November 24, 2005
Running with Simpy
Earlier, I wrote that I was becoming disillusioned with Furl. Otis Gospodnetic–Simpy founder, Lucene contributor, and co-author of the fantastic Lucene in Action–wrote in to suggest I use Furl’s export as Mozilla Bookmarks to import into Simpy.
So, this weekend I made the switch to Simpy.
The import process worked wonderfully (if a bit slow for a mere 1,100 bookmarks). I wasn’t hopeful of preserving my ad hoc hierarchy, given that it was built on top of Furl’s flat namespace, and exported to a Mozilla bookmarks format. But Simpy took a topic such as “Work – Search” and not only turned it into two tags, but it also provides a great tag navigator that feels just like it’s preserving my hierarchy. (Yeah, I should have expected this, but instead I got a nice surprise.)
There were only two downsides to this. First, all bookmarks had to be imported as either “public” or “private.” I guess since sharability isn’t part of the Mozilla bookmark spec (which is just a fancy HTML file with custom attributes), there was no way to preserve that information on export. Second, every word in every page title was turned into a tag (as a result, my tag cloud is HUGE). Since that doesn’t appear to be the default behavior for bookmarking into Simpy, I’m not clear on why it was the default for importing.
But now I can commit to fully exploring Simpy’s features. Trying to assess a service while all your data is locked into their competitor’s service, and you’re psychologically bound to that competitor, is taxing.