The marmot is made with Tinderbox, the tool for notes. It's a remarkable application, very powerful. I've been using it for about 20 years now, and I've only ever really mastered maybe five percent of it's capabilities.

Partly to learn more about Tinderbox, partly to add some social interaction during the time of COVID, (I know, it's still "the time of COVID.") I started attending the virtual Zoom meetups held on alternating Saturdays and Sundays at noon Eastern US time. It's an eclectic group of really smart people, and it's usually hosted by the developer Mark Bernstein and coordinated or stage-managed by a Tinderbox virtuoso, Michael Becker. Always in attendance is Mark Anderson, perhaps the only other person who rivals Mark Bernstein or Michael Becker in his intimate knowledge of the application.

The user community is very helpful, and I always come away having learned something new about Tinderbox. It's not always something I can use, given my application is mainly the marmot, but I can appreciate the power and flexibility the tool affords.

One of the "big fucking deals" about PKM (personal knowledge management) is linking. I get it, mostly. "It's all about the graph, baby." (Insert Always Sunny in Philadelphia meme here.) But I don't do much linking within the marmot. I'll occasionally link to something I posted on the web, if it's still at the top of my mental stack, or not too many registers deep; but mostly if I link, it's to something someplace else on the web and never an interior link within the file.

There's a sophisticated facility for internal linking within Tinderbox, and it gets a fair amount of attention at the meet-ups. I've appreciated watching the demos, but never felt very excited about anything until today.

In the screenshot below is the view one is afforded of a note when you invoke CMD-7, which is listed only as Links in the Window menu. (I think this should go in the Note menu, but what do I know?) I've seen it demo'ed before, but I've never used it until today.

As the meet-up is going on, I'll often be "multi-tasking," doing something else while Becker is demo'ing a feature at Mach 5. He'd asked attendees to make notes in the chat about things they found interesting or useful, to help him when he wrote up the summary that will accompany the video when it's posted. Someone typed CMD-7 in the chat. I didn't know why that was interesting, so I popped over to the Marmot and hit CMD-7. This is the result:

Screenshot of a Tinderbox note showing the Links panel.

Holy guacamole! I had never seen that before! Or never made the connection, because I never think about internal links. To be clear, I had seen this note view before, but I'd never seen "Suggested" populated with anything that "suggested" it would be relevant to me. Hah! "Little did he know..."

The Marmot, and it's antecedent, Groundhog Day, are basically a stream of consciousness, a "river of views." I seldom revisit a note or a post, with some exceptions. Not because I don't want to, just because what I do here is quick and dirty. Except when it's not, which isn't often. I have an itch to blog something, I scratch it and move on.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

This "Suggested" column is interesting! Amazing! Wonderful! I was actually compelled to click on those posts. They open up in a little window of the notes text. If you click away from them, they disappear. If you move them, they open up in their entirety in their own little window! You can have as many of them open as there are in the list if you have the screen real estate.

This facility was something of a revelation to me, and it's possible I'm making too much of it. But I think it's tremendously useful in suggesting to me that some of the things I've blogged about before may be relevant to this post. And by clicking on those notes, I get a chance to "see what I thought."

The Marmot is just a blog, it's not a journal, not an intimate conversation with myself. Though, if it were, I could see where this feature might be even more useful as one develops a corpus of some size. The Marmot, as of a few paragraphs ago, was this size:

Screenshot of the Marmot as a Tinderbox document showing its size.

(The "links" are all web links. Nearly all of them outbound.)

377,000 words or thereabouts, it's possible I may have mentioned one or two topics more than once!

Anyway, just surprised and delighted this afternoon. Something that is rather unusual of late, so a happy occasion.

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 14:18 Saturday, 18 February 2023