Tuesday, October 17, 2006


On Friday, I released a brand-new application. EagleFiler grew out of an idea I had around 1999 of building a mail archiver that combined a standard file format with an interface like that of a real mail client. A few years later, I realized that it should also help me organize and search my piles of PDFs and Web pages, as well as other types of files.

It’s a relief to finally show people what I’ve been working on. So far, the reaction is positive, and I’ve received a lot of good feedback. Some of the requests are great ideas that I should have thought of, but didn’t. Most of them are what I was expecting—they’re for things that I’ve been planning but that weren’t done in time for 1.0. On an open-ended app like this, it’s hard but necessary to postpone more than you want until later versions. Development is more fun, and productive I think, when it’s more interactive. This is where feedback will really help shape future versions of EagleFiler. There are some things I left out of 1.0 that I thought were important, but that no one has yet requested. Other things which I thought would be nice but not essential have struck people as glaring omissions. As a result, I’m reshuffling my to-do list to address the more common requests first.

Lastly, since I’m too lazy to drag and drop, one of my favorite features in EagleFiler is the capture key. While working in another application, you press a hot key and EagleFiler determines what you were viewing and adds it to the library. A bunch of apps are already supported, and you can add support for additional apps by writing capture scripts. Of course, for this to work, the app must be scriptable, and it must provide a way of accessing the content or selection of the front window. Scriptable applications are cool.

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