Linked notes context preview and alert flag for a duplicate note

Hi folks,

New user here. Just curious if my beginner queries are possible to address in two scenarios I have come across in Tinderbox:

Firstly, it would be so cool if the wonderful link preview box (that shows up when I click on an inbound or outbound note link) could show the exact part of a note that the link comes from. As it stands, the preview box shows the top of a note. I don’t know if this will be possible as Tinderbox isn’t a block-based editor. But of course I had to ask anyway: it is helpful when the note is long so I don’t have to scroll all through a note to find where it was linked.

Secondly, due to the large amount of notes I generate in my field of work I sometimes make a duplicate note by accident. Is it possible to place a flag, or dot, or something next to the note to let me know another note with the same name exists somewhere? I don’t know if this facility already exists in Tinderbox. Please be gentle: beginner here.

Thank you for your time everyone!

Hi, welcome to the Tinderbox user-to-user forum. Hopefully I can answer some of this

#1. I don’t think so, though not by negative intent by the app.

I’m not sure many people understand what ‘block’ means. I assume you’re referring to paragraph based addressing as recently (re-)popularised by Roam? It isn’t a norm, even if it is in some editors (especially for text editors who are programmers, used to an IDE and the notion of code blocks). No shade there, just calibrating starting point-of-view.

The fact that Tinderbox allows target-anchors in to-$Text text links means it is likely possible. However, it is worth writing in to the developer if keen for this (here it is a user-to-user forum), not least to be able to surface any unstated assumptions.

If you follow a text link with a target anchor (a $Text to $Text link) the $Text area scrolls to show the target anchor highlighted. So the app has a notion of a target anchor but perhaps not in a pop-up preview

So, in recap: not now, but perhaps—if you ask the developer for a new feature:

Part of the issue is that text tools, unless highly derivative (i.e. popular app but + a new feature), approach text (indeed title vs title+discrete-text) differently. There is no right/wrong, just what we’re individually most used to. So app B not having app A’s features isn’t conceptual opposition but possibly a completely different design approach (ergo, some ‘alignment’ feature requests are easier to achieve than others).

#2. Yes and no. No in the manner described, but Yes if you employ isDuplicateName(item). You can test it via a rule, but as you’ve many notes, an edict or an agent might be a better way to to this so you only check occasionally/on-demand rather than always (thus leeching cycles better used on more urgent things.

Note that Tinderbox allows duplicate names not just in different locations but even as siblings (in the underlying outline stricture). Note that all notes have a UID (the $ID value also more safely used in action code hashed as the $IDString value).

For example, we can see an agent revealing the $Name ‘beer’ is used by 3 notes:

Agents can be turned off or run at low priority if you don’t want the search ‘always on’.

Having detected the problem you can set any visual attribute you like if you wish to visibly flag this issues.

IOW, the app won’t do it for you, but lets you make such a process for yourself and decide how you want to flag it, in visual terms.

HTH :slight_smile:

†. As in a substring between start/line-break, line-break-line-break, or line-break/end. This is only intuitive to a programmer.

‡. Engelbart was doing this in the '60s. Roam was quite late to the party.

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Dear Mark,

I’m thoroughly overwhelmed by your kind and in-depth response. It’s incredible. Thank you so much!!

Yes, the word “block”, as in “paragraph”, in non-Roam-speak! Thank you for the suggestion to email the team directly. I’ll humbly put in a feature request. Thank you for explaining how Tinderbox works with respect to links.

Oh my goodness, thank you for the agent query for duplicate notes: I’m going to run it occasionally!

Thank you again for the help and for all the time it must have taken you to provide it, complete with screenshots!!!

Kind regards,

Rephrasing to ensure I understand what you’re asking:

  1. You have a note with several text links to various other notes.
  2. You’re using the Links pane beneath the text pane.
  3. You select one of those outbound links, which connects this note to (say) “Lincoln”
  4. The preview currently shows the top of Lincoln. You’d prefer it show the link destination within Lincoln.

Is that right?

On balance, Tinderbox rewards notes that are concise and focused. It’s often better to take a complex thought and treat it as several interlinked notes rather than one long note. Some other systems incur a significant performance penalty for this, so it might not be obvious that Tinderbox does not.


Thank you for helping! Yes, you rephrased my query perfectly, thank you. So, that’s my feature request, but no worries if it is not workable/advisable.

Yes, I’ve already started to reorganise my notes to make them shorter, as you suggested. Oh yes, coming from Roam Research, Logseq and Heptabase I definitely noticed the performance penalty you noted with longer notes.

Thank you again for the help and advice!

Kind regards,

Just popped in to relay my thanks to Mr. Bernstein and Eastgate for implementing the, “Outbound link preview zooming in to the relevant section of a note,” in TB 9.7. I didn’t expect that speedy surprise! Thank you so much again!

Best wishes for the New Year to everybody.

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