June 21, 2008
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Tinderbox tasks

Some interesting outdoor applications of Tinderbox are being discussed today in the Tinderbox Forum.

First, a new Tinderbox fan uses Tinderbox to brainstorm a camping trip. Here's the improvised Tinderbox map, courtesy Skitch. On the one hand, the application is just for fun, but it’s also a real challenge: collaborative planning for multiple participants over time and space constraints is not an easy management challenge. It's nice to see how well Tinderbox supports an improvised agile-ist solution.

The Tinderbox Gardening discussion is flowering again Rafter T. Sass explains:

I use Tinderbox for ecological landscape design. I've entered a few hundred plants into a TBX file, with User Attributes for everything from human uses (like food, medicine, or coppice) to habitat and native range, to ecological function (like N-fixing, groundcover, insectary, etc.) to soil pH, light and moisture preferences.

I've used the amazing Edible Forest Gardens, Vol II, by Dave Jacke, as my main source for plant info.

Then I create custom agents for different site characteristics, and use the results to create polyculture guilds, with every ecological function taken care of by at least one plant species, and some food and medicine produced to boot.

Again, we might at first think this a fairly simple, casual application — the sort of task that leads some of my colleagues to believe that people mostly need simple software because "most people have simple needs." If you give people tools that let them address hard problems, they’ll take on the problems. If you don’t, they’ll just mow the lawn, or they’ll let the damn garden go to seed.