August 13, 2007

Tinderbox 4: Email from Tinderbox

We've been talking about one of the new Tinderbox 4 tutorials that shows how to send email from Tinderbox. This was originally conceived as chiefly an example — everyone understands what sending email entails — where "email" was a placeholder for "updating out special proprietary database application from Tinderbox."

But, actually, email is interesting. Here are some notes from Dr. Jonathan Leavitt:

Subject: I suppose this is pretty good!

At least when I'm at BZ's (and presumably at home) I can type lots of notes in Tinderbox and email them just by dragging them to the green box. But why do this from Tbox rather than doing it from Mac Mail?

  1. More versatility in note processing before I send the message out.
  2. Sent messages are already kept in Tinderbox and can be reorganized, whereas email has to be manually imported into Tinderbox note by note, titles written, etc.
  3. Using prototypes, I can set up key attributes, keywords, collections, and all that.
  4. Which makes me want to learn more about the Tinderbox 4.0 collections feature.
  5. I can email key tbox notes for reading when Tinderbox is closed, even on the iPhone.
  6. I can excerpt text from Tinderbox notes to other notes (dragging or exploding) and email the excerpts..
  7. I can specifically prepare Tinderbox-to-iPhone notes for reading when the laptop is put away.
  8. I can further edit notes like this one in Mail and then re-import it by dragging into tbox.

Another good reason: lots of Web services have email interfaces. This will only get bigger, because email is ideal for pushing information to read-mostly termini. That includes mobile devices, where reading is easier and also more common than composition, and also includes many kinds of low-intensity recipients, who need to see your message but probably won't need to respond.