Tinderbox Forum

Linking methods

You are right indeed regarding method usage coming from another app. My humble process of learning TB is on indeed, I would request you to split this into a new post so I don’t hijack this brilliant thread.

  • I’ve read the basic methods to link & if I understand correct, using parking space is the only way to drag and link to items which are not present in the current “view”. Correct?

  • I’ve not understood how to use linking operator , for example linkFrom("child"); where do I put this so that linking can happen ?

No worries, learning is always confusing when you don’t know what you don’t know. :slight_smile: The point about other apps it it can sometimes be confusing when people are very confident something unknown in Tinderbox exists. But, no harm done! To your questions:

Way back before Tinderbox moved from OS9-era frameworks to current Apple ones in v6, you could drag links between windows (this was also before the single app window vogue set in). When you dragged such link a line was drawn across the screen to show the link being made. simple and easy to learn. Also the app predates the more recent vogue for adopting wiki-derived link mark-up for plain text (i.e. the [[ approach).

The mono-window app and limitations of apple frameworks broke that older line-drag metaphor. Furthermore with only one window the link target was often off screen. So the old link-park mechanism was reworked to give us a link park on the tab bar. You drag to it to ‘park’ the stub of an incomplete link from the originating note.

This has some very useful properties. Say you want to link note A to notes B, C and D. Even if all 3 are visible it can be easier to drag from A to the link park and then once each from the link park to C, D and E completing each link as you go.

Tip. if you want to link from B to A and B is on screen, you can drag from B to the link and park and scrool to A and complete the link. When the Create Link pop-up shows use the double ended arrow next to the ‘To’ and ‘From’ labels to reverse the direction of the link.

The method using link park to many completions works best for basic (i.e. not-to-note) links. Text links (with an anchor text within $Text) generally go to one place. Text links give more targeted traversal whilst basic links are more use when mapping connections between notes (noting that the same notes can link via multiple links of different types and/or text links from different starting link anchors).

Again the recent vogue for wiki-style link mark-up brings in two further ‘learned’ limitations. A link doesn’t have to originate from text (as already described) nor does the anchor text need to be the title of the target note. The latter is a learned (false) assumption learned use more simple and less capable hypertextual systems where there truly is no choice.

Linking via actions
linkFrom("child"); is an action. Actions are used in agents, OnAdd, rules, edicts, and stamps. Explore the linked articles to see how these are used.

(side note for @satikusala the drag-drop linking nuances are something we should discuss)

1 Like

HI Mark,

Thank you for the explanation , parking makes much more sense now. I do agree that wiki-style link is in fashion , the fact that I was frustrated by them led me to TB :slight_smile: . So something good definitely.

It took quite some time to understand $Text link but I’m finally clear on how to create $text to note link

If I’m correct $text to $text link are still not possible? I’m not able to drop $text link to any part of the note .

This is from 2 years back in 1 of your post

  • You don’t drag the selection. When text is selected you see a white ‘T’ in the link park top left of the text pane . You click/drag the latter onto the main tab bar link park. This too will know show a ‘T’. Aside this is exactly the same as if making a text link to a note not visible in the view pane
  • Now, scroll to and select the target note. Scroll the $Text if needed so that the intended target is visible. Don’t bother to select any text as inbound text links don’t need/use an anchor but rather just record a position in the target text. Now the target is visible, drag from the main link park populated in the previous step and drag/drop onto the target location. Complete the link dialog as normal.

Thanks for clarity on action as well .

You can link to a text anchor, as described here. As the article explains, you can currently do this only via drag drop. This is because you need to have a link parked so you can select a note and then select some $Text in that note.

Three further issues:

  • As you drag out of the view pane into the text pane the link line isn’t drawn! As long as you’re still dragging the linking will work. (issue already reported to support).
  • There is no enactment (visual indication) that the target selection is linked, but the Create Link pop-up indicates the link is complete.
  • Tinderbox currently (v8.9.0) has no way to show, via the UI, if a note has a target anchor or what the anchor text is. By comparison, Browse Links does show source anchor text for outbound text links. I suspect this may change if sufficient users desire this and can clearly articulate the use case.

Several ameliorative thoughts occur:

  • don’t make massively long notes just because that’s the source document or it’s what [some other app] makes you do. Smaller notes aid addressability. IOW, stand back and instead of trying to force the app to do what you are used to or simply assume should happen, actually consider the nature of the task and use Tinderbox’s actual features.
  • contingent on the latter, consider footnotes, which never seem to get mentioned these days. The ‘target’ text can b e put in the footnote, if necessary with some preceding/following source text. The footnote can then link out to the full text (perhaps externally, e.g. in DEVONthink, if very long.)

[ping to @satikusala : footnotes are a good topic for tutorial]