Tinderbox Forum

Text by itself in a map

I’m just reconnecting with Tinderbox, and I confess I’ve never exactly been expert in its use.

I have a Tinderbox file with throwaway stuff. I’m working on agents for a to-do system.

There is a text box present in map view, and I’m not sure how it got there or how to delete it. This text appears in the root map view, and also in every container I navigate into. When I click on the text, it gains a blue rectangular border.

If I edit the text, it changes in every container.

And, late breaking news, while writing this I switched back to Tinderbox and drug the text thing - and it disappeared. It no longer appears anywhere, which is good.

What the heck was that? A title, maybe? I couldn’t find the text in the inspector.

Could you post the TBX file here.

That’s not as unambiguous terms as you might have intended.

That is simply the app—indeed, the OS—telling you that box has input focus. What box it is we have yet to clarify.

This is most indicative of prototype inheritance: if a note inherits from a prototype, when a value changes in the prototype it changes in all notes using that prototype.

If things are changing everywhere, you may also unintentionally be changing the default value of note attributes (e.g. via the Document Inspector’s system or user tab), i.e. as a result for all notes, instead of changing the value just for the current note. Don’t worry, such mistake are easily made when nothing much in an app is familiar. Another problem is terminology, which why a screen grab or a TBX file would help other’s here figure out what you’re describing so we can align our terminology and thus adress the problem leading to this thread. :slight_smile:

Mark, thank you for your time.

This may remain a mystery until I can duplicate it. When I tried to drag the mystery text, it disappeared. I have not yet been able to cause this to happen again.

In the attached Tinderbox file, find the note titled “Something strange.”

Until it disappeared from dragging about one inch, there was bold text with the word “test” (or whatever I edited it to be) just above the Something strange note.

If I clicked on the bold text, it gained a blue focus box, just like the title of a note gets a blue box when you click on it, but no resize handles appeared - sometimes.

When the resize handles appeared, they would appear on the last note that had the focus. For instance, in map view click on Something strange, then click on the map background to dismiss the focus. Then click on the mystery text. The mystery text would get a blue rectangle, the size of whatever text was currently there. Resize handles, if they appeared, would appear on Something strange.

I had tried to drag the text before, but it wouldn’t move. Then I tried one last time to drag it and it disappeared.

The text did not appear in any view except map. Is it possible for an adornment to have a title located somewhere in the middle of the adornment? If the adornment were huge, I wouldn’t have seen its resize handles, but that leaves the mystery of why a seemingly unassociated note would get resize handles when the text was clicked.

The Todo system container is experimentation with agents. In the Prototypes container I was playing with multiple prototypes. None of it is real work.

I didn’t get a screen capture while this was going on. My apologies for very incomplete information. I completely understand if it’s not possible to draw any conclusions.

If there is a way to get a blue box around text without visible resize handles, that might be of interest.

Thanks again for your time. Once I get my feet on the ground with Tinderbox I’ll try to repay your kindness forward with more coherent contributions here in the future.
numbers station.tbx (100.9 KB)

Thanks for the file.

An adornment is something I considered, but your file appears to have none. This is what an adornment looks like when selected and its title is in edit mode (I use macOS light mode):

The blue is indicating the title part of the attribute is in edit mode. Typing there is the same as changing its $Name attribute via the Inspector, Get Info, action code, etc.

Here, I’ve set the adornment’s $Name to “An adornment” and its border colour and width (see the relevant Inspector):

You can centre the horizontal alignment of the adornment title:

But, as far as I know, you cannot set it vertically. SoI’d say ‘No’ to your question.

Also, you can’t make an adornment by mistake, e.g. there no shortcut. To make an adornment you actually have to call a relevant menu item in the app.

Please define ‘blue box’. Is this around the whole object, like in the bordered adornment above? A focus marker around a text input box, as in the first grab or something else?

I’ve checked and you seem to have no adornments, or hover expressions in use.

BTW, no apologies needed, as the forum is here to help. Everyone here had to start out the same way. Everything’s difficult when you don’t know what your don’t know or how the app community describes things. :slight_smile:

Aside, from your doc, I’ve one small observation on your agent queries. For instance, you have in agent “Due in future” this query:

  1. Although queries are written in action code, there use some =slightly different syntax and do not need or want semicolons at the end. Tinderbox will usually spot and fix that error but try to avoid adding semicolons in queries (only!).
  2. date($DueDate), the date()`` wrapper isn't needed, though it does no harm. Here you are testing the value of each note's 'DueDate' attribute (i.e. $DueDate`) which is already stored in Date-type format as is shown in the Inspector:

Also you can check my aTbRef, for instance the page on DueDate.

You will also see your agent is finding pretty much all the notes in the document. One way to cut that down might be to put all your to-do items ender one container (side note - get to know Outline view, don’t get trapped in one view type only). So we might put all to-do items under a root-level container ‘TASKS’. So from this:

to this, below—I’ve also added the built-in prototype ‘Event’ (via the File menu) and added to to the to-do items:

Now we can do a query like:

$Prototype=="Event" & $DueDate>date("today")


descendedFrom("TASKS") & $DueDate>date("today")

or, if TASKs also has non-task items in it:

descendedFrom("TASKS") & $Prototype=="Event" & $DueDate>date("today")

But, wait. Our agent is still finding notes like ‘something strange’, but they don’t have a date for $DueDate, at least on a real date. An unspecified Date-type attribute has a default value of “never” which if bigger or smaller than any real data value (see more). So let’s filter those ‘never’ date’s out:

descendedFrom("TASKS") & $Prototype=="Event" & $DueDate!="never" & $DueDate>date("today")

Another tip shown in the above is ‘scoping’ the query. Each ‘term’ or part, is reducing the number of notes checked. The first term tests the entire document, the second, only those matching the first term (i.e. a smaller total), and so on.

Your agent also (re-)sets the note colour ($Color) to the default like so:

$Color ="normal";

That is correct, but the more normal way to reset, as shown here, is like so:


I hope that help you progress a bit faster. Do ask about asking if it doesn’t make sense and remember pretty much everything is described in aTbRef.

Thank you for your detailed response. I believe it all makes perfect sense.

The blue box was like a focus marker around the text without a surrounding object appearing. The only change in the appearance of the screen from clicking on the text was the blue box and a flashing text input cursor. Sometimes another note would appear to have the focus - it got handles - but the only focus box would be on the mystery text.

My sense is that agent queries and actions are going to be pretty easy once I get a little farther along. I’m really looking forward to what Tinderbox will do.