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For questions about OSAF as an organization, see the OSAF FAQ.

Chandler Project

Q What is Chandler?
Chandler is an open source note-to-self organizer designed for personal use and small group collaboration. Chandler comprises a desktop application, sharing service and web application.

For in-depth answers, see product tour and vision.

Q What license is Chandler under?
Chandler Desktop and Chandler Server are available under the terms of the Apache Software License, Version 2.0.

The Chandler logo image, and the contents of Chandler Project web sites excluding Chandler Hub, are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0.

Chandler Hub is subject to terms of service and a privacy policy.

Q What is the Chandler Project trademark policy?

A trademark is a right to not have your work confused with someone else's. The work of OSAF, the creator of the Chandler Project, is identified by two primary types of marks: the Chandler name and the dog logo image.

You are permitted to use and modify the name and logo so long as you do not imply your changes come from OSAF. For instance, calling your software "Chandler++" is not allowed by our trademark policy. If your intent is to significantly change the way our software works, you should use a different name and logo. We permit changes to fix bugs, improve security, integrate with other software, and other common modifications.

You are not required to contact us when you use our trademarks.

Please contact us if you have any questions about whether your use of our marks might be confusing:

OSAF trademarks c/o OSAF 543 Howard St, 5th floor San Francisco, CA 94105

Q Is Chandler free? Will OSAF make money from Chandler?
Chandler is open source, meaning that it is not only free but that the source code -- essentially the "recipe" of the program -- will be freely available.

OSAF's mission is to create and gain wide adoption for software applications of uncompromising quality using open-source methods. This implies that first and foremost we will make our software available free-of-charge under free / open source licenses for those operating exclusively in those worlds.

Q Can I donate money/software/hardware/labor/furry animals to you?
Please see donations page.

Q How can I contribute to the project?
Visit Get Involved to learn about ways to contribute to the project.

Chandler Product

Q What market or type of user are you targeting with Chandler?
Chandler's target market are knowledge workers. We're not focused on a particular industry per se, nor are we distinguishing much between work versus home users. We've seen that information management workflows don't respect such distinctions. For our target users, information is the substance of their work and more information is the output of their work: Research, proposals, priorities, direction and decisions? Somewhere in between, knowledge is gained and shared.

For Preview, we've narrowed our scope to target a particular brand of knowledge worker, one we believe is under-served by the software that exists today. These people work closely with every member of their team, acting as a communication hub. In the software industry, they often have job titles like project manager or product manager or program manager.

To enable our target user to collaborate with others, the Chandler Hub web application focuses on meeting the needs of the 'Casual Collaborator'.

See how people are using Chandler. See: Target User? for a more in-depth answer to this question.

Q Does Chandler do project management?
If you mean GANTT and PERT charts, timelines and task dependencies, and resource management, then no.

If you mean a way to manage tasks that unravel into multi-step projects, then yes! Chandler is designed to fill the gap between top-heavy, process-laden project management software and anemic task lists for what we're calling lowercase-p project management.

See how people are using Chandler.

Q Can I use Chandler for Email?
Chandler is not a full-fledged email client. Do not expect to be able to replace your current email application with Chandler Preview. However, email is an important part of Chandler and we hope to continue to build out email functionality. Today, Chandler sends and receives email (sent from other Chandler users) and downloads messages via 3 IMAP folders.

What works

  • Send Chandler notes and events out as email. (Unlike "regular" email, you can edit and re-send Chandler emails.) Instructions.?
  • Receive Chandler notes and events via email sent by other Chandler users.
  • Add messages from your email client into Chandler-oriented IMAP folders, from there Chandler Desktop can copy the messages and treat them as notes and events. Instructions.?
  • Reply and Forward
  • Independent windows for composing messages.

Frequently requested features

  • Download Flagged messages into Chandler
  • Download all email into Chandler
  • Attachments
  • Sync IMAP Flags and Read/Unread status
  • Sync IMAP Folders with Chandler (especially Drafts and Sent)
  • Conversation threads
  • Rich text editing for composing emails
  • Rules for filtering messages into collections automatically
  • Junk mail detection
  • Spell check.

Q Does Chandler Desktop require Chandler Server? Does Chandler Server require Chandler Desktop?
No, but combined use of the two does offer the richest Chandler experience.

Chandler Desktop works with Chandler Server, with WebDAV servers and a range of CalDAV servers.

Chandler Server works with Chandler Desktop, Apple iCal 2 and 3, Mozilla Lightning/Sunbird and a range of other applications.

Q Can I access my data through the web or PDA?
Chandler Hub offers a web interface to your data

Q Can I access my data through the web or PDA?
Chandler does not sync directly with mobile devices. However, you can subscribe to Chandler collections with Apple iCal and Google Calendar? via Chandler Hub and use iSync or Google Mobile to access your data from your mobile device.

