Tomboy Rocks!

Most of this post is going to be about an application called Tomboy. Here’s where to get it from.

Just got Tomboy running on my ThinkPad a couple of minutes ago. It is an incredibly useful application. I use it all the time on my desktop at work to make TODO lists, to jot down ideas, to paste snippets of code, and other similar things.

The beauty of Tomboy is the linking between notes. Here’s how I use links:
I create a separate note for a complex task in my TODO list. So I might have an entry in Thursday’s TODO that says “Merge the FooBarBaz daemon sources for AIX and Solaris”. Now I have a few notes to make about this particular task, but putting them in the TODO list will only clutter the list. So I create another note in Tomboy, title it FooBarBaz code merge, and make the above entry in my TODO list a link to this note! Once you get used to doing things this way, your productivity increases exponentially! Of course, YMMV, but if it doesn’t work for you, you’re not quite in the same league as I am! ;-)

The other way I use linking is to link to documents. So I have an entry that says “Finish section so-and-so of the FooBarBaz daemon design doc”. After typingthat line, I simply drag the actual file from within Nautilus to the note, creating a link to the document from the note. So now, when I click on the link, the document just opens up in LeafPad! Wonderful!

Two other great features in Tomboy are viewing recently modified notes, and searching notes. These are of particular use when you have a lot of notes.

Returning to the linking part, Tomboy’s author Alex Graveley is working on support for linking to all Desktop Objects, including Evolution Todos and Tasks, appointments, email, IM Buddies, image previews, and playlists. Once done, tomboy will be a killer app for the Linux Desktop. No doubt about it. Imagine creating a note, dragging and dropping music files/playlists to it, creating on-the-fly playlists, merging, cropping playlists from within notes on your desktop! Writing email into a note and posting it from within Tomboy! Creating a task and adding it to Evolution! The beauty of this application is the ubiquitious prescence of a note on the desktop, the ease with which text within a note can be manipulated. We are only limited by our imagination as regards what is possible with Tomboy.

Actually, I ought to switch to SUSE Linux 9.2 Professional from Novell Linux Desktop 9. Although the latter is a fantastic piece of software, and currently ranks as my Number One Distribution, it doesn’t contains a lot of the *-devel packages that I need to compile and install a lot of software. I doesn’t come with Apache, or MySQL, or PHP… all of which I need for a lot of my work. Of course, Novell Linux Desktop’s not meant to provide all of this… SUSE 9.2 is the powergeek’s distro, so none of my complaints are against NLD 9. It accomplishes what it’s supposed to – being a full-featured business desktop, perfectly. Full marks to Novell for its great product line!

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