Data Representation in Chandler

Chandler is the so-called “Outlook-killer”. Writes Mitch Kapor:

The fundamental way data is stored in Chandler is as a collection of items, also known as a repository. Every individual email is represented by an item, as is every meeting on a calendar, and every contact. Not only that but every attachment, document, and annotation is also an item. In short, each piece of content is represented as an item.

By treating items as the first-class elements of data, it is then possible for the user to obtain an integrated view of all the information in her universe. One simple feature which takes advantage of this is that when you use Chandler you will never have to look in multiple places to find what you’re looking for. In today’s world, you use your PIM to look for information sent by email, and you use a file manager to locate information contained in a document stored as a file. You may have to use other tools to find other types of information.

Another key feature in Chandler is that an item of information can be stored in more than one place. You’re not forced to file it in one folder or another. It can be in both with no additional effort. It solves the problem of “I know that email is here somewhere, but which folder did I put it in?”

I might also mention that any item can have user-defined attributes, as well as the ones which are standard for its type. Unlike conventional email clients, whose capability to permit user-defined attributes is limited to a fixed choice of labels or list of categories, Chandler allows an unlimited elaboration of user-originated ways of classification.

Finally, Chandler permits the sharing of any item or set of items in an extremely simple way, forming the basis of any-time collaboration.

In short, it’s intended to be a universal tool for managing personal information and collaborating with others.

Chandler is beginning to look very interesting, perhaps also because very little has changed about how we manage and store our personal information in the past few years.

Continue reading Data Representation in Chandler

TECH TALK: The Best of Tech Talk 2002: Bridging the Digital Divide (Part 2)

India Post: The Story of Nayapur: “Nayapur is the face of the New India. As a village it may be small, but that in no way represents the aspirations of its people. Life in Nayapur has been transformed ever since India Post set up its Tech 7-11 computer and communications centre a year agoThis is the amazing story of how these old computers running open-source software with full support for local languages combined with the Will, Vision and Entrepreneurial Thinking of the India Post team to transform the lives of the residents of Nayapur. The story takes you through a day in the life of one family in Nayapur.”

Disruptive Bridges: “Imagine a New India. A million computing and communications centres, each with 10 or more computers connected to the Internet, dot the landscape, making them accessible to everyone across the country. Every Indian is computer-literate, and can email, browse the Internet and compose letters. Citizens can make bill payments, obtain ration cards, check land records, and do other interactions with the government easily and efficiently. Computers in small- and medium-sized companies make them real-time enterprises, ensuring instant updation of information and making them integral parts of global supply chains What separates the dream of a New India from the reality of today is the digital divide. It is this rubicon that we have to cross, this divide that we have to bridge.Developing countries need disruptive innovations to bridge their digital divides. Think of these divides as separating todays technology markets from tomorrows. The next 500 million users lie on the other side of the divide. What is needed to open up these new markets is the construction of digital bridges with disruptive innovations as their foundation. Lets call them Disruptive Bridges.”

Postscript: In 2002, I visited China both Shanghai and Beijing. I wrote about my visit to Shanghai An Indian in China. Shanghai is the engine powering China ahead. It has been undoubtedly dressed up for the external world to see and experience the New China. Shanghai’s look-and-feel makes me dream of what Mumbai could have been. The next set of entrepreneurial opportunities lie in leveraging the two large markets of India and China.

Monday: A Personal Journey

Continue reading TECH TALK: The Best of Tech Talk 2002: Bridging the Digital Divide (Part 2)