Q Do releases of Chandler Desktop and coincide with releases of Chandler Server?

No. Their development paths are not synchronised.

Q I found a problem with the software, how do I report it?
Your bug reports are highly appreciated. Please see report a bug.


Chandler Desktop

Q What are the minimum/recommended requirements to run Chandler Desktop?
Minimum: as a ballpark, a mid-range setup that a consumer might have bought in 2003
  • Windows and Linux: Pentium(R) 4, ~2 GHz, 512 RAM
  • Mac: G4, ~1GHz, 512 RAM.

Recommended:

  • the faster the better.

Q What platforms does Chandler run on?
Chandler runs on Mac OS X, and Windows and Linux (currently supporting Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (aka Dapper)). Chandler can often run on other platform variations but may require some build work. See ChandlerDesktopSource for more information on currently supported platforms, as well as for links for downloading Chandler.

Q Where is the Chandler database stored on my system?
We call this location the profile directory. Instructions on how to find it and how to explicitly make Chandler use a profile directory are provided in ProfileDirectory.

Look here? for instructions on how to back up and move your data between machines or in order to upgrade.

Q I would like to use Chandler in a different language. Is that possible?
For end users: Chandler is only available in English.

For developers: experimental translations French, Finnish, German and Swedish are available.

If you are interested in contributing new translations, please contact us. Ideally, subscribe to the chandler-dev list).

If you are interested by the Internationalization coding aspects, the OSAF team developed a set of specific tools for this ( PyICU, EggTranslation) that are available for any Python application. More on this work can be found on our Internationalization page.

Q How do I get my tasks and calendar (from Outlook, Palm, Apple iCal, Google...) into Chandler Desktop?

Q How do I upgrade? (Data migration instructions.)
Chandler Desktop should do this automatically now. If you are having trouble, see Move your Data to Upgrade? for instructions on how to manually upgrade.

Q How do I keep Chandler Desktop in sync on multiple computers?
See Sync Chandler Desktop across Multiple Computers?.

Q Can I sync Chandler Desktop when I'm behind a proxy?
Yes, but you will need the "http" workaround - see instructions? and bug 12243 for details.

Q What servers/services can Chandler Desktop publish to?
  • Chandler Desktop can publish to Chandler Hub, Chandler Server, CalDAV, and WebDAV servers.
  • See Chandler Interop for more details.

Q What servers/services can Chandler Desktop subscribe to?
  • Chandler Desktop can subscribe to Chandler Hub, Chandler Server, ICAL Calendars (e.g. Google Calendar, Apple .Mac), CalDAV and WebDAV servers.
  • See the Subscribe to ICAL Calendars for instructions.
  • See Chandler Interop for more details.

Q What does that icon mean?
Wondering about the meaning of an icon? See the Icon Glossary.

Q What is the difference between Remove and Delete?

Since items (notes and events) can appear in multiple collections in Chandler, there needed to be a distinction between removing an item from a particular collection versus deleting the item completely from all collection (which puts it in the Trash collection).

Q What are all the commands for the Quick Entry box?
See Get Started Guide?.

Q How do I change the date/time formats and the week start date?
See Get Started Guide?.

Chandler Hub

Q What do the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy look like?
The final Terms of Service? and Privacy Policy? used for the Chandler Hub are now available. The terms are very oriented towards consumer protection. We're committed to your complete privacy. Our guiding principles come from our founder Mitch Kapor, a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Q I'm having problems signing up for or activating my account; what can I do?
The most common problem is that your "activation email" is getting lost in transfer or placed in your spam folder. If you have any problems, please contact hub-admin@osafoundation.org and we'll work to resolve any issues you're having. Please keep trying!

Q What information do you need to open a Chandler Hub account?
We only need a name, user name, password, and email address. The email address will not be sold or otherwise misused. It is used only to verify there's a human making the request, and so we can contact your with critical information about service outages or changes.

Q What sort of uptime and availability should I expect?
The Chandler Hub is not backed by a huge organization with the resources to provide multiple redundant servers and backups along with 24x7x365 monitoring and fixes. Right now, we expect perhaps a total of one day downtime per year. We keep backups taken multiple times per day, but if there were a serious crash, some data might be lost as we restore from backups.

As we grow, we're committed to introducing better redundancy, better backups, and more 24x7 coverage. We hope to never cause you undue hassle, but please accept our apologies in advance if have difficulty reaching your info when you really need it.

Q How secure is my information on Chandler Hub?
The security of your information depends on a number of factors on both your side and ours. We provide SSL web access so your information is very hard to read while being transferred. Once the information is on our servers, only a very small list of trusted staff have access to those servers. We take backups of the data and move it over a secure network to another machine for backup protection. We try very hard to keep your data as secure and safe as possible on our end, as well as working to provide you the tools to keep data safe on your end.

