As many of you probably know, the French word for computer is ordinateur, suggesting an organizer of sorts--which, a friend of mine once remarked, seems to be a much more frequent use for many of us (at least those of us in the humanities and social sciences) than the calculating functions alluded to by computer. Perhaps one of the newest uses for the organizing power of computers is an area only made possible by the computer-- the anarchic, ever-expanding internet. Many of you use Eudora(tm) or Claris Emailer, and have created different mailboxes for different types of messages, but how do you handle clippings from big digests or news postings, or texts of all sorts? What about URLs? A variety of solutions have been proposed for organizing this information: separate programs and / or system extensions. None is the perfect answer, but hopefully these reviews will help you decide what is best for you.
I'll admit right away that my preference is for applications, rather than for control panels or extensions, which organize your approach to the internet. Applications tend to compromise the stability of your computer less, and release memory used when you quit them. Some applications, such as WebArranger, are actually hybrids in that they rely on extensions for special functions such as URL checking and text "grabbing."
Mailkeeper | URL Manager Pro
There are undeniable benefits to implementing these utilities as extensions, however: for example, extensions tend to blend more seemlessly with the Mac operating system, and they work automatically, without requiring manual launching of a program. Aladdin's CyberFinder gives the Finder URL-managing capabilities, and extends the concept of alias to the URL. Others, such as WebQuick, allow automatic tracking and organization of sites you visit, and make URLs available as a system menu item.
CyberFinder | WebQuick
WebQuick is a very useful utility-- one that makes the cataloguing of bookmarks easier than with any other program. I'm still not sure that it's a "must-have," however. For one, it currently has a significant disadvantage: it cannot import Netscape bookmarks, so that its "topics" list must be constructed from scratch. The designers say that this feature is high on their list to be implemented. Secondly, WebQuick, as the name indicates, is only oriented toward the web, and thus ignores ftp and telnet (the two most significant omission in my opinion). If these shortcomings seem serious to you, yet you still the tight integration offered by an extension, I would recommend Aladdin's CyberFinder. I remain partial to the application URL Manager Pro because of its more general abilities and lower risk of causing system crashes through conflicts. MailKeeper as a text-capture utilitiy, is in a class by itself, and may prove valuable to some users (it has to me).