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Monday, 01/23/06

I've been beta-testing Bare Bones' newly announced data-snippet organizer product, Yojimbo, since December, and in general I like it. I've had that pleasant neurological sensation two or three times in which I'm confronted with a small info-logistical difficulty, followed shortly by "I think Yojimbo might be good for that," and thus far it has. It's an excellent place for long-term lists that otherwise just clutter the file system (like "movies that Netflix doesn't know about yet", at hand for Sundance, Toronto and SIFF), and I'm thinking about adopting it for my recipe storage.

I will share with you a tidbit that I noticed and which did not engender any response from the QA team -- there's some preliminary-looking support for an outliner in the text environment (which is Cocoa-descended and not, to my initial disappointment, the stellar BBEdit/Mailsmith text handling control). Hit Option-Tab to promote a line of text into an outliner node, after which some predictable outlinery keyboard shortcuts will have an effect -- tab promotes a node, shift-tab demotes.

[Update: The honorable John Gruber tells me that this is indeed a Cocoa feature and not a Yojimbo exclusive -- I had tested for it in TextEdit having flipped TextEdit's plain-text-only switch, while the outliner apparently only kicks in while in rich-text mode. Nuts, and no wonder QA had no comment.]

Even half-baked, this goes a long way toward replicating BBEdit's useful ability to replicate any leading tabs from the current line when you hit return, so that if you're writing a tab-indented block (like a subroutine, or a to-do list), some gentle hierarchy is maintained without you having to pound the tab key.

My one big question about Yojimbo's future: when is this thing going to become scriptable? There are a heap of useful ways I can envision tying Yojimbo to browsers and to NetNewsWire once some rudimentary scripting support exists for Yojimbo objects. I was frankly a little shocked to find that a Bare Bones product was on the ramp toward release without scripting functionality, but then, shipping promptly is one of those reasons that they are Bare Bones Software and I am not. 01:28PM «

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