ChandlerQE for Android

The Chandler ecosystem gains a new member: ChandlerQE for Android. Your phone is always with you, so you can quickly send notes to the Chandler Hub, and then use Chandler Desktop or your desktop browser to manage your items.

To get started, you must first create an account on Chandler Hub with your desktop browser. It is easy, and free. Of course, if you are already using the Hub you can just use your existing account. This step cannot be done with the browser in Android, because Chandler Hub does not work in a mobile browser (which is the main point why I made ChandlerQE for Android). If you are new to Chandler, be sure to check out the quick product tour.

When you first launch ChandlerQE for Android, it will ask for the Chandler Hub username and password. It will also try to automatically connect to the Hub to fetch your collections every time you change your username or password. The main UI consists of the title field, the content field, the collections list, and the send button. Enter the title of your note in the title box, then content in the content box, and select the collection you want to send the note into. If your collection is not listed but you know it is on the server, select the “Update from server…” item from the list, and after the list is updated, select the collection you want. Finally hit the Send button. After a little while you should get message in the UI informing you that the send was successful.

ChandlerQE for Android 1.0 Screenshot

ChandlerQE for Android 1.0 Screenshot

Background

Unless you lived under a rock the past few years, you have probably heard of the Chandler project. Mitch Kapor of Lotus fame founded the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF) in 2002 to create great Open Source software. The flagship project is and was Chandler, the note-to-self organizer, which aimed to be the killer personal information manager. While Chandler didn’t gain mass adoption similar to Firefox, it is still pretty innovative and used by thousands of people. There is even a book written about Chandler development: Dreaming in Code.

OSAF is running a free instance of the Chandler Server, aka Cosmo, called the Chandler Hub. The server is written in Java. Its original purpose was to enable sharing between Chandler Desktop clients, but the server quickly grew a UI as well, so it can be used on its own. Unfortunately the web UI is not usable in a mobile browser such as the one that ships with Android, nor will the desktop client – which is written in Python – run in a mobile device. So we needed a native client, hence ChandlerQE for Android.

Even while I was employed by OSAF between 2003 and 2008 we were thinking of ways to get revenue to make the non-profit foundation self sustaining. Many different models were considered and dropped. Currently OSAF relies purely on volunteers and donations. I have been tinkering with Android since early 2008 and when the Android Market went live with paid applications a light bulb went on. People have been willing to pay small amounts of money for mobile applications, so why not try that with Chandler? So I proposed to OSAF that I will create a Chandler-on-Android application, sell it on the mobile marketplaces since I am already doing that with some of my other projects, and donate a percentage to OSAF. OSAF said yes, so here we are! Depending on how well this takes off, we might consider something else in the future.

And if you need one more reason for ChandlerQE for Android, there already was ChandlerQE for iPhone. That just won’t do for us Android fans. So what are you waiting for, go grab ChandlerQE for Android!

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3 Comments

  1. Jake:

    This may replace Evernote for me, I’ll have to check it out!

  2. Mobil application:

    Hello. Good post. Why does not Chandler Hub work in a mobile browser? What browser do you recommend?

  3. Heikki Toivonen:

    @Mobil: The Hub was not tested in mobile browsers except for mobile safari, and even then it was not a priority. I’d recommend Firefox and Safari, although newer IEs should also work. I don’t think any other browsers were tested.