Tinderbox Forum

Weird Bug - Note contents swapped out with another note

First time this has happened to me -

One of my notes was suddenly corrupted - its entire contents were replaced by the contents of another note. This caused major consternation because the corrupted note happened to be a key text that I’d been annotating over the past few months; and its entire contents were replaced by another recently created note with just 67 words in it.
I didn’t press any key or shortcut combination, so I can’t explain what took place.

Undo had no effect.

Which btw I have noticed on many occasions; the Undo will suddenly cease to have any visible effect at all, leaving me in a quandary as to whether Tinderbox is changing some other note behind the scenes that I do NOT want changed.

I have also noticed several other little anomalies in behavior, for example when working on a particularly large Tinderbox file (with only one Agent - it’s basically a huge text repository), things will start to go awry in the sense that redraws to notes will not take effect until the note is deselected, and other similar behaviors.

Fortunately I was able to revert to a recently saved version of the file, I lost a few notes here and there but hopefully nothing I can’t recall over the 6-7 minute span. And I’ll never know what happened to completely swap out the contents of that key note, but I’m feeling a little leery now of going back in. What if some other note gets swapped out, and I don’t notice? This document has 1041 notes and growing, there’s no way I can remember it all.

Running ver. 7.5.4 (b328), latest version of High Sierra 10.13.6

Any suggestions?


I’ve used every beta since the app was re-written for v6.0 and never seen this, so it’s certainly not a common/known thing. Are you saying the note’s title was correct but only the text was wrong? Were key attributes affected? Anyway this is egregious enough an event that it’s best taken up with tech support rather than fellow users. I suggest you email support and if possible provide a copy of the TBX file in question (so support have a frame of reference).

Separately, it is possible (as at v7.5.4, in rare cases**) that if the user changes view selection while the app is updating the text view that the two views are out of synch. IOW, the view pane has note A selected and the text pane displays note B. Note A is undamaged, it just needs - until fixed - for the user to change the view selection again and the panes will be back in synch.

** I’ve only seen this in a large file (000s of notes), with notes using a lot of KAs and and a root level outline with a lot of columns putting the UI redraw process under load. I believe that in more common, smaller, TBXs such an edge case is unlikely to occur.

In large files - which are the sort of TBX I’m using daily - the app has more work to do. It can’t update the UI whilst the user is using it (i.e. making input) so it has to pick its moment. If the text pane appears to need refresh simply select a different note and then the original one as that forces the original note’s data. If the view pane appears to need a refresh, switch to a new tab and back. My experience is the former is a rare event, the latter very rare. Of course, in a file where causal conditions occur, you may see it consistently, but it’s a reflection of that TBX, not all TBXs. Most users won’t see this and should not worry about it. As above, if you’ve ongoing concerns about the file, contact support (if attaching the file it’s worth doing as a ZIP file - TBXs of text compress quite well)

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Thanks for your reply Mark.

  1. Yes, the note’s title was correct, but only the text was wrong. I didn’t check key attributes extensively - not beyond what were immediately observable in my Outline View at the time. But it looked as though only the note contents had been changed, yes. To re-confirm, I switched between 2-3 different currently opened tabbed views, as well as hit Undo/Redo a few times; upon which I saw the last edit I performed on the unaffected note now re-enacted on the affected (corrupted) note.
    In addition, it was quite clear when I went to the Attribute View that the texts and modification times of these two notes were the same, but the titles were different.
    Also, in Map View - the tiny text of the affected note in the view pane also displayed the incorrect text.
    After noting all this, I was pretty certain my note had been corrupted.

  2. When I tried to recover the last saved file, it didn’t come up right away. In fact, Tinderbox crashed and then again repeatedly on re-launch; and I was only able to get my file to open by choosing not to recover the most recent opened window.

  3. I have to eliminate user error. Since I hadn’t even copied the contents of the unaffected note into buffer, there’s no way I could’ve inadvertently pasted those text contents to the affected note. Nor was my cursor at the time active within the affected note. As I recall, I was simply moving between one of these and a third, unrelated note.

  4. I’ve experienced the UI update case you mention. I tend not to worry about that stuff, and ignore it until i’ve allowed the app to catch up, have unselected whatever note I was on, rechecked the screen and am assured everything is OK. I get that a lot and it’s a pretty unconscious process now; I work pretty fast between notes, and being old-school like that (using computers since the late 80’s) I usually hit Save after every few edits to notes, after every significant physical note re-positioning, and so on.

I have around 15-20 TBX’s and I find no issues in the smaller ones, but yes in the larger TBX files I see and adjust for stuff like that. Tinderbox is too valuable an app to me to not give it the occasional breather :slight_smile:

  1. I will keep an eye on the file, and revert to the Attribute Viewer from time to time to ensure it doesn’t recur. I will report to tech support should anything iffy happen.

Thanks again for the feedback!

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Not only have I never seen this, nothing like this has ever been reported over more than a decade of Tinderbox support queries.

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Noted, thanks Mark B. As mentioned, I’ll stay vigilant around this TBX for a bit; but of course I can’t imagine what happened, it’s as inexplicable to me as any minor miracle.

Have discovered another odd behavior with this TBX that seems related to my issue. Will email support and follow up.