Tinderbox Forum

Working out a Tinderbox project via the forum: building out a college course

I’ve been somewhat familiar with Tinderbox for a while now, but I’ve never managed to get a significant project going with it.

As it turns out, in the spring I’m going to be teaching a computer security course. As an experiment, I’m going to try using Tinderbox to organize a lot of my ideas, lists of possible readings, sketches for lectures, ideas for exercises, and so on. I’ve got some ideas about what I can do with Tinderbox that make it especially interesting for this project, and we’ll see how it works.

As a related experiment, I’m going to do this here on the forum. My initial idea is to post here from time to time the Tinderbox file as it evolves, along with some commentary on what I did, why I did it, and what I learned about using Tinderbox in the process.

Along the way, feel free to ask questions, make suggestions, propose alternatives. The main focus here will be on the Tinderbox aspects. To start with, I’m willing to talk a bit about the content and the pedagogy as well, and we’ll see how it goes.

I have no idea how well, if at all, this will work!

Since this is public forum, I may leave out some things, such as details of assignments. I’d also appreciate it if we could keep the discussion just on the forum and not call a lot of attention to it outside the group, since it’s quite experimental.


Starting out

I started by creating some container notes for what I’ll be working on:

  • Introduction to computer security: this is the main one for working out the course. It will have subparts, of course.
  • Raw imports: This will be copies of the raw text imported along the way, so you can see how it gets transformed. Probably won’t be everything, just the parts where we get to see something interesting.
  • Commentary: I’m thinking that I’ll include my commentary notes in the file as well as posting them in the forum, at least in some form. It’s an experiment. We’ll see how it goes!

Note: I do most of my writing using Emacs with Org mode (specifically, Aquamacs, a version of Emacs on the Mac). For working here, what I’ll often do is export the Org mode version to Markdown for import. So you may see occasional artifacts from that.

Things I need to figure out

  • Setting up default fonts & sizes in new notes to be more readable

The Tinderbox file so far

2022-11-06 - compsec beginnings and a little import.tbx (100.6 KB)