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Look out Outlook . . . here comes Chandler!

I can already see MS quaking in their million-dollar boots!

R. C.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I can’t,

And I remember Mitch Kapor saying something to the effect that Chandler is not *the* Outlook Killer - but just the opposite was quoted in a lot of different places.

Prakash S
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

This is the first I've heard of Chandler.  It certainly promises a lot.

My big problem is, how on earth is all this choice goingt to be presented to the user?

Outlook is already baffling enough for the average user.

Ged Byrne
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Silly question here... where are the screenshots?  I can download the thing for three different OSes but I can't see it beforehand?

Joe Paradise
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Very, very bad advertisment for Python... this ...thing... makes Java applications look nimble and responsive.

easily scared person witholding his name
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

If you saw a screenshot you might require hospitalisation due to acute geek shock. The personal database screen looks like someone accidentally mixed up the code so that it shows internal data type information instead of user data. Outlook can rest easy, for now anyway.

Chris Nahr
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

from the FAQ:

"Release 0.1 is not intended to demonstrate a complete feature set, a final UI, security mechanisms, a final database or schema, or be ready for end-user deployment"

http://www.osafoundation.org/Rel_0.1_Info.htm

--
http://www.braithwaite-lee.com

Reginald Braithwaite-Lee
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Well, it is open source which in and of itself insures the UI will suck.

Mike
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Does Chandler 0.1 prove my "mouth wide shut" theory?

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I just downloaded it about an hour ago, and so far it looks very unimpressive.

Chris Guest
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

"insures the UI will suck"

YM they will get payouts, like from Life Insurance policies?


Tuesday, April 22, 2003

"Does Chandler 0.1 prove my "mouth wide shut" theory? "

Yes.

They did themselves a very bad favor.

This should have been a controlled release for friends, not a bombastic announcement. Every journalist idiot who saw it looked up Chandler and Kapor, then published an article about this architectural preview (tech demo it isn't by a far shot) announcing how the "Outlook Killer" has arrived.

easily scared person witholding his name
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Notwithstanding the tendency for open source UIs to suck, has anybody used a cross-platform UI that isn't frustratingly nonstandard?  The ones I've used (aka java, python/tk, GTK such as ethereal) don't seem to conform to the host environment at all.  By which I mean the hotkeys don't work right, subtle details like mouseovers on menus aren't the same, and in some cases the widgets don't even look like the rest of the windows I have running!  Maybe Linux users don't mind having 3 different window styles running at once, but in my opinion cross-platform and even cross-library widgets are crap for the end-user.

Oliver
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I don't think Chandler 0.1 proves anything. I don't understand how anyone could draw anything from a 0.1 release.  This release is far more interested in architecture concerns; the UI is a side-note.

http://blogs.osafoundation.org/mitch/

"This should have been a controlled release for friends, not a bombastic announcement. Every journalist idiot who saw it looked up Chandler and Kapor, then published an article about this architectural preview (tech demo it isn't by a far shot) announcing how the "Outlook Killer" has arrived."

So? Why does this matter?

Joel, you said re Chandler;

"By the way, Chandler did exactly the right thing, since they are an open source project. They don't care if competitors use their ideas, and at this stage it's worth sifting through everybody's crazy feature requests if that's the price of attracting more volunteers to write the code."

Excuse me if I'm a little confused, but how does this release prove your theory? From my understanding, your theory basically states "Don't talk about upcoming features until they are released."

Spam
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Talking about their release before it came out was worth it in the early days to attract developers.

Releasing source code to attract developers was worth it, too. Developers might look at the code.

But releasing a compiled version to a large audience is going to make a lot of people check it out, because of all the hype and hoopla, and those people will be left with a bad first impression of Chandler, no matter how much you explain to them that it's "version 0.1".

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I think that it's okay to open you rmouth, but you should have a strategy. In this case, I believe an immature release is ok if you have incredible staying power: it worked for Windows.

