Storyspace for MacOS X

Mark Bernstein wonders out aloud in his blog about my earlier comments on Storyspace for OS X:

Tinderbox does give you more export options, though, and the presence of those export options might in fact be a hurdle. Knowing that you might be destined for HTML can lead to to start working on graphic design too early, before you really get down to writing, perhaps before you’re certain that there’s something to be written. More than once, I’ve been left with a nice design for a project that didn’t pan ou

I don’t actually have a real answer. I know perfectly well what Mark means, and that I could write an essay in Tinderbox just as easily as in Storyspace. I’m not sure if I prefer Storyspace because that is where I started, and familiarity breeds comfort (and ease), or if it is that very close to the surface in Tinderbox there are lots (and I mean lots) of things that you could do. Add user attributes, color the nodes, write an agent, decide you should add some attributes to help structure things. Before I know it I’m writing a Tinderbox document not an essay. In Storyspace I don’t have this problem. There are links, there are guard fields. If I’m using Storyspace to get to the web then the guard fields don’t even come into it. So it isn’t that I start designing in Tinderbox for HTML presentation but that I start fiddling inside Tinderbox itself. Why? Because it is so close to the surface, I know it is there, I now how to ‘turn them on’. I guess in my hypertext text tool box I have two key tools, Storyspace and Tinderbox, and I keep using them as two separate tools (as any good tradesperson ought).