Tinderbox User's Manual : Fetching from the Web

Fetching from the Web

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Tinderbox has several ways to fetch information from a Web page and place it in a note, or integrate the operation of Tinderbox with your Web browser:

[Working with Tinderbox and RSS is the subject of the next chapter.]


You obtain all these special behaviors for notes by setting various System attributes for those notes.

The chapter on Attributes describes many ways of viewing and changing attributes.


The URL used if this note fetches its contents from the Web, or opens a Web page or email location.





A boolean (true/false) attribute. If this is true, the note gets its text from the Web page indicated by the URL attribute.

The attribute AutoFetchCommand extends AutoFetch’s capabilities. If AutoFetchCommand is empty, AutoFetch behaves as previously; the contents of the specified URL are stored in the note's text.

AutoFetchCommand is an action, using the same syntax as agent actions and rules. It runs when the file is loaded, exported, and possibly during idle period. Typically, AutoFetchCommand will invoke an outside program, perhaps fetching some information from the user's hard disk or network. For example:

$Text=`ls ~Documents

will replace the text of the note with a list of all the files currently in the user's Documents folder.

$Delivered=`myDatabaseQuery $TrackingID

will run the shell script myDatabaseQuery, passing it the value of the note's TrackingID attribute as an argument.

Remember, you can use stamps, Quick Stamps, and prototypes to help you organize and set attributes easily.


A boolean (true/false) attribute. If this is true, then opening a text window on this note (by selecting it in a view and pressing spacebar, or in any other way) will also open the Web page indicated by the URL attribute in your Web browser


A boolean (true/false) attribute. If this is true, you cannot modify the text in this note—you can only view it. It makes sense to set this true for notes that fetch their contents from the Web.


An attribute that you cannot modify, this attribute shows when a note that fetches content from the Web (using AutoFetch true) was last updated from the Web.


Content from a Web page

You want this note to automatically fetch its text from a certain URL.

Open as a Web page

In the above use, the text fetched by the URL will be a Web page’s HTML—including all the formatting codes, if they are present. It can make more sense to open this content in your Web browser, which can interpret the HTML and display the page’s content more attractively.

URL Bookmark

You may want a note to open a certain Web page, without downloading the page’s content into the note. This makes the note act like a Web browser bookmark—double-click it to open that location in your browser (or email application, if it is a mailto URL).


To open the Network palette, choose Network from the Window menu.

This palette shows the network activity of Tinderbox: whether it is active fetching content over your Internet connection, and what it is fetching. Click Fetch now to tell Tinderbox to update any AutoFetch notes.

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[Last updated: 26 Jul 2009]

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