Yojimbo and why applications should be written this way

A very simple note-taking app that lets you store snippets of information. Yojimbo is the product of Bare Bones software, creator of BBEdit, TextWrangler and MailSmith. Of all their products, I have only used BBEdit. Either way, I decided to try Yojimbo after considering the amount of junk that Sticky Brain installs.

On my previous set up, I used Sticky Brain to store quite a bit of information. However my main gripe with Sticky Brain is how is stores stuff in the OpenBase database. I want to install Sticky Brain and only Sticky Brain, not the OpenBase application. But somehow the creators of Sticky Brain cannot get that into their heads. Well, if it is only OpenBase, I am somewhat fine with that. However, with version 3.0 onwards they have been adding more and more useless features without giving the user the ability to not install them. For instance, they added a very hideous icon on the task bar for people to use to search. Did they not think of integrating it with spotlight? What about the stupid dashboard widgets that are installed? Do they seriously think it is convenient? Sticky Brain is not the only application out there that tries to be smart. What about Path Finder using its own .pdf and picture viewer? I doubt that their version is better. All these fragmented code that developers use just makes the entire computer experience very fragmented. So much so, that it begins to feel like Windows where all applications can never talk to each other nicely.

While I am at this, I should go and say, I hate applications that try to install weird things on my computer. For instance, Path Finder tries to install some hook that will enable it use the crash reporter to report back to the company. Or what about Microsoft Office? Why in the world did they stick the User Data folder into the Documents folder? Or the worst of the bunch, Adobe? Why in the world did they stick over 10 shortcut into my right-click menu? Why? Why? Someone ought to just rethink what they are doing.

Anyway, Yojimbo is not perfect but it does what I need: integrating with spotlight. And also .Mac syncing. You will really like .Mac syncing once you have used it. I used it for Transmit and NetNewsWire and it makes using multiple computer so much easier. Also upgrading from one computer to another is really simple.

Yojimbo is light, does not try to install things that I do not want. And most of all, it starts normally like an application should. I am sure we can see further improvements to it in the long run. Yojimbo is not the only piece of software that is written correctly. Other companies such as OmniGroup also gets it right but having a very simple install process. The only junk file that is left after uninstalling is the .plist file.

Now, if only there was a simple way to move everything from the Sticky Brain database over.

The crux of this: applications for the mac should be easily installed. There should not be a need for a complex installer. And dragging the application to the trash should be sufficient to uninstall the application and whatever else it installed completely. Not only does this make it easier to try new applications without risking installing other junk, but it also lets me keep my computer clean for many months to come.

If you think I am the only one who is being anal about applications installing files surreptitiously, then take a look at this (Tao Of Mac) and this (Daring Fireball) and this (Bbum's weblog-o-mat).

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