I finished the previous post and set out on my morning walk. As I started, I wondered if Mark Anderson would be offended by what I wrote. I briefly considered turning around and writing this post then, but reconsidered and pressed on.

Lots of nuance in the "editorial voice" can be hard to convey in text. This morning's post was written in a lighthearted tone, almost joy, because I'd set out to learn something about PopClip, and hopefully make something useful (Success!), but ended up learning more about Tinderbox along the way.

And I wouldn't have learned anything without the valuable resource that is aTbRef. It's an enormous project, over many years, covering an application that has been evolving constantly over that time. Mark and I have corresponded about aTbRef and how it is structured and what aspects may have sometimes hindered its utility. So he's very open to making it a better resource.

And given the size and scope and duration of the project, it's unsurprising that, here and there, bits of guidance may no longer be strictly operative. But, in my experience, that has been very rare, and Mark likes to point out that guys like Jack Baty and I turn up the those corner cases with some frequency because we're actively working with the app. Michael Becker is another.

It's possible to learn Tinderbox just by playing with it. It rewards commitment. But once you achieve a certain level of understanding, and an appreciation for what is possible, you want a resource for quick answers. That's often the forum. But I also want to try and figure stuff out on my own, as it's more likely I'll actually remember how to do something if I figured it out on my own. (Not always the case. Repetition is necessary, and sometimes I don't need to do something more than once.)

That's where aTbRef comes in, and it is a wealth of useful information and guidance. And as I've mentioned to Mark, it requires close reading, as it's a reference and not a tutorial. And as this morning's exercise has demonstrated again, it's always worthwhile to read to the end of the article. I always enter the proposition that all I want is an answer to my issue. Sometimes, there's more than one. So "read the whole thing," as they used to say in the blogosphere.

The link I included above is to the site map, which bookmark resides permanently in my Favorites bar in Safari.

So, please don't infer criticism of Tinderbox or aTbRef in the previous post. Quite the opposite. It's fun to "figure stuff out," overcome a challenge and accomplish some desired goal. And I had fun this morning.

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Originally posted at Nice Marmot 09:28 Sunday, 7 April 2024