Tinderbox Forum

Q. Is it possible to show the titles of linked notes in Outline columns?

I’m trying to use TB sort of like I used to use ECCO decades ago, i.e., take notes about projects, meetings, etc. So, I’m using Outline view with Show Columns enabled. I have a Meeting proto for meetings, Person proto for people, Task proto for tasks, etc. I wanna create a Meeting note and link the related people and tasks to it.

If I can’t have a column showing the list of links, perhaps I could do something “clever” like create a custom text field in Meeting that gets computed whenever a link to that note is created or deleted.

Or am I thinking of this all wrong?

thanks in advance,

– jdm

The latter approach should be straightforward and is likely what you want.

How would one go about it to achieve that, @eastgate

Let’s start with an easy approach. We want to look for all the notes that have links from this note.

Rule: $MyString = find(linkedFrom(that))

(Detail: why that and not this? The find() action examines each note in turn, and in its testing it binds this to the tested note. that is the note which owns the rule.)

For example, of Blinken and Nod each have a link from Winken, then running this rule on Winken would give you

MyString: /Blinken; /Nod

Now, perhaps you don’t want paths — you just want the note names:

Rule: $MyString=collect_if(all,linkedFrom(that),$Name)

Suppose there are two links to Nod, but you only want Nod listed once.

Rule: $MySet=collect_if(all,linkedFrom(that),$Name)

6 posts were split to a new topic: SheetPlanner (topic split)

very interesting…

I am also a huge fan of ECCO, rip. I still run it occasionally on Mac via Crossover, but it is def starting to fray around the edges. Right now I’m trying to do something similar with TB Outline views with columns.

I will check out sheetplanner, too. I’m a sucker for cool tools.

I use Outline+Column a lot but I don’t think it is currently (nor probably should be?) designed as a spreadsheet-type view. Put another way, I use it heavily but with care so as not to overload things - especially as my research docs have 000s of notes and many user attributes & KAs.

The point being that ‘column’ are an enhancement to Outline view and not a primary view in their own right. So, before planning a workflow needing new column-view features it’s probably best to check with Eastgate directly as to the likelihood of success. Otherwise, the danger is that—out of good intent—we end up making fragile workarounds for things that perhaps ought to be formally supported features.

Having used I use Outline+Column view a lot, I should clarify. I mainly use columns for:

  • Allowing quick (scrolling) cross-check of completion of specific KAs when doing qualitative ‘coding’ of research data
  • Checking (again via scrolling) for missing/inconsistent data. Sometimes a visual scan is faster/easier than trying to figure the correct query to ferret out edge-cases.

Note that neither of these is used for time/diary management and GTD type work. That’s not to put anyone off … needs vary.

Is it possible to have the Rule generate a clickable URL to the linked note?

@eastgate @mwra May be one day we see the ability to, say, use a $Tag-Column that allows for filtering Tags while typing (to avoid instantiating a Tag twice). Or even more helpful for quickly changing $Container.

That alone would ECCOfy the already great Tinderbox-Experience that is provided through the given column-feature.

Alright, @eastgate. That works well. Thank you.

By doing this, aren’t we actually pretty close to some sort of table-of-content(=TOC)-like-feature?

Say, we do: $Text=$MySet.format(/n) and then have the “Blinken” and “Nod” become hyperlinked to the respective note.

NB: $MySet.format (/n) is not working to get the notes names one name per line. How to use the .format(…) correctly?

Did you mean:




I don’t think the former will work as format strings are always quoted.

(mod: corrected escape character typo)

Does not work for me.


If I understand correctly, you are asking that column ‘cells’ would have KA-type value pop-ups?

Ah - you’ve got the wrong escape characters. You’re using a slash - it should be a backslash:


Sorry, limited scope for testing live code right now as dealing with connectivity issues.

correct. that’s what I meant

thanks @mwra that did do the trick

I see. It would be nice, but my hunch this is asking for an add-on to the add-on that is Outline_Column, when probably what is needed is a view designed from the ground up as a more spreadsheet-like interface. I’d love to be wrong. I’d certainly use such a feature if it got added.

Maybe @eastgate is reading this. It definitely would be a great and appreciated feature.

If your tags are stored in a Set attribute, there’s no danger of adding the same tag twice.