Tinderbox Forum

Tinderbox Meetup: SATURDAY August 20

Time: SATURDAY, August 20, 2022 12:00 noon Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Bring your projects and puzzlements. Let the community lend a hand.

9 AM Pacific Time
Noon Eastern time
1300 São Paulo
1600 UTC
1700 London
1800 Paris
2130 Dehli

Beginners especially welcome!

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Does anyone have any specific topics they want me to prepare for? If not, I’ll come up with something.

Hello Michael, thanks for your invitation. I’m not sure to be able to be there on this saturday, but I was wondering if there would be a way to use a YAML-Tinderbox template in order to export a Tbx file via Pandoc or RStudio that I use to compile texts using a composite of Markdown and Latex markups. Indeed, I recently switched from Latex to Markdown: as you know, this combination allows me to output both a nice and temporary Latex work document and a standard Word document which most of journals wait for without adding, then removing manually every Latex markup. I know that I can insert a YAML frontmatter into aTbx note and a References section in a backmatter note, but it’s not very convenient and may cause confusion when it comes to distinguish between notes strictly speaking and markups notes.

I suppose there must be some technical trick to integrate it as a part of Tbx structure, maybe creating a macro? I don’t know if you didn’t already make a video about it. You made one about exporting a Latex file. If you think it could be interesting for some scholars, I’d be glad to see it in action. Below, the YAML frontmatter I use for my articles and the pdf which results from.

title: "My title"
    latex_engine: xelatex
    citation_package: biblatex
    toc: yes
    toc_depth: 4
    number_sections: yes
    toc: yes
    toc_depth: '4'
    df_print: paged
    toc: yes
    toc_depth: 4
date: "August 18th"
bibliography: Myreferences.bib
biblio-title: Références, heading=bibintoc
fontsize: 12pt
geometry: left=4cm,right=4cm,top=4cm,bottom=4cm
linestretch: 1.2
toc-title: Plan
links-as-notes: yes
link-citations: yes
- \usepackage{fontspec}
- \setmainfont{Arial}
- \usepackage{fancyhdr}
- \pagestyle{headings}
- \fancyfoot[LE,RO]{\thepage}
- \usepackage [french]{babel}
- \usepackage[backend=biber,style=apa]{biblatex}
- \DeclareLanguageMapping{french}{french-apa}
- \DefineBibliographyExtras{french}{\restorecommand\mkbibnamefamily}
- \setlength\parskip{0.5ex}
- \setlength{\parindent}{2.5ex}

# Introduction

## Problème

A reference taken from my bibliography [@Assoun1981].

## Enjeu

## Plan

# Développement

# Conclusion

# References

Seeing a top-left ("Frontmatter’) to bottom-right (“Backmatter”) in your map, I just want to check you’ve seen my pages describing Outline vs. Map Interface. They include how the outline $OutlineOrder is reflected in a map . It doesn’t direct alter you export process but might affect how you ensure sibling (same map!) items are exporting in the correct order.

†. TL;DR, it is the Z-axis, i.e the front-to back stacking order. Note too, that adornments have their own stacking order behind all other map view elements on any given map (oh, and adornments don’t export).

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I think I saw that page about Outline and Map as I have that difference in mind when I go from Map view to Outline. But, the fact is that, seeing this page, I see that I forgot I could use too a separator and insert a YAML into it:

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Nice idea!

The key point, especially for members of the community who primarily/only use map view is it is easy to assume {x,y} map position affects (export, i.e. outline, order) but it doesn’t. Indeed, that—back in v4 days, was why I wrote those notes on map/outline differences. :slight_smile:

I hope someone is able to answer your bigger question re Markdown, LaTeX, etc.

Hi there, nice ideas posted here. What is your end goal? To produce a latex or markdown file? Is your end goal a Word doc? If so, you can go straight from Tinderbox markdown to HTML and then have Pandoc process the HTML and convert it to a Word doc. In this workflow you would NOT have the YAML in Tinderbox, rather, it would be an external file you’d have pandoc pull during the conversation phase. I do this all the time. Have developed a variety of attributes and stamps to modify the output depending on the goal. There are some other tricks I’ve learned, like custom divs so that word recognizes the heading in the file ad maps them to the Word template headings, Finally, what citation format do you use? I’ve recently refined an APA compliance stylesheet, pretty cool! It formats citations and headings, e.g. 4 and 5, properly. Once I have a better idea of what the ultimate end goal is I can explain further.

Of course you could create the external file from the Tinderbox document. You’d just need to ensure it was properly exported before exporting the main HTML document. Not suggesting one must, but it’s possible and it gives you the same flexible authoring for both exports.

I saw a video you made about converting a Tinderbox document written with markdown and HTML templates to a Word doc. It’s very useful. The reason why I don’t use this workflow is that, in my own writing experience, document appearance matters a lot and I really don’t feel comfortable with Word document look. For a moment, I tried to use Mellel, great word processor, but it was to mimic Latex look and as I examine every last detail, I found too many esthetics inconsistencies in the final layout that it was easier to use Latex directly. That’s why I wrote my doctoral thesis using a completely rewritten Latex template. But, recently, I found markdown much more simple to use than Latex markups, even if I can’t do without those ones as the process to output a Latex layout requires to set a Latex front and backmatter.
That said, ideally, I’d like to use a Tinderbox file with a markdown structure combined to a YAML template. In this way, I could write down my notes in Tinderbox and output a Latex document. As @mwra said, it would require to use an external file as I do, I suppose, with external Latex files.
In the screenshot below, certainly clearer than I can say in English, my current writing workflow:

Love the diagram! It shows how many ‘moving parts’ there are even if with time/practice we no longer ‘see’ them all as we work.

