Tinderbox 4.1: What You See
Tinderbox 4.1 introduces a very interesting new attribute that lets you control what you see when Tinderbox displays a note. It's called the
All Tinderbox notes have a
Name. The name has two uses:
- It's displayed in outlines and maps and other views, so you can see what the note is about.
- If an agent, action, or rule needs to refer to some other note, it can use that note's name.
Sometimes, though, you'd like to change what you see in views.
DisplayExpression lets you display more than the
Name in views, but leaves the note's name unchanged.
For example, right now I'm setting up a program committee for WikiSym. This is the sort of task lots of researchers need to undertake from time to time. First, I need to imagine who I might like to have on the committee. I make a prototype for
Person and a container of possible candidates:
- Person (Key attributes: email, organization, country, invited,accepted)
- candidates (sets Prototype=Person; sorts by last name)
- M. Brillouin
- H. Lorentz
- W. Nernst
- E. Solvay
So, I can just jot down names as fast as I can think of them. Each new note is automatically assigned a prototype, and the notes all stay nicely sorted.
But how many people are in the list? I can always check the
ChildCount of the container, but I'd like to be able to see this at a glance. So, I add a
DisplayExpression to the prototype Person:
So my list now looks like like this:
1: M. Brillouin
2: H. Lorentz
3: W. Nernst
4: E. Solvay
Doug Miller invented a way to do this in earlier versions of Tinderbox, but his technique meant changing the Name of the note. That can be inconvenient if you need to refer to a note in an agent or an action; the new technique is cleaner and simpler.