is there anyway to modify the TBX file so that it can be compatible with TBX current release(7.3.1)?
Still, I always find TBX’s Error & Warning prompt vague and hard to understand. In this example, the prompt displays only the error itself but no hints about why it is wrong (at least it should warn that some $Attribute is set to illegal domain). I think TBX is a pretty(fairly!!) large system and the lack of detailed warning infos would make it hard for us users, especially intermediate users like me, to find out how to correct it. I hope in the future release, TBX would become more self-diagnosable.

Best wishes.

The error message is actually very explicit and helpful. The message is telling you that it cannot find an export template at the path Tinderbook:Users:mark:Desktop:Tiddly:export templates:tiddly – which is probably a path that does not exist on your machine.

As the Tinderbox file in the template says, the file was made for Tinderbox 3.5.1**. That’s very old. In 3.5.1, Tinderbox used external export template files. Long since 3.5.1 (around 5.0) the concept of external export templates was replace by internal templates in notes. It is usually very simple to convert from the old method to the new.

Just create a container “/Templates” in your Tinderbox 7 file, open the external file and copy its contents to a new note inside “/Templates”. Make that new note into a template. Then locate the notes that were looking for the external template and change them to point to the internal template.

The TiddlyWiki template .dmg included the template file in a folder inside the .dmg. So this is easy to fix.

I did part of the work for you in the attached Tinderbox file. Be aware of a few things – the template (that I inserted into the file for you) uses deprecated syntax. It will work, but it’s not compliant with current HTML or current Tinderbox export codes – so you’ll need to do your research to figure that out.

Also, the TiddlyWiki standard has moved on considerably since the original file was posted to the file exchange 12 years ago. So, you’ll need to find the 3rd party TiddlyWiki standard and update your template accordingly.

Have fun.

Tinderbox to TiddlyWiki for Tinderbox 7.tbx (486.4 KB)

** One might guess, from the dates in the Tinderbox File Exchange, and the content of most of the files, that these suggested files are from an earlier part of Tinderbox’s life and might not work here in 2018 exactly as originally designed. Nevertheless, the Exchange files are fascinating starting points and worth the time needed to update them for Tinderbox 7+. Certainly that’s sometimes an effort for more experienced readers; something to aspire to.


Hi PaulWalters.
Honestly, you are a great hero! I’ve never seen quick response like this. I love the helpful atmosphere here in TBX forum, especially, I’d like to say thanks for active users like you :laughing:
Thanks for your modified TBX file and your instructions first, and I may check them later when I back home :blush:
About the TBX warning, I do agree that the error message is explicit, about WHAT the error is. But my point is, it does not display WHERE the wrong part is.

Just think of the error output of clang compiler, the output tells us both WHAT and WHERE.

a.c:2:1: warning: type specifier missing, defaults to ‘int’ [-Wimplicit-int]
a.c:3:19: error: too few arguments to function call, expected at least 2, have 1
~~~~~~~ ^
1 warning and 1 error generated.

Hmmm, well it does tell you that the error is a missing template for the note "/NOTES – a note you can find by looking at the Outline. So, as I understand it, that actually does explain “Where”.

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Well I’ve checked the folder “note” and opened all notes in it. But found nothing about the template, say, the string “Tinderbook:Users:mark:Desktop:Tiddly:export” that looks like an address. So I guess that string is buried in some $Attribute, which was not shown in the error message. This is what I’ve discussed about, “WHERE” the address is settled.

We’re going in circles. I’ll try this one last time and then I’m calling it quits. The answer is in understanding the error message. The message says there’s a missing template for the note “/NOTES” and gives you the value for the template setting. Select the note and open Window > Inspector > HTML Inspector and fix the value of “Template” to resolve the error. In the file I made for you I fixed the error by adding the template to the file and changing the template assignment in the HTML Inspector. I also wrote out how to do that.

(BTW, almost all errors in Tinderbox – in my experience I would say 99% – arise because something important was deleted or cannot be found – like a template or a prototype – or because the value for an important setting was misspelled. The inspectors are your friend. It’s worth getting to know what they are and how they work, because they are important in resolving errors. The error messages explain what’s wrong, and the inspectors are usually where we go to fix things. Not too different from your compiler example, IMO.)

I hope you’re not losing patience with me, and I apologize for that. It seems my problem is lacking some prerequisite knowledges and I did not even know how to set the templates. It’s my first time trying to export and I’ve never paid attention to the HTML Inspector. Your suggestions are appreciated. I followed your instructions and tried to update the TiddlyWiki myself and it worked. Thanks a lot.

Don’t!! :smile: It takes a while to get the hang of the little nooks and crannies in Tinderbox. Converting an old document (especially a really old document) is a niche craft. Just happy to help out.

Tinderbox gone through dozens and dozens of revisions since Tinderbox 3.5.1 (released July 2006). So has Tiddly Wiki! (https://tiddlywiki.com)

All error and warning systems are at times either (a) vague or (b) misleading. Consider, for example, the errors generated by the Clang compiler – a vastly larger project which can assume a more homogenous and technically sophisticated audience. You city some favorable instances, but every professional programmer knows the unfavorable cases. For example, if you delete the implementation of an unused ObjC method that is declared in your interface, you’ll get a Link error referring to a missing file. Omitting the semicolon at the end of a statement can generate all sorts of messages, some of them referring to errors on different lines.

The underlying problem is that a formal system like a parser understands its formal constraints, but those constraints are often poorly related to the user’s intentions. To discern those intentions we often need to apply common sense, and that’s notoriously hard for computers.

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