Can we see inside the Hook database?

So my next thought is… what is connected to what and is this potentially interesting in itself?

I guess I am expecting some kind of “database browser” that lets me see what I’ve connected to what.

I’d also like this on iOS since, although I don’t think iOS can support Hook functionality (maybe through the Sharing widgets or Shortcuts?) it would at least allow one to access the data held inside.


The database location is mentioned here: How to Backup and Restore Hook Data – Hook. I wouldn’t recommend modifying it , particularly while Hook is running.

@cremoer has shared an Alfred workflow for this . Our Alfred-using dev will comment on this. I’m a LaunchBar user myself, but the same should be possible for LaunchBar.

We ourselves have noted our intent to provide a window on Recent and all links, and some other global information; and automation of Hook itself. Using launchers and Hook together makes sense.

I believe @RobTrew has posted somewhere on this forum about using Keyboard Maestro and Hook together.

Once multi-mac Hook syncing is released, the stage will be set for Hook iOS integration.


The difficulty there might be that iOS is specifically built around the avoidance of inter-application processes – there’s none of the AppleScript glue on which macOS Hook depends.

Callback URLs ?

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I appreciate the ability to go poke about in the SQLite database, that’s useful. Thank you.

But I was really thinking more in terms of an “explorer” interface within Hook itself. Something that could present the graph of association and allow one to browse and maybe discover something interesting.

I use Alfred and, occassionally, Keyboard Maestro so I will check those links out, thanks.


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When I said “this” I should have been more clear.

I’m looking for some kind of “Hook explorer” mode that would show me the association graph. I’d like this on iOS with the ability to at least open compatible documents/links directly in their apps.

It’s “poor mans Hook” but I think it would make the Hook database useful on iOS.



we are planning a view of the overall Hook link data (networks). At the moment though it is conceived as lists / hierarchical. At CogSci Apps, some of us want to build a graph view (some people like graphic views more than others). On a previous project at SFU, we integrated jgraph views of the data our software generated – the data was similar to what Hook deals with, but most of it was internal to the software whereas Hook connects arbitrary information. But personally I think that this (visualization of network graphs) can be left to third parties who could build based on Hook’s automation, and I really expect this to be possible and feasible. I can imagine that one could write a bridge between Hook and an existing visualization app that supports automation (Tinderbox? iThoughts X? OmniGraffle? ) On my todo list is to write a blog post and/or forum post or topic that provides background on visualization.

Personal aside: I myself very much enjoyed geometry as a student many years ago. However, ever since CEGEP, I have thought heavily via outlining ( hierarchically, but with hypertext links), and of course text and list views. Having said that, Hook is not just for me. Moreover, I’ve always done a lot of diagramming for software design; and I have been trying to do more on the visualization side (iPad Pro 2018 with Apple Pencil has helped) . Brett Terpstra interviewed me a few years ago on Systematic – I think we discussed outline vs. mind mapping there/then. Brett Terpstra often blogs about mind mapping: Thinking faster with mind maps - – when he interviewed me for his podcast we had a little chat about that.

For now I think graphic visualization of Hook data is best designed by others. But again Hook, through automation support, can provide a basis for third parties to do visualization of Hook data – involving existing software and potentially new software.

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That works for me. I really just want to be able to jump one level up to “all hooked resources” and explore from there. Graph based navigation a plus.


Excellent. Much needed, to fill the gap in the current design.

Tinderbox is not good at auto-generating relationship maps. Even with recent scripting support added to the product, a relationship map in Tinderbox is always a one-off and heavily manual procedure.

OTOH, depending on the export structure, generated mind maps via iThoughtsX, etc., would be a possible choice. We’ll have to see the product of these “lists” that Hook will provide. Discovery of Hook contents is a problem that needs solving.

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A constraint of iThoughts and other consumers of OPML etc is that their topology is that of a directed tree, without cycles, whereas Hook networks may include many cycles and bi-directional links.

Given that kind of geometry, my first thought would be something like D3.js

Either with a fish-eye expansion of local detail

Or with draggable physics


I agree that export into something else would be particularly useful rather than trying to get another feature into the app. For example, export to something that obsidian can read via a plugin

I would like some management or view of existing hook links.

At the moment (as far as I’m aware) you have to be viewing a linked item and invoke hook to see what you’ve lined it to. If you’ve forgotten what items you linked then there’s no (easy) way of finding out.

There’s also no supported way of purging dead hook links, but they are VERY small so this is more of a problem with a pathological need to tidy rather than a real practical storage problem!

I did go spelunking in the sqlite database where hook keeps it’s links and they’re all visible there - but that’s not a particularly practical solution :wink:

There’s a search tool. Invoke Hook and do ⌘F
Search – Hook. It’s actually quite handy at surfacing information , assuming you’re in the habit of copying links to information (i.e., using Hook). I find myself using it very often in cases where in the past I would have used a launcher.

We’re currently significantly expanding the functionality of Hook’s search, brining it to a foreground window (as opposed to a popup). We’ve had requests for graphical views so we’ll make it easier for third-party tools to access Hook data. And more.

There’s also ‘recent items’ and ‘pinned’., configured in General Preferences Tab – Hook.

edited: 2021-05-28 10:20 PT.

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Oh I hadn’t noticed recent items, I’ll try that out - thanks!

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It wasn’t there originally. We added Search, Pinned and Recent in Hook 2.0 last Nov.

The more views the better. Different people think differently, and different usage scenarios are better accommodated with different UIs.

To me, a Finder plugin that offers a graph view is a no-brainer (if technically feasible…). Finder already gives us Grid and List views, which can be navigated by Folder and Tag and Search contexts. Presenting those contexts with Hook-informed graph views would be a super power.

Instead of arguing, can someone prototype it? :slight_smile: Perhaps a little separate “try this out” app for the community/supporters to give feedback on… Would be awesome.

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Super! I’ve started this topic for the conversation: Visualization of Hook data: graphs, etc - Discussion & Help - Hook Productivity Forum.