November 17, 2005

Actions and Prototypes

A theme that arose repeatedly at Tinderbox Day Seattle was automatically setting prototypes. Tinderbox gives you several ways to choose prototypes -- or to choose them for you. It's interesting to examine some of the nuances you can express.

For example, let's suppose that some of your notes are Projects, and that a Project contains notes that describe Tasks you want to do.

The bottom line is that it's easy to build smart notebooks that can gradually adapt to the way you'd like to work. The prototypical Project can say, "notes added here are Tasks"; the project for DecemberDinnerParty can say, "notes added here are ShoppingTasks", and the note about asking your sister in Seattle to send a salmon can be automatically flagged by an agent as a PhoneTask. You don't need this power for every project (or weblog post, or research note), but it's nice to know it's there.