[chandler-users] Why chandler is going nowhere!

Steve Blain friggincomputers at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 27 12:37:01 PST 2007

Sorry for the corny subject, but I didn't know how else to put my thoughts concisely.

I have been following Chandler for a long time, mostly because it was initially announced that it would incorporate aspects of the old Lotus Agenda that I loved so much.  Unfortunately I don't have time to contribute extensively so I did not join the ranks of developpers for the projects.  From time to time I have downloaded and tried chandler though, and every time without exception, I find it completely unusable.

I know there is a lot of "invisible" work done for the collaboration aspects, and the multi-platform development slows things down.  But I believe in making a product usable and useful before making it perfect, and that is where Chandler fails.  At no point so far in my trials have I found it usable enough to test it for any more than several minutes.  As much as I would love to give it a chance, I am put off in the first few minutes.  Just now I tried it again and found myself starting a bug list immediately.  I hit bugs that I find showstoppers for me to use Chandler, and I found them in less than 5 minutes of trying it.
I had to find "workarounds" for some quirky UI interface aspects I found.  They are not really workarounds because it was probably designed that way (maybe), but there should be more obvious ways to accomplish these tasks.  This, to me, points to a steep learning curve that is not necessary.

So once again I am at the same place; I tried it, but I can't even USE it for simple tasks, so I will leave it.  And once again I will hope that my next try will show me a better, more usable Chandler, but I am starting to waiver in my belief that it will get better.

Windows XP SP2


PS: Here are the bug/problem notes I took when I started Chandler.  I stopped logging them after about 5 minutes and removed some that I realized were not bugs but designed behavior.  I have not edited them much, if they are of use, all the better.  Good Luck.

- right clicking in the edit box does not work properly
- there is no pop-up monthly view calendar to enter dates!!!  Designed to be dragged to the calendar?  Very annoying because when two dates are required (start-end) both are set when dragged to a date.
- it doesn't seem to take fractionnal days (hours or minutes for that matter)
- No way to set recurring events to happen multiple times in a week (every monday and wed for example).  It would force someone to create two or more identical events but for different days.  That could be acceptable if there was a way to link events together (dependence, sibbling, same, ...), but there would still be no way to make a recurring event on the second Monday of every month!
- Why does the 'status' only appear for an all-day event?
- In the 'dashboard', there is no way to know if something has been 'collected'.  In the detailed view on the right, it is a tiny word at the bottom that can't be changed, updated or edited in-place.  From this lack of editing possibility, it seems I can't remove an item from a collection easilly: I have to go to the collection, re-find the item to remove it, then maybe return to this item to continue editing it in any way.
- Click & drag an item (with or without a drop somewhere else) is not handled properly: the detailed view is not updated so that the highlited item in the dashboard may not be the item in the detailed view on the right.
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