That being said, my experience with prototypes is that nobody buys the "it's an alpha" argument. If you hack together a demo in a company, a salesperson will sell it to a customer and promise it for next Wednesday.

Worse, everyone nitpicks the superficial UI details to death and ignores the important issues. On a current project, when we showed a prototype to the client, they argued about the shade of blue on the pages and ignored whether the app was behaving correctly.

The only defence I've ever mustered against this trait is to make the alpha so outside of the box that people understand it bears no relationship to the final design (I've used things like HyperCard for this purpose).

In Chandler's case, OSAF might have put together a browser UI for the public. It would suck, but people would be able to test some of the important interoperability issues and would absolutely buy that this isn't the final product, which will be a desktop app.

Reginald Braithwaite-Lee
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I read that Chandler uses Python with the wxWindows GUI library. Unlike GTK and friends, wxWindows uses the system's native UI controls.

runtime
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I am sure more than half the people who were curious to see V0.1 will not check futre Versions..

Prakash S
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Oliver, regarding cross-platform user interfaces: for me, the only acceptable cross-platform software is produced by major software companies, such as Macromedia and Adobe. They seem to be the only ones that are capable of delivering applications that feel more or less 'native' on both Mac and Windows. Although the Windows versions usually have a slight Mac-feel to them... :-)

Frederik Slijkerman
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

ok, you asked for it!

Here are your Chandler screenshots (from Slashdot). Each mirror has the same two screenshots, so you need not view more than one mirror.

http://folk.uio.no/hakon/chandler/

http://www.cs.vu.nl/~hkolk/chandler/

http://www.western-alliance.net/lordprox/storage/

runtime
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I can see the fear in Microsoft's eyes.

Mike
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

wow, it looks.... familliar!

off-topic rant: It has exactly the same look & feel as one Java interface I made for a thing once. It was terrible, the thing itself was buggy as hell, and I had to make the UI fast for a demo (well, I was really tired of it anyway).

The fun part came later: some company was interested in using it as a product. We told them it's just an academic demonstration of an idea, not designed for industrial usage, but they wanted to use it anyway. So sure, well, if you give us money, why not.

The thing they forgot to tell us was that it was going to be integrated in a product with about 100 000 users accessing it constantly. I mean, we wrote it to be able to show it to 20 other people, 20 other academics to be precise, who would have had understanding if the thing crashed in the middle and required a recompiling. And we demoed it on two laptops we had with us, "see, I type this here, it shows up there!" And these guys wanted to use it 24/7 with 100 000 users. Sheesh.

Finally, after calling us for consultations for about two months, they laid down the project. Which we could have told them they'd do from the very start. The most incredible thing, they where not even mad at us in the end. They said that maybe we'd do business again and blah blah. And offered me a job, which I couldn't take because the summer was just starting.

Sorry for the rant. Oh, and that was the year I met Alice...

Dimitri.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

It seems that they're intent on committing the fault of having the application space behave like a dialog, regardless of the amount of information stuff it in the same size space, oh and obscure whatever was in the application space before.

Whilst jwz's rule of 'every application always evolves to do email'  is still as true as it ever was an application that's supposed to be an email client should not try and do every other kind of application as well.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, April 23, 2003

All 0.1 releases are bad advertisements for the underlying technology. For those who can see past this release, it is a great endorsement for python.

fool for python
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Will Chandler have a companion named Monica?

Nunya Bizness
Thursday, April 24, 2003

If it does then I'll wait for her to come out. Is Outlook really called Phoebe?

Smelly Kat
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Don't worry about the UI. By the time 1.0 is released, Microsoft will have completed the Romper Room UI makeover that they started with XP and the OSAF folks will have to use xul with the play-doh skin so the MAC and Linux folks can have a superior UI experience.

fool for python
Friday, April 25, 2003

>Oh, and that was the year I met Alice

Alice? Alice? Who the fuck is Alice?

Smartass
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

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