TBA add-on

With TBA in its sidebar panel, Google sheets gain trailblazing, cloning and multimedia monitors, expanding from office suite application into automated production software - supporting, for example, both hotel design and hotel bookings.

Spreading, trailblazing and cloning

These provide two methods for inputting, copying and reviewing textual data; sheet for an xy spread at one level of detail; TBA xyz gauges to create and navigate associations in the Trail (x axis) and Branches (y axis), and to attend to Aspects (z axis) of active selections.

So, for example, a nurse would find TBA useful when visiting a number of patients, recording many aspects of each examination, whereas a pharmacist might find a spreadsheet more useful for stock control. Results from both are captured by the same nset (computer code object handling the hierarchy of named sets).

Because of its associations TBA quickly expands a nset with Link >Clone>Clone. This is made possible since, when new items are created using ListHead or ListItem, special keys are included not only to enable multiple instances of a single model or assembly, but also to rejig cloning to account for adjustments such as handing, bed sizes, colour schemes and so on.

Design Handing key, for example, links to a device that rearranges a space or product to suit its handing. When reset, either all clones are revised or its nset changes fron clone to progenitor for different clones. In the latter case, original and new progenitor can be paired and cloned to generate a completely updated assembly. This approach, with displays regenerated at every pass, takes care of coordination that is so burdensome with CAD software.

Multimedia monitors

Modeler is an example using THREEjs 3D graphic javascript platform.

Monitors send required aspect keys for TBA to incorporate in the nset under their appropriate Manager. Each nset has filters to enable it to service monitors without overcrowding the TBA interface.

Monitors can be setup to handle any type of multimedia, can be simple or complex, free or commercial. They provide opportunities for more ambitious automation - multi source animation, consensual advertising for elastic space planning, interactive searches, integrated control for equipment and machinery ...


This builder enables the Add-on to be maintained off or on-line, with a file content converter compiling styles and scripts as html for copying and pasting into a single Google Apps Script html file.

Apart from spreadsheet interaction, the TBA and monitors are demonstrably functional.

The lert console complements console and alert tools as a monitor. Sequences and data transfer views can be called from within code or from built-in controls (with mouseover tips) like Add-ons menu and <<< and >>> Sheet/TBA transfers.

Security and sharing

A system of messaging maintains nset counterparts in spreadsheet, TBA and multiple monitor windows for security and speed. Select Modeler to see nset transfer messages in the lert console.

Any individual can acquire and own a root nset. It has two subordinate nsets. The one labelled "Couplers" is a system nset that enables owners to couple any number of private and shared nsets. The other is a basic coupler that provides Identity and Link devices to initiate the whole assembly process.

The hierarchy of nsets is established by its links rather than more traditional nesting. This means each individual nset can be linked in any number of combinations. An example crosslink type Link collects all the beds by Genus identity, say, for ordering. The order can also be accessed from each bed via its Backtrack array.

Owners store their nsets in repositories like Myjson. The first transaction will return a unique store's web address. They are private but can be shared by private distribution. Store codes can be exchanged by collaborators and saved in coupler nsets.

Only one nset coupler can be coupled at a time, so that the last opened will always overwrite previous nsets, denying conflict. Monitors are totally independent, sharing only the nset as Modeler shows.

Also shared is words used for names, keys and values, but this is yet to be developed. Such sets can be compiled at individual, project, company, region and country level with access available to one or more of them. Best practices evolve since consensus/ranking becomes established from their associative structure and use. In the meantime, a small under-developed example wset is included here.

User experience

The title "Blazer" relates to a sense of achievement from blazing trails rather than browsing pages. Attention is on what nset owners produce; there are no icons, just hypertext; every name and model is a link. The display responds to each selection with new associations and positioning.

If not already highlighted, selections are always centered and highlighted. Selection also provides the means to skip-scroll long lists. Names in vertical lists are draggable but saving changes is still in development.

Highlighted names trigger actions:

User experience in monitor windows depends on its designer. In the modeler, left click on a model synchronises TBA; in empty space, left button orbits, right button pans; wheel zooms. Positioning is set by associations and critieria required by monitor designer and transferred to nset, viz ...

"311": {
  "Type": "Product",
  "Category": "Joinery",
  "Genus": "Door",
  "Label": "Door",
  "Backtrack": ["297"],
  "product": {
    "Product": "shared",
    "size": "shared"
  "Design": {
    "Product": "shared",
    "size": "shared",
    "Door": {
      "side": "bottom",
      "align": "left",
      "handing": "right",
      "open": "in",
      "leaf": "hidden"
    "expanded": [934,140,2070]
  "shared": {
    "Product": "Door frame",
    "Source": "Product/dae/",
    "Extension": ".dae",
    "Size": "934x140x2070",
    "size": [934,140,2070]
  "clone": "240"

©2019 Chris Glasier - gmail chrisglasier