March 18, 2005
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Tinderbox Rules

The new Tinderbox lets notes and containers have rules.

Tinderbox containers have actions that they perform on notes that are added to (or created inside) the container. Rules are a lot like actions, but they're performed all the time.

Under the hood, Tinderbox keeps a big list of rules it wants to run. Periodically, it runs a bunch of rules. If your machine is slow or busy, Tinderbox will just take a little more time to work through its list.

Rules do some of the same things that agents do. But while agents scan all your notes, rules usually look only at a handful of neighbors. One rule might be, "Turn red if your container is red, but be blue otherwise." Another might be, "If you've got any children with a due date sooner than your own due date, use the child's due date as your own."

I expect rules will be a big help to a bunch of Tinderboxers. Of course, lots of people will rarely or never need them -- and that's fine. Tinderbox is like that! Learning when to use a rule, or an agent, or a container action, might take some practice. Nobody knows the rules yet. Good time to roll up the sleeves!