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Considering Yojimbo and Chandler

Yojimbo, a new information organizer from Bare Bones Software, was released Monday. I haven’t warmed up to the name yet, but at least it’s a real name unlike Word or Mail. (Sheesh.)

Does the world need another PIM, especially a Cocoa-based one that looks like all the others? Well, sure, if it’s great. There’s always room at the top, but it would have to be really good to get anyone to go to the trouble of moving all their stuff into another application, though. I practically live in BBEdit, so I’m inclined to look favorably on anything that comes out of Bare Bones’ workshops, even though I never adopted any of their other products. I took the demo for a spin and short story shorter, I don’t think I’ll be moving in.

After a day I was getting tired of those large icons (good thing you can switch to small icons). I thought it a little odd that none of the built-in Collections except the Library accept drops. These Collections simply collect like items together. You’ll need to make your own Collections (folders) to start dropping things in—and that’s when I lost interest. Unless I’m missing something, Yojimbo is flat. You can only have one file and within that you can’t nest collections to create a hierarchy. Still, I liked the Drop Dock, a little tab that pokes in from the side that accepts dragged droppings into your Collections. Check it out and decide for yourself.

While I’m feeling dismissive, I should also mention that I took a look at Chandler recently, an “interpersonal information manager that adapts to your changing needs” from the Open Source Applications Foundation. Currently at version point 6, Chandler “delivers an experimentally usable calendar for individuals and small workgroups. It is a test release for collecting feedback based on real usage. In addition to basic calendaring, advanced features include: recurring events; time-zones; overlayed multiple calendars; and managing a single event across calendars.”

I was astonished at the size of this thing. Chandler consists of nearly 6,000 files totaling 182 megabytes. It takes twice as long to launch as Photoshop, which is the slowest app I have. I’m not criticizing it or anything, but I’m just bewildered. What is all that code doing?

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