Mori?

Ve
Vermonter17032
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:35 pm Post

Hi,

Well, after about 10 months with my MacBook, I have yet to find a notebook/information manager that I'm really satisfied with. I suspect this has something to do with my long roots in the PC world (which I maintain eight hours a day at the office). I recently took another look at Mori, and I find I like what I see. I like that it has customizable columns for meta data. I like that I can have multiple notebooks. And I like that any item in a notebook, whether folder or note, can have sub items.

What I'm not so sure about is the developer, Apokalypse Software. I am always a bit skeptical when the original developer sells out to someone else -- that often seems to be a recipe for failure. And the new developer doesn't seem to have done much to improve Mori in recent months.

I guess my question is, does anyone on the forum have experience using Mori? How do you like it? Any thoughts on its future?

Thank you.

dr
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:10 pm Post

You might take a look at the DevonThink products. Version 2.0 is in beta, but stable.
The list of files they import is here:
http://www.devon-technologies.com/produ ... rison.html
Can't beat DT for speed, search, and AI tools; files export easily to Scrivener.

Ve
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:34 pm Post

druid wrote:You might take a look at the DevonThink products. Version 2.0 is in beta, but stable.
The list of files they import is here:
http://www.devon-technologies.com/produ ... rison.html
Can't beat DT for speed, search, and AI tools; files export easily to Scrivener.


Druid,

Thanks for the referral, but I already have DT Pro 2.0. I realize it is in beta still, but I have not been that impressed. Or, rather, I should say that its strengths are not as important to me as some other basic features. As far as I can tell, DTP does not have custom columns (it is possible I've missed this feature), and notes cannot have subnotes. I am glad that it finally allows multiple databases to be open at the same time.

Should I infer from your referral to DTP that you don't think highly of Mori? :lol:

dr
druid
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:19 pm Post

I used Hog Bay Notebook, but not Mori. So I don't have any impressions of it, good or bad.

DT Pro Office 2.0 has a View command, and under it Columns, where you select from ten criteria. All of those columns sort ascending and descending. Also under View, the Sort command has a rich array of choices. But I may not understand what you mean by custom columns?

Features that I like are import of Address Book, Bookmarks, scanned documents, e-mail; and export of Omni outlines, OPML, RTF and DOC. I prefer to keep most of my research data in DTP and do the drafting in Scrivener.

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Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:43 pm Post

Vermonter17032 wrote:Hi,

W
I guess my question is, does anyone on the forum have experience using Mori? How do you like it? Any thoughts on its future?

Thank you.


I've been using it since its original developer transition from Hog Bay Notebook (and I used Hog Bay Notebook for a couple of years). I like Mori, but it's pretty much dead in the water; as near as I can tell the developer isn't going anywhere with it.

I'm looking for something to replace it, but DevonThink requires more thinking than I have time for. I might go back to Macjournal, which I used some years ago before Marriner software bought it. The newest iteration seems pretty spiffy.

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Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:00 pm Post

I've tried Mori, but not used it for a prolonged period. Based on that experience, I think you've described its attributes entirely accurately.

I would be concerned about its future development. Its creator is prolific - I believe TaskPaper is one of his - but (speaking from memory) I think it's at least a year since he sold Mori on, and as far as I can see no great leap forward has been achieved since then. (I hope I'm not doing the new owner a disservice.)

The key functionality I believe it and every other similar Mac information manager lacks is the old Ecco trick - the ability to turn top-line items into customised columns, and vice versa, a sort of pivot-table switch. To be fair, it's probably not practical with a heavy-duty datastore such as DT. Mori looked at one time as if it might conceivably be nimble enough to be on the road to achieving it, but no such luck.

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that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
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Amaru
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:16 pm Post

I did use Mori for almost two years--I even suggested that the log include a fountain pen--but when it changed ownership, there was something lost in the dynamics between the user-base and the developer, and the product began changing in areas I was not interested, and became stagnant in those ares I cared about.

Two good options are DEVONThink and Together, which are compared, with excellent comments, in this thread. I am currently a Together registered user, because it seemed to replace nicely, with a better user interface, and great functionality, the needs that were addressed by Mori. I also registered to DEVONThink because it allows me to collect information during research, and it has an engine that creates relationships among the bits and pieces to throw at it.

Ve
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:22 pm Post

druid wrote:DT Pro Office 2.0 has a View command, and under it Columns, where you select from ten criteria. All of those columns sort ascending and descending. Also under View, the Sort command has a rich array of choices. But I may not understand what you mean by custom columns?


Druid,

What I mean by custom columns is that I am looking to create my own columns. For instance, if I were keeping a list of movies that I've viewed, I might create a column for "director," kind of like a spreadsheet, really. Mori has this function, whereas I do not believe DTP does. The only other Mac PIM/outliner/notebook app that does have it that I'm aware of is OmniOutliner, but that isn't really a notebook.

Others who have commented, thank you for your opinions. You have confirmed what I feared, and that is the future of Mori isn't bright. So this leads me to this zen-like question: "Does one invest in an application that works fine now, but which is likely never to be improved?" I must contemplate upon this.

Thanks for all the input!

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Jaysen
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:44 pm Post

Yes. Every time I buy something. As a matter of fact KB suggests this about scriv as well. You are "buying" a product feature set that exists now. Anything else is "investing" in a hoped for future. As the current economy suggests this is not a guaranteed thing.

Hope the makes some kind of sense. Probably not though. Too much antifreeze this week.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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KB
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:04 pm Post

On the other hand, you do want to know that development is not so stalled that it will not work on future platforms... Although I always say to buy Scrivener based on its current featureset, I think it is reasonable for users to expect that it will continue to run on future OS X updates for a reasonable period.

