Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

Figuring Out Tinderbox Export

At the same time as I was finishing up work on the new version of my site using Tinderbox, a few threads popped up on the Tinderbox forum talking about the perceived difficulty of Tinderbox export. This got me thinking yet again about the source of all the trouble—which I’m on the record as considering real and not real—and which led me to jot down metaphorical thoughts about car dealers and Mad Libs. I also tried to describe what I see as the fundamental difference between TBX’s export and other common tools for working with text.

Once I had that out of my system, I decided to offer up a short series of posts that will try to show how basic export works. Obviously there are other examples and instructions available in the TBX help files and in Mark Anderson’s TbRef and elsewhere. What I think is different about my series is that I work backwards from the desired output rather than forward from a note. This flipped order makes a big difference in how we conceptualize what Tinderbox is doing during export and I think working this way resolves a lot of the difficulty we experience.

Each post will begin by creating a concrete instance of the desired output. Once this instance is written, I show how to transform it into an export template that will generate the same output from any note.

I’ll be using this sample file throughout.

The post I’m planning show how to:

I’ll close out with a few thoughts about what’s involved in exporting to the web.

Posted July 8, 2017