November 12, 2005
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Tinderbox Prototypes

Tinderbox Prototypes
In Tinderbox, a note may be a prototype for other notes. A note is almost exactly like a copy of its prototype -- except when you tell the note to be different.

The connection between note and prototype is live: if you change a prototype, the change will be seen right away in every note that's based on the prototype -- excepting, of course, notes that already have changed that property themselves. A note can always override its prototype. Any note can be a prototype.

Prototypes are very simple but they're also very powerful. You can put shared information in one place and share it in many notes. If you need to change it, you make one change, not many.

Some prototypes I use in this weblog:

I didn't plan these prototypes in advance. Over time, I discovered opportunities to save time and typing by adding prototypes. This weblog now generates several RSS feeds -- the main feed, the book feed -- and so there'll probably be an RSS prototype someday.

Naturally, prototypes can have prototypes themselves. So, if you have a prototype for Tasks you want to do, it's easy to create a new prototype for UrgentTasks you need to get done right now, or DelegatedTasks, or ChoresYouWillNeverDoAgain if you can help it.