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.


Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.