May 19, 2003
Chandler for Higher Ed Gets a Go Ahead

We recently presented our vision of a version of Chandler, called Westwood, for higher education to a consortium of schools we were introduced to by the Mellon Foundation. It got a great reception.

We believe the main concepts of our Westwood plan have been validated. You can see the description of the proposed Westwood version of Chandler and a summary of our thinking about Chandler in Higher Education here.

We are developing a bottoms-up plan as to people, time, and money needed to implement Westwood functionality. We plan to make a formal proposal regarding collaboration with a group of universities and the Mellon Foundation to develop Westwood.

Posted by mitch@osafoundation.org at May 19, 2003 03:50 PM
Comments

Please take a look at colloquia. It is similar to Chandler, has been designed specifically for education and is currenly being used to teach a degree course at the University of Wales, Bangor.

www.colloquia.net

Posted by: Andy at June 19, 2003 07:48 AM

Mitch:
I was an early and devoted user of Agenda, who really mourned its passing. Actually, I still have it loaded on my old PC, (it was never taken off), but now only use it to refer to old data. It was a happy day when I came across the info that you were going to try to bring back a modernized version of this wonderful program.

I just downloaded the Chandler beta to take a look at what you are up to, and things look pretty good, even this early in the game, (and I also looked at the Colloquia site; very interesting).

I have since migrated to the Mac -- I could do one of their "switch" ads because I can't believe I waited so long -- and I'm delighted to know that your plans for Chandler are cross-platform. By the way, sorry to hear you were fooling with Mozilla when you could/should have switched to a Mac and would now be so much happier with Safari! It is such a relief every time I shed another MS product! Hurry up and give me the finished Chandler so I can drop Entourage!

A few suggestions/comments:

Please try to maintain the "fluidity" that Agenda had. One of the negatives of most PIMs/Outlook-type programs is the rigidity imposed on the display of info. In contrast, Agenda allowed the user to reorganize and tailor a View on the fly, as it were. I loved that aspect of it, (and the ease of building my own category list). The simple way info was displayed in Agenda was deceptive; in fact it was extraordinarily "elegant" (in the scientific sense), and very powerful. Most important, it allowed me to make Agenda into "my" PIM -- all the others force me to tailor my needs to the structure of the program -- most of which are business-oriented and leave us more academic types with an unsuitable structure.

Not sure if you are considering a "module" concept, that would allow users to have connectivity to other kinds of software. For instance, I used Agenda as a history/literary research tool (superb! nothing else like it ever or since). It would be ideal to have the bibliographic/note-taking power of Chandler closely connected to a word processor or desktop publishing program. The less cut and paste necessary the better.

I'm intrigued by the direction Nisus is going with their new word processor for OS-X -- if that turns out as good as their beta looks now, it would be a natural ally for a seamless import ability from Chandler. And the day I can dump Word in the trashcan will be a day to celebrate!!!!!

Also not sure how you are thinking about importing info from Chandler into something like InDesign, for instance. Or how you plan to bring in stuff from the web -- whether Chandler will have a built-in browser, or whether there is some "save to", or "import" function?

Here again, if it isn't built in, it not only needs to be really easy to capture stuff and bring it into Chandler, but easy to generate finished product in other forms. But you know that :-) so I'm probably just confirming what you are busy trying to make happen!

I'm watching and waiting, and wishing all of you well with this project!

June

Posted by: JHHiatt at June 27, 2003 04:11 PM