I downloaded Mori not long ago and found it a little confusing, in that it seemed to lack features it used to have, unless I'm imagining things. There seemed to be less flexibility in organising folders and files and so forth. It might be worth dropping the developer a note, though. If he gets back to you quickly and tells you his rough future plans, at least you know it's not dead.

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Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:22 pm Post

I took Keith's sage advice and sent of a note to Apokalypse Software regarding Mori. Here is the quick respone I received interspersed among my (hardhitting!!!) questions:

> Hello,
>
> I like many of the features I see in Mori, and am considering buying
> a license, but I am concerned about future development.

I'm glad you like Mori's features and hope you find it compelling enough
to buy a license.

> Are you committed to continuing to improve and support the program?

but...have you been following my blog and the activity on Mori's forum?
Yes, I'm not as communicative as my partners would like, but I have been
putting up (semi-)weekly alphas of the latest versions as new features
are added in. The next alpha, in fact, will contain support for Linkback
and improved printing support.

> Can I be sure that two or three or four years from now that it will
> be updated to work with future OS X platforms?

I can't make that sort of assurance that I'll matter to anyone at that
time, of course, but I am working to establish Mori as the _primary_ app
for writing and sharing info with others. So barring incidents beyond my
ability to control, both Mori and I should be around for many years to
come. (Unfortunately, perhaps?)

> Can you give me some idea of the ways in which you plan to develop
> Mori further and what sort of time table I might expect?

Better import and export of data into Mori and back (to protect your
data), better processing tools to let you look for and interpret data in
your notebooks, better UI for working, a larger library of third-party
plugins for Mori, sharing of notebooks and notebook entries with others,
etc.

Not only is there the feature request system on my site that lists
features I'll be adding, but I've been creating an even larger one here
with ways to make Mori easier and more powerful for you to use in your
daily life.

> Thank you.
>

I'm more than happy to explain the ways Mori is getting better and will
continue to do so. Please feel free to contact me again or the rest of
Mori's community at our forum
http://apokalypsesoftware.com/products/forum/mori if there's any way we
can help you.


Sincerely,

Alfonso Guerra
President
Apokalypse Software Corp.


So, to judge from this response, Mori does have a future... although an endless stream of alpha versions does not fully allay my reticence, it does help a little.

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AmberV
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Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:01 am Post

Mori was kind of a love-hate with me. I really liked Hog Bay Notebook, as it has some features that wouldn't exist on the Mac at all until Scrivener came around. Mori replaced it with an incredibly stripped down set of features. I think the original idea was to allow users to write plug-ins to expand it back into what it used to be for those that wanted it that way. While this idea worked in the transition from Mozilla to Firefox, HBN and subsequently Mori, never had the level of usage that either of those apps had, nor the incredibly diverse amount of amateur and professional coders using it. In short, plug-ins were awfully scarce and even if you installed them all, Mori never could equal what HBN had been.

Regarding this response: The current developer of Mori seems to take a tidal interest in the software. It will languish for half a year at a time with major bugs, and then he'll put out a bunch of small updates and then disappear again. Honestly I wouldn't trust it for long term storage of anything, and found some of his answers odd, above.

As for notebook/archival: I have long used and still use Boswell. Expensive, but there is nothing else like it in either Windows or the Mac. Zoot! is probably the closest in its general philosophy and quirky sense of humour. It is definitely showing its age, but it still works. I've never found anything else that can truly double as a notebook and an archive. Everything else specialises in one or the other and while they may support the notion of both, they don't support it very well.
.:.
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Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:07 am Post

Mori has bugs that the developer has been aware of for many, many months without fixing.

* The service to append to rich text entries puts the text in the wrong entry.

* Several times a day the spinning beach ball of death pops up and writes an entry to the console.

* The font characteristics for a new entry is inherited from a previous entry rather than the preference default.

These bugs were introduced by the new developer.

The new developer has been promising all kinds of imminent miracles that never materialize. Check out the users forum: http://apokalypsesoftware.com/products/forum/mori

I'm ready to move to something else, but haven't decided what. I have licenses for DEVONthink Pro, MacJournal, and VoodooPad, but none feel right for the way I'm using Mori

Hope this helps

Bob
Preparing for Real Life Adventures http://rlaexp.com/memo.html. It's impossible to work on things that aren't on one's mental radar at the necessary point in time.

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Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:36 am Post

I was an early adopter of Yojimbo as an information "dump" and used Mori for many months as a digital journal (not just notes, but images, etc--anything related to my ongoing studio projects).

I've now replaced both of these with Together, which has smart folders and the robust tagging I need and better handling of pdfs. Together now handles my studio journal and archives as well as my academic and personal archives.

I loved the aesthetics of Mori but it just didn't meet my needs.

I still use Yojimbo for all my web/digital purchase records, logins, serial numbers, etc and I still keep a folder for web bookmarks for purchases I am considering as I've become accustomed to how easily I can bookmark a million possibilities while I'm browsing in Safari.

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Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:10 am Post

Tinderbox is at the opposite end of the complexity spectrum, but offers the ability to customise info and then some. It's developer, Mark Bernstein, is progressively tidying up some of its interface quirks, too.

Devonthink 2 beta has placeholders for custom metadata, but that part hasn't been implemented yet.

I pine for Zoot, my sole regret about leaving the Windows platform in 2002. I think my endorsement is still on the developer site, and I still stand by it. It's a gem that isn't really replicated on the Mac. And why hasn't anyone had a go at redesigning Ecco Pro for the 21st Century?