Tinderbox Forum

Triangle Map Shapes?

Before starting to develop a particular map, I had some “pre-visualization” ideas in my head centered on a triangular shaped note with smaller notes of various shapes linking to that center (providing commentary about various characteristics of that centered triangular note. When I started sketching it out in TB, I was surprised to discover that TB (out of the box) does not appear to provide triangular map shapes. Would it be possible to add an triangular map shape (adjustable by drag in shape, scope, size as are the other shapes)?

Thank you for considering.

I’ve thought about triangles, but they’re tricky for locating the text.

If you’d like triangles in Tinderbox maps, please make a quick sketch – as rough as you like – of a Tinderbox map that uses triangles well. You can do it on the back of an envelope, or a $20 bill, or just use Acorn or Graffle or whatever. Send it here asap and we’ll see what we can do.


Thank you for your quick reply. I apologize. I didn’t think about creating an triangle image adornment. I have Graffle and use it (though less often since having TB and map view). For now, I’ve created an image adornment with Graffle. Once I have this map fleshed out, I’ll send you a copy showing the Triangle in context. It might be a few weeks, but I’ll keep this in my inbox as a task.

Thank you for your help… more later.

In the particular map I’m envisioning above (which is still a work in progress) I envision a triangular shape positioned in the center with containers positioned strategically around it. Each of the surrounding containers are linked to each other in ways expressing a conceptual interplay between them. Further, each of the surrounding containers relies on t

he triangular entity at the map’s center. While I can link the surrounding containers to each other, while using an image adornment for the triangular center of the map, because adornments do not link, I cannot link from that center out to the surrounding containers to express the interrelationship between the triangular center the external containers.

So, I noticed that I could accomplish the same goal (using a triangular shaped image adornment within my overall map and have it behave like a note) if adornments linkable (then I wouldn’t need a built in triangular shape). Are there technological reasons why adornments are not linkable? Can they not be made to be linkable? Or are there limitations inherent in the nature of adornments that prevent them from being made to be linkable?

If it’s possible to make adornments linkable, then not only would it solve “my current challenge” with this particular map, but it would open up a host of additional functionality in TB that could be leveraged in an unlimited number of contexts.

Pulling this off may create a larger technical challenge that I realize. I’ll certainly yield to your wisdom about how realistic it is to even consider.

Thank you for your hard work. TB remains one of the most powerful and yet flexible applications I’ve seen anywhere.

I also attached an image of the map under construction (note… no links from the center adornment outward to the outlying containers).

The challenge is not so much technical as conceptual; adornments are intended to be a different sort of object from notes.

But linking to a triangle has its own problems – and those problems are a big part of why we don’t currently use a triangular shape. All the Tinderbox shapes currently have links that depart from the centers of the edges of their bounding box. (That’s a mouthful!) This works very well for most shapes, but it’s really bad for at least two sides of any triangle.

That could be overcome, of course.

There’s also the problem of the triangle’s text label. It’s tricky to set text inside lots of these shapes, but again triangles are a headache.

We’ll think some more!

Thank you for the explanation. That makes sense. I’ve experienced the same triangles and linking issues while using Graffle. So, I understand something of the complexity. I did see someone else ask for a 3rd entity type (not an Adornment, not a new node type, but a 3rd entity type). I don’t know if the answer lies somewhere in that direction or not. I’ll keep thinking as well.