Tinderbox Forum

Tried "watching" a DEVONthink Pro Office Folder...frozen...help

I just purchased TB this morning for a new project; zero TB experience. I’ve already used DEVONAgent Pro search query results to create a group in DEVONthink Pro Office. I had set up a TB project with some notes, etc. Had one note labeled to capture the DTPO files and used the Watch function for DTP and pasted in the link to the group in DTPO. Things began to happen, then they didn’t. A lot of things seemed to be importing and I got my hopes up, but it just froze and nothing else happened. I waited and waited and waited and finally had to force quit TB. It froze every time I opened it. Finally I had to throw the TB project I had created in the trash so I could open TB without freezing. I’ve no idea what I did wrong, but what work I had done is now gone. If you have an idea what I did wrong, I’d appreciate it.

Also, I can’t seem to find a complete example of linking a DTPO folder to a container in TB to see whether I screwed up a step. Does anyone know of anything like that?

Sorry to be such a newbie, but thanks in advance for any help.


There others here with more expertise … but I don’t believe you can watch at DT folder. You can watch a DT group. I’ll let someone more expert explain the difference.

Welcome aboad the Tinderbox community. Suffice it to say what you’re trying to do isn’t where most folk start (i.e. not the simplest Tinderbox task), but I quite understand it’s nonetheless the thing you need to do now. Hopefully your fellow users here can get you sorted. :grinning:

Hi, thanks for your comment. I meant group; I think all DT folders are called groups by them anyway. You are correct, this might be a bit ambitious, but I figured since it was built in, rather than me building it, I might be able to make it work. I was wrong apparently, LOL.

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You’re right – technically DEVONthink has no folders, they are all groups. (For a reason – they are not containers of actual physical files, they are a virtual presentation, generated on the fly, of related files stored physically somewhere else.) But folks in the DEVONthink world colloquially use both terms interchangeably.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. The real question is how many documents were stored in the DEVONthink group and of what sort. If you had 230 PDFs with 20 pages each, then Tinderbox might have heartburn. If you only had 3 plain text notes – failure isn’t reasonable. Also, watching doesn’t always do well with webarchives due to dreck in the webarchive format.

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Thanks Paul! There are 168 documents, a mixture of PDF+Text and HTML files. I’ve rebuilt part of what I had before and am trying again. I’ll give it an hour or two?

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I meant to ask…Is there any better way to do this than Watching the group?

Sorry to sound stupid, but what is “this”? What are your intentions with your Tinderbox document? Take notes on all those files? Map them? Something else? The intention matters because it informs what you do next.

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You don’t sound stupid, I’m likely just ignorant. Perhaps I’m approaching this the wrong way, but I thought if I imported my “raw” search folder from DTPO, then I could go through them in TB and select the ones I will actually use to go into another container as the project proceeds. Perhaps ascribe an agent on another container that sees some attribute I set for the selected files from the other container and puts the usable ones in there. Does that make any sense?

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So, if I was doing this I would take care of sorting the documents into keeper and losers in DEVONthink. And probably move the keepers into other more groups with more granular focus.

Since you are using DEVONagent in conjunction with DEVONthink you might consider a different approach. After the DEVONagent search completes, select everything in the results window and use Data > Summary to export to a single group in DEVONthink a set of RTF notes that summarizes each item found by DEVONagent (usually in around 200 words) plus a link to the original document on the web.

Then, in Tinderbox, watch the group in DEVONthink where you stored the summaries. First thing, is you get DEVONagent to make the summaries for you as a starting point. Second, you get a nice concise file to work with for your note taking, and third you have a link that will take you to the document if you want it. (Also, on High Sierra with a MacBook or MacBook Pro you can force press the web link and see a preview of the source document – internet connection required.)

If you decide you want to retrieve a particular document, select the summary file for that document in DEVONthink and use DEVONthink’s Script > Download > Convert URLs to PDF Documents. If you do this in the watched group, then Tinderbox will eventually get copy of the downloaded document.

Just a few suggestions that might make the process more pleasant.

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Thanks for the info, I’ll give that a try! Clearly what I’m doing isn’t working, I still have a spinning rainbow, although it looks like something was happening. The agent seems to have a bunch of document icons within its representation. I guess it will take me a while to figure out how to make TB useful for this risk assessment project.

Not sure what this means.

I think I meant the container that has the Watch applied to it. Icons of the contents are in it.

If you meant the Tinderbox container watching the DEVONthink folder, then icons within that container are the new Tinderbox notes generated to reflect the content of the watched DEVONthink content. Note that TB watched groups and watched folders are not classed as agent in Tinderbox.

I tried using this feature myself and experienced the same results. Watching a DevonThink group that has a decent amount of content stalls the program. It threw an exception the first attempt. It looks like this feature doesn’t really work. I only tried this because I was trying to find out more about DevonThink integration and saw this specific feature on a bullet list for 7.3 features. I’m trying to decide whether to purchase or not, so I’m just kicking the tires.

Make sure that $AutoFetch is not on for the DT group you’re Watching. That can cause the symptoms you’re seeing as TB keeps checking for changes.

Long-timer user here. The feature works. Works well.

But, what is “a decent amount of content”? How many files, size of the data load, types of files.

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You don’t want to watch a hundred long documents — especially not a hundred long documents that don’t change very often.

Watching is meant for resources that might change often — a student term paper assignment sheet, the filename of the latest Tinderbox update — or for modest collections of short notes that change often, such as a folder in your Notes app.

If you have long and complex documents in DEVONthink, that’s terrific: DEVONthink is meant to act as a repository. Instead of importing them to Tinderbox, consider referring to them in your Tinderbox notes.

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Thank you for the clarification.