Tinderbox Forum

Preview big file markdown

I have a file markdown with 22 000 words. When I import it into tinderbox, assign it a “Markdown” prototype and open the preview, it just shows a blank page. If I then want to close the tinderbox file with this note, it crashes.

Big file Markdown.tbx (1.9 MB)

Tbx excels in many different things. Handling really large markdown files is not one of them. You could it split it in many notes or try a different app. I’d recommend Scrivener or Multimarkdown Composer for this.

I am sure others will have different opinions, by the way. This is just my own.

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I suspect there’s just way too much text in one note. Indeed, an experiment suggests so. Looking art the source (note: I’m afraid I can’t understand Cyrillic text) I noticed rulers which likely delimit different source notes. So, I took the source and copied it into BBEdit and replaced every instance of a ruler (of whatever length_ with 5 Euro symbols. So, before:

Big file Markdown.tbx 2021-04-05 14-30-53

and after:

Now, I exploded the note on the €€€€€ opting to remove the delimiter, giving me 15 notes. For these I applied the Markdown prototype. Now I select the first note:

…and choose ‘Preview’ in the text pane:

Now the page previews. But, moving down we find the preview chokes on the 10th note. At which point I think Tinderbox’s pipeline to Markdown rendering fails unrecoverable, as without an app restart, the preview now simple shows the last ‘good’ preview—which I suspect is simply cached data. as you note, trying to close/restart the doc & app only results in a cache.

I’ll ping @eastgate here as I can’t see far enough under the hood (I’m a fellow user) to see why this might be failing. I did paste the original example into MultiMarkdown Composer and the whole (big) page renders. So it looks like a gremlin in the source is breaking Tinderbox’s Markdown rendering. Why, I’ve no idea, sadly!

Side note: this is a massive note $Text. Tinderbox was originally designed around small notes. With something this size, I’d normally store the original outside Tinderbox, import the content, explode it into more manageable-sized notes and then delete the import.

So, my approach of exploded didn’t solve the problem but zero-ed in on a possible cause of the problem. I left in the information to help explain my thinking leading to the analysis above. Here is my v8.9.2 file with the original note, the same content, with delimiter substituted in BBEdit, and then exploded: … ah , TBX is too big to upload to the forum but the steps above should enable anyone to re-create the file.


I’ll take a look into this.

Tinderbox 9 will handle Markdown at least ten times as quickly as Tinderbox 8, so the answer might be a short wait for Tinderbox 9 (or perhaps joining the backstage program: https://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Backstage.html)

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Just checked, and Tinderbox 9 does handle this appropriately.


It turns out that the Tinderbox 8 implementation will deadlock if the Markdown textis longer than 65536 characters in length. This restriction is lifted in Tinderbox 9.


Dear Colleagues, thank you all for your help!
I don’t usually keep such large word count files in Tinderbox. But I was wondering if I could reduce the amount of software I use and store my draft chapter books in Tinderbox. Since I’ve been enjoying using Tinderbox more and more in my research.
I will take your advice and divide the file into several smaller ones.
And I’m certainly glad that version 9 will handle such large files. Looking forward to the release.
I apologize for possible misuse of words, I’m still just learning English.