Tinderbox Forum

What does Storyspace 3 offer that can't be done in Tinderbox 7?

Hello there! This is my first post in this forum, so sorry in advance if I appear “newbish”.

I’ve been checking out both Tinderbox 7 and Storyspace 3 trial versions; and I get that Tinderbox is primary an advanced notetaking app whereas Storyspace 3 is primary for creating hypertexts narratives (and I’m primary seeking an app for creating nonlinear narratives). However, it seems to me that Tinderbox 7 can be used in the exact same way as Storyspace 3 – so why would I buy both applications and not just Tinderbox 7?

I’ve been looking for information at the web regarding this question, but unfortunately in vain.

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Tinderbox lacks the read mode of Storyspace. Storyspace can run agents created in Tinderbox but can’t create them. Storyspace lacks Tinderbox’s extensive export mechanism. Additional views like Timeline, Attribute Browser and Treemap were intended for Tinderbox only (I believe) but may be accessible in Storyspace.

However the apps have a lot of overlap. Given your stated task, I’d assume Storyspace would be the better match. I’m not sure there are many Storyspace users currently in the forum so you might to better to ask this question directly of Eastgate.


Tinderbox doesn’t have Storyspace’s dynamic links – you wouldn’t want your notes to lock you out for some reason of their own!

Storyspace doesn’t have all the organization tools (like agents) and export facilities that Tinderbox uses.


I’ve used both TBX and Storyspace to write in, but currently use only TBX.

My experience and needs may be very different from yours. In my case, my choice boiled down to a decision about whether I needed the gated links or not. I realized that for now at least I could live without them, and so I’m using TBX for its export flexibility and because the things it does that StorySpace can’t are very useful.

The note decks in StorySpace are great enough almost to have tipped the balance though. So it’s a tough call.

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I’m on the brink of StorySpace purchase. I’ve reached a point on the Tinderbox learning curve ( thanks largely to the two Mark’s here, Brian, Paul and others on the forum) that I use it daily in my job ( meetings, tasks, newsletter production, staff file notes, etc…)
Outside of work I am completing my final year of a Masters in Creative Writing with the Open University. I have a variety of writing assignments ( largely short story fiction ) and hope to complete a novel ( 50k words down, circa 30k to go).
I’m guessing my learning curve for StorySpace should be easier but I would like to see some more code examples around Guard fields and a working example that contains decks.
So, does anyone have a stub-like file with some guard fields and decks ( which as far as I can tell are the USPs of StorySpace cf TBX) set up that they could post so that I can get a feel for how simple it is to direct/manipulate/guide readers around a creative space - tia

Oh – you’ll have no learning curve from the mechanics at all – the syntax and language are the same as Tinderbox uses, and a guard field is just a predicate, like an agent query — a boolean expression. (There was an older syntax for guard fields before Storyspace 3, but there’s no need for newcomers to bother with that).

On the road (at The Future of Text) right now – back next week

Thanks Mark - I’m ploughing through the Getting Started guide and enjoying the story of the link - I should have read this before posting - Enjoy the conference

I’ve purchased

From: http://themillions.com/2013/02/a-multiplicity-of-voices-on-the-polyphonic-novel.html

With each foray onto the Internet, each ping and clang, we are searching for meaning in a haystack of data, balancing perspectives, trying to find reason in a cacophony of opinion. Is it any wonder we are drawn to fiction that reflects this new way of being, to a form that’s uniquely suited to our fragmented and globalized century?

I’ve just finished reading the wonderful Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. Its narrative polyphony is presented symmetrically (abcde f edcba) whilst the film (also very good) had the ability to interleave the separate stories, and thus presents several of the story climaxes at the same time, increasing the drama.

It strikes me that StorySpace is well suited to a parataxis style of writing, forcing the reader to work harder, determine their own meaning, in perhaps what appears widely different presented narrative fragments.

Are there plans to present a ‘Reader’ which hides the mechanics of what is going on under the hood? ie that looks like an eReader?

FWIW, the app currently includes a Reader version. It can show both view and text pane and will respect the window state when opening a TBX file. IOW, you can save a TBX with only the text pane showing in Storyspace and it will open it in Reader. Of course, that doesn’t prevent the knowledgable reader to reveal the view pane. But it’s a stop-gap approach to your suggestion.

In the past, we’ve had readers with only the text pane. We’ll likely do that in the future, too. For now, you can close the view pane and Bob’s your uncle.