Tinderbox goes Universal

Tinderbox goes Universal

One of the tools I am using for years now is Tinderbox from Eastgate. I have used it for quite some time to write this weblog here (but swichted to WordPress + MarsEdit recently). Nevertheless I think Tinderbox is a helper in many ways – although there are always features that can be and will be missed.

With a retail price of $229 USD the tool is not cheap – but depending on the usage and potential productivity gain this can be a bargain.

tinderbox.jpg

If you are ready and able to write some export templates one can export almost anything to XML or HTML and turn that into layouted documents, presentations or websites.

The “magic” of Tinderbox is that it allows visual unstructured brainstorming and turn that into structured documents over time. But does not stop there like other mind mapping tools: by adding text notes, metadata, agents and actions that perform queries and manipulate data. So you can make your document smarter and add some automatism to it. There are endless ways to use Tinderbox and to make it fit to your brain.

After watching some screencasts you can read some examples of what people are doing with Tinderbox.

You can’t expect from Tinderbox: online collaboration, custom import of any data, direct export to MS Office documents and the like, table editing within notes, a programmable enviroment (alhtough actions and agents can do a lot already), a Windows version (supposed to be in the making).

Here is a software review by Natan Matias from Sitepoint.

WMD remix

Isn’t that amazing that this clip about the Bush administration lying about weapons of mass destruction needs to be compiled by someone and uploaded to YouTube instead of the professional journalists went for this one?

Create screenshots with different browsers

There are a couple of web applications out there that allow to test a website in different browsers. I think that is a service the vendors of all theses browsers should pay for, but anyway:

  • Browsershots.org: Free but you need to wait a long time to see results.
  • Browserpool.de: German; Uses remote access, so you can test actual functionality (30€/month)
  • Browsercam.com: a site to take screenshots of a page with many different browsers.
  • SiteVista.com: Another site to take screenshots with a slick UI.
  • SafariTest: Free, but only takes screenshots with Safari (but these are whole pages – not just the window). They offer a VNC testing for the Safari browser.

Given the pricing I think the best way would be to install a virtualizer/emulation software (like Parallels) and really run the tests off your own computer.

OmniGraffle GUI Design Palette

This is really cool: »This OmniGraffle palette can be used for general GUI design. I’ve tried to make it vanilla enough for platform independance although you can see some Mac OS X and Swing peeking out.«