Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Mac Bookmark Managers

The idea behind del.icio.us is great, but for me it becomes truly useful using a “rich client” instead of a web browser. For a long time, Cocoalicious has been that “rich client,” offering a combination of native Mac OS X technologies with the web services offered by del.icio.us. Unfortunately, it appears as though Cocoalicious is no longer under active development, and so I’ve gone seeking other solutions.

There are quite a few bookmark managers out there for the Mac, but not so many that offer integration with del.icio.us. Likewise, there are a number of utilities that offer to make posting to del.icio.us easier (Pukka and Postr come to mind) but don’t necessarily offer the bookmark management functionality upon which I rely. So far, I’ve only found two applications that have the right balance of functionality.

The first of these is WebnoteHappy. It looks as if WebnoteHappy originally started out as “just” a bookmark manager; del.icio.us support seems to be an add-on rather than an integral part of the application itself. Nevertheless, WebnoteHappy does have a couple of things going for it:

  • It supports integration with NetNewsWire, my RSS reader, so that I can post URLs directly from NNW’s context menu. (Currently, only Cocoalicious, Pukka, Postr, and WebnoteHappy appear to be supported.)

  • It supports AppleScript.

  • It supports Smart Folders to group bookmarks according to tags, description, or notes.

The best part of del.icio.us, to me, is the tags. This is where WebnoteHappy seems to be the weakest. I can’t browse my bookmarks by tags (although I could create a Smart Folder based on tags), there’s no tag autocompletion, and when posting to del.icio.us via WebnoteHappy from NNW I’m not given the option to assign any tags (indeed, I’m not even given the option to share the bookmark via del.icio.us).

The second application is a relatively new application; it’s called Socialist. Socialist appears to be built from the ground up to be a “rich” del.icio.us client. The relative immaturity of Socialist is showing up in some areas, though:

  • No AppleScript support.

  • No integration with NNW. (Granted, the list of supported applications is fairly small, but this is a feature I use regularly.)

Fortunately, Socialist does support tags, and does provide a way to browse bookmarks via tags. The current release doesn’t support browsing via multiple tags or tag autocompletion, but supposedly those features are in the next version of the software (which is due out soon).

Each application has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and both are lacking some features that I would love to see:

  • Growl support (to provide a Growl notification when a URL is successfully posted to del.icio.us)

  • AppleScript support (so URL management tasks can be automated a bit more)

  • Spotlight integration (ability to search URL and note text from the Spotlight menu)

Of course, I already mentioned browsing via tags (including the ability to select multiple tags and see only the bookmarks tagged with all the selected tags) and tag autocompletion. If NNW integration isn’t possible, then the ability to at least pull the contents of the clipboard into the new bookmark sheets in each application would be good. An entry on the Services menu would be handy as well.

Any other products out there I should be considering? Anyone have any feedback on one of these two products? I’d love to hear from real-world users on what they like or don’t like about either of these two applications.

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