This thread is a bit like watching a tennis match. I love reading the depth at which people understand and use these programs. They are, all three, exemplars in my book.
As for Tinderbox, @mbbntu’s assessment resonates with my experience. And as for @kseggleton’s Curio use case, it seems a brilliant way to push Curio to its most useful edge. I used Curio while writing my dissertation proposal and found it to be just the kind of space I needed to hold, and in someways develop, my writing strategy. Noteworthy is that I tried to use TBX first and found it too fiddly and Curio was just right for that particular use, especially given the integration between DT3 and Curio. For me, Curio is a sort of magical, virtual white-boarding space where I can chart out concepts, especially involving visual media. Seeing them all in one place, moving them around, and annotating them creates a gestalt and helps me make sense of the concepts.
I see Tinderbox as a workshop, in @mbbntu’s words, to build understanding. For example, if I’m reading a tough article, no better tool than a .tbx file to pull annotations from DT3 as I read and visually map them, link, recombine, and iterate on my evolving understanding. Another use case: I’m prototyping a qualitative data analysis tool in TBX, so that I can explode transcripts, zip link important passages into their own notes, pass those through smart adornments to give them various metadata, and sort them in agents later on, all the while retaining linkages to the original transcript. When I started using Tinderbox in a sort of “flatland” way (nice phrase), I never thought I’d know enough about the tool’s capabilities much less have enough programmatic knowledge to pull something like this off, but after a year or more of use, turns out I do.
So, ultimately, they are distinct tools, with some superficial overlaps, and I think they both warrant use in the academic’s arsenal. The depth at which one can use TBX is somewhat in opposition to the inertia you must overcome to actually use it, but it’s entirely worth it in my view.
I should note that I know Tinderbox much better than I do Curio, so I am likely shortsighted in this comparison.