June 30, 2010
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Tinderbox Comments

We’ve been having a bit of a discussion about Twig and Tinderbox over at the Scrivener forum. A lot of chatter concerns price, which I’ve already discussed here. Ben Worthington, a London barrister, addresses some other Things People Say:

I have never really understood the complaints about Tinderbox's supposed 'ugliness'. Even at their default settings, the maps are really quite good to look at. Plus, you can beautify them in many different ways.

As for the UI, I just don't see what the issue is. The small toolbar isn't exactly gorgeous, but after all, its just a toolbar! Does anyone care that much? What it needs to do, it does well - for instance, I cannot see how the linking button and associated parking bays could be any better implemented.

There are lots of other examples of well thought out UI, some of them more recent additions; the typeahead search, inline editing, the ability to see into and manipulate containers from the level above, and so on.

Personally, I have no problem with the approach eastgate has adopted with the UI. I would much rather have a simple but (in my opinion) well implemented UI than a fake spiral bound notebook splashed across my laptop screen. I have to use Tinderbox at work, sometimes sat in a Court room, and need to be taken seriously.

As for price, I sometimes wonder whether the complaints are more about context; anything that has a price attached represents poor value if you buy it and don't use it. I certainly wouldn't recommend buying Tinderbox if you do not have a clear idea of what you might need it for. I am using Tinderbox to help me manage a legal dispute worth £15m. For me, in that context, the price of the licence represents something of a bargain.