More Bookmarks than Books, Part III
When we publish articles that attempt to review a comprehensive collection of a certain type of product, we sometimes miss a few products for one reason or another. Here then, are the products that didn’t make it into the previous two parts of this article, which began in TidBITS-323.
Clay Basket — Dave Winer’s Clay Basket, now at 1.0b8, was one of the first bookmark managers, but in its second major incarnation added Web site management features that drove its bookmark management features into the background. Dave tells us Clay Basket’s third incarnation will reverse direction.
Clay Basket only works with Netscape Navigator and is essentially an outliner, like Frontier’s, that displays bookmarks hierarchically. Although you can drag links from Netscape into Clay Basket’s outline window, that merely creates a new outline item with the URL as the name; it doesn’t make the item hot (you must manually copy the URL into the item’s Location window to make it hot). You can launch the URLs associated with normal hot items by double-clicking their outline triangles. However, if you make an item with a URL into a topic heading, you can only launch its URL by opening its Location window and clicking the Send to Netscape button. Clay Basket can import and edit a Netscape bookmarks file, and it offers a Netscape recording mode. Clay Basket supports non-Web URLs, but only through Netscape. Clay Basket is not so much of a bookmark manager but an alternate editor for Netscape’s bookmarks file (making it unnecessary with Netscape 2.0.x).
In Control 4.0 — Attain’s $85 In Control information manager (with a free limited demo) recently added support for URLs. Like WebArranger, In Control enables you to snag URLs at any time (thanks to an extension) and you can drag & drop URLs into In Control. Also like WebArranger, you can organize bookmarks any way you like (thanks to In Control’s database capabilities). In Control uses Internet Config, can import bookmarks, and can extract URLs from HTML files. Most interestingly, In Control can identify URLs even in other text that you grab, giving you the context of the surrounding text and the capability to launch the related URL. Tim Stein <[email protected]>, who told me about In Control’s new capabilities, feels that In Control is faster and easier to use than WebArranger.
InfoDepot 2.5 — Chena Software’s $189 information management program, InfoDepot, now supports URLs in version 2.5, which is a free upgrade for registered users of 2.4. You can drag URLs into InfoDepot from Web browsers that support drag & drop, and once you have the URLs in InfoDepot, you organize them with InfoDepot’s outlining capabilities. Launching URLs is done via a script, or you can use ICeTEe to Command-click the URLs to launch them via your preferred helper application. InfoDepot supports three URL schemes (http, ftp, and gopher) but doesn’t use Internet Config; instead it routes all URLs through Netscape Navigator. Although it lacks the URL features, Chena offers a free outliner based on InfoDepot 2.4.
SurfBoard 1.0b1 — Abbott Systems’ $39 SurfBoard is perhaps the most attractive of the bookmark managers I’ve seen, featuring an interface reminiscent of a futuristic TV remote control. A tall vertical green button opens the display screen to show your current list of URLs (you can have more than one list). The main list is likely to be long and hard to navigate (although you can sort by name or last access time), so nine "fast dial" buttons in the main screen provide quick access to URLs in categories you set. A blue triangle button at the top of the window lists the last 15 URLs you’ve visited, and a blue "plus" button grabs the current URL from your Web browser (either Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer). You can drag links into SurfBoard from Netscape, and SurfBoard can import bookmark lists from both browsers. I haven’t used SurfBoard for long, but it looks like a great effort. I’d worry about it bogging down with too many URLs, but its features for making recently accessed URLs available will help a great deal.
URLs R Us — There are a ton of HyperCard stacks that track URLs, and most of these stacks, useful as they may be for their creators, generally aren’t good general purpose solutions. However, Jon Pugh’s URLs R Us stack goes beyond most other HyperCard URL managers because it uses AppleScript to grab URLs from Netscape Navigator or the clipboard, can launch them easily, and has various sorting and finding features. Even more unusual are its features to check Web pages, updating a "Date visited" field and "Title" field. Jon’s stack has a variety of other features as well, so be sure to turn on balloon help when exploring its interface. If you use HyperCard all the time anyway, Jon’s stack is worth a look.
WebPinMaker 1.2.4 — Hisashi Hoda’s free WebPinMaker is an interesting program. At first blush it’s just a way of snagging URLs, and then only from Netscape Navigator. WebPinMaker creates a small windoid that is always available, floating over all other applications. Clicking the push pin icon in that windoid snags the current URLs in one of three formats. You set the formats by zooming the windoid and selecting Pin File (a format that CyberFinder will take over if loaded), Netscape URL, or Self Launch. A Pin file is a WebPinMaker file that launches its URL by launching WebPinMaker first. A Netscape URL is the same as what you’d get by dragging a bookmark out of Netscape 2.0’s bookmark list. A Self Launch file is the self-extracting version of a URL: double-click it and it launches the URL itself without needing WebPinMaker around (which is true of the Netscape URL file as well, and they’re smaller).
Other Comments — Readers always send in lots of tips when we publish articles of short reviews, and I wanted to share a few of the more interesting ones. First off, Mel Patrick, author of WabbitDA, wrote to pass on a correct email address: <[email protected]>.
Alco Blom <[email protected]>, author of URL Manager, writes:
I’d like to mention one powerful feature of URL Manager (that you indeed included in your review) that I use frequently in combination with TidBITS – the Scan Text command. Drop a TidBITS issue on URL Manager’s window (or use drag & drop with a whole chunk of TidBITS text), and voila, you have imported all hypertext links mentioned in that issue.
Aleks Totic <[email protected]> wrote to tell us that if you drag bookmarks or folders from Netscape’s bookmarks window to the Finder while CyberFinder is loaded, you get CyberFinder bookmarks. The reverse is true as well, so dragging CyberFinder bookmarks or folders from the Finder to Netscape’s bookmarks window creates Netscape bookmarks.
Outliners — A number of people mentioned using other outliners, specifically Acta and Frontier, to store URLs. Although getting URLs into these programs isn’t generally easy, launching URLs via ICeTEe is trivial.
Finding in the Finder — A criticism of bookmark managers that rely on the Finder (like CyberFinder) is that they don’t seem to have sophisticated searching capabilities. You can search for the name of a bookmark file, but what if you want to search for text that appears in the URL itself? You can if you have System 7.5’s Find File program.
Open Find File and select the disk(s) in which you want to search. Click the More Choices button to reveal a second set of menus. From the first pop-up menu, choose "creator," and in the text entry field to its right, enter "URL1" (sans quotes). That limits the search to files created by CyberFinder (though you could enter the creator for any bookmark manager). Now, press Option while choosing contents from the second pop-up menu (contents won’t appear unless you hold down Option). Then, type the text you want to find in the text entry field to the right, say "apple" to find all sites whose URLs contain the string "apple". Finally, click the Find button.