I noticed reference to R.studio. Althuogh you are using it for word generation, R.Studio’s genesis in the R (what is R?) community offers a link to use of Markdown for content generation. See:

That might offer some new avenue/simplifications. I can’t give more detail as I’ve not yet had time to do more that look at the ever views.

For those whose domain is more sciences/empirical (i.e. not as above) the R Markdown/Bookdown approach draws on the approach of active documents as seen in thinks like Jupyter Notobooks (Python-based).

As proof positive, I belive some (all) of the Routledge/CRC Press ‘R Series’ books are generated—i.e. formally published—using the above methods, e.g. here.

†. R: What is R?

Mark, thanks for the hints!
And: Have you come across Quart Pub (https://quartopub.com), which is even more de rigeur these days, offering a further avenue to publishable format?

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Interesting. How does one research this as home page offers a sign up only! I’m a bit wary of providing info to an unknown/undescribed service. Ah, not linked from home page is this Quarto - Publishing Basics which gives:

Is Quarto free to use?
Yes! Quarto is open source with a GPL-2 license. You can use or disseminate it any way that you would any GPL-2 licensed open source software.

So, force sign-up for a free service. What is the web coming to? :roll_eyes:

But, that aside this looks like a web-based doc production service built atop pandoc. so, yes, interesting!

[digging further home page fail is a 404 on some JavaScript library as page has no content as is all generated on the fly. Hubris.]

Sad I can’t make this weekend’s meet. But if you get into discussing export/publishing of Tinderbox material, I think there’s an aspect overlooks as it is too easily wrapped into tool features rather than being seen as structure. This relates to pretty much all non-body text and in no particular order:

  • Table of Contents
  • Running headers/footers
  • Pagination page numbering (and ToC page links)
  • Referencing/citing/bibliographies
  • Screen vs hidden (link) targets, i.e. can the URL of the target be seen without following it (or at all in on actual paper)
  • Endnotes, chapter endnotes, or (page) footnotes plus forward/back interlinks.
  • Permalinks

The above are often hard, impossible in many workflows, to implement. Though many have a root in print era practice many still have a use. Some need change, endnotes/footnotes being the most obvious candidate.

If we’re just writing a shopping list for a sandwich or blogging about the sandwich we made, the permalink is the one thing we generally need. But moving up the formality chain to the likes of academic publication, the above affordances are mandatory so need to be available those who use them. Whilst I don’t think Tinderbox should be trying to service them all, methods like paddock pandoc and sidecar info (e.g. YAML data etc.) can probably provide the necessary info, i.e meaning we can create the source data all in the same TBX.

For general web use I’d love a means for (template-based?) transforms to insert a pages’ footnote notes as an include but _importantly with in-page links/return links and a means to shifting to-footnote anchors in $Text to superscript numbers. This implies on-export number generation. I think @satikusala emerging report creation method offers one such way, though it’s embedded in a system so perhaps overkill for some users.

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I too love this workflow, very powerful. For clarity’s sake, my workflow is similar, but I try to keep as much of it in Tinderbox as possible (see image below). This way I keep all the rewrites in one place (I have had an automated drafts method setup that gives me over 50 verbal affirmations each time I create a draft).

One day I’d love to learn the other tools and play with Latex, but so far I’ve been able to centralize nearly all my work through Tinderbox.

The key success factor in this, for me, was to focus on the separation of content, structure, and appearance; to learn markdown, HTML, CSS, and regex. It has taken a while, but I’ve boiled my temples down to just a few cascading templates that can create outlines, pull pictures, and tables, adjust to apa and Chicago styling, import in citations, and more.

I would really love to see your process in action. Maybe we could schedule a call in a few weeks or you could share it during one of the meetups.


Cab you explain these a bit more?

Darned auto-correct! What I meant was the same TBX can both store/export the data needed to inform pandoc how to process your main export, and do the main export. The term ‘sidecar’ is general usage—perhaps too informal—to refer to metadata stored outside a file either because the format doesn’t allow embedding or because the user doesn’t have the tools/permissions to insert such data into a file.

Hopefully that clarifies things and sort of the auto-correct typo, now fixed.

†. Sorry, didn’t meant to be obscure. IIRC the term gained traction in the early days of image/photo metadata such as EXIF when most image editing tools could not embed/process such data (or do so correctly, as ‘standards’ were in flux).

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Thank you for this suggestion. Interesting meetup today as usual!

Video on Vimeo: Tinderbox Meetup 20 August 2022 on Vimeo

The video can also be found here, along with an intricate sample template: Tinderbox Meetup - Sat. Aug. 20, 2022: Importing, Explode, and RegEx - #4 by satikusala