A great thing about the Chandler Project is you can share easily with people by generating a view-only and/or a view-and-edit URL that you can send easily via instant messaging, email, or the web. You get to choose who to share those URLs with. But if you're trying to keep your URLs private, and someone you don't want to gets access to those URLs, they will have the granted level of access. If you don't send out URLs for a given collection though, only you, with the user name and password, will have access.

Overall, your data is very secure, if you want it to be. If you share items or collections with other people, they are much more likely to change your data than any unauthorized intruder on our side. Anything is possible, and we're glad you're thinking about the security of your data.

Q Who owns the data I put on Chandler Hub?
We strongly adhere to the principle that "your data is your data". We make no intellectual property claim on the content that you upload. Further, we believe that you should always be able to get your data back out, once it is put in; we provide multiple formats for you to "backup" your data as you see fit.

But for practicality's sake, there has to be some limits and since you own that data, you have to give us permission to use it in certain ways, like host the data for you, share it with others if you tell us to, backup the database so we don't lose your data. And if we have a server or database very bad crash or a mistake is made and we lose your data, you can't claim any damages for us losing your stuff (ie, data).

Q I'm trying to run this on my mobile device, what browsers does Chandler Hub support?
Currently Chandler Hub has not be tested with any mobile devices. Though we have been told Mozilla's Minimo 2.0 now supports Ajax. If you are running Minimo 0.2 for Windows Mobile 5.0 and above—set to desktop view, you might be able to scroll around and enter items on to the calendar. Please note this is currently not tested by OSAF.

If you have feedback on what your are seeing on your mobile device please send them along to us and either report a bug or we'll file one for you to track them. Hopefully in the near future we will specify some mobile devices which we'll be able to test against. In the meantime, here is a list of browser support by priority:

  1. Windows Firefox 2.0 & 1.5
  2. Windows IE7
  3. Windows IE6
  4. Apple Firefox 2.0 & 1.5
  5. Safari 2.0
  6. Linux Firefox
  7. Windows/Mac Firefox 1.0

The current target screen size - 1024x768 pixels, though the application should still be usable at 800x600 pixels (it just might look a bit squished).

Q Which applications can write to Chandler Hub?

Q Which applications can read from Chandler Hub?

Q Is SSL supported? Is SSL required?
SSL access to the Hub is supported (SSL will encrypt your data and password between your browser and the server so no one can snoop on it). We think your privacy and security is important, so we recommend that you use SSL sessions whenever possible. If you just access http://hub.chandlerproject.org/ to login, you should get an SSL session. Look for the standard "locked key" icon in your browser to determine if your session is SSL encrypted.

Requiring SSL can cause problems, so we also support accessing the Hub without using SSL (that is, just regular HTTP, not HTTPS). SSL can cause problems during debugging, mashup development, low-power devices, and many other exotic situations. You are welcome to use non-SSL access, but for your safety and ours, please use SSL whenever possible.



Chandler Server Questions

Q What is Chandler Server (Cosmo) and what is its relationship to Chandler Hub?
Chandler Server is a software package which includes an Apache Tomcat web server. This package is available for anyone to download and run (therefore hosting his/her own server). Chandler Hub is an instance of Chandler Server that OSAF hosts publicly.

Q How do I get Chandler Server (Cosmo)?
You download the OSAF Server bundle? and install them on your server. Take a look at the End User Documentation if there are any questions on how to use Chandler Server (Cosmo).

Q Can I see how Chandler Server work without downloading and installing the OSAF Server bundle?
Yes! Sign up for an account on Chandler Hub and see how Chandler Server works without downloading the server bundle.

Q How do I find information after I download Chandler Server?
ChandlerServerEndUserManual | ServerBundleAdministrator | ServerBundleInstallation

Q How secure is my information on Chandler Server (Cosmo)?
Technically you choose how secure you want your information to be — you can use it like a traditional calendar instead of a collaborative calendar. Chandler Server (Cosmo) does not currently encrypt calendar data. Please see tickets for a full explanation of how Chandler Server (Cosmo) works with small group collaborations.

The Chandler Hub instance of Chandler Server is configured to allow anyone with a ticket to view and edit shared collections.

Q Will Chandler Server run on Windows Vista and Mac OS X Leopard?
We haven't tested Chandler Server on Vista or Leopard, but as long as Java and the database (Apache Derby or MySQL?) run, you should be fine.

Q What is the default password for the root account?
The default password for root is "cosmo".

Q How do I browse my Home directory on the server?
You can turn on access to the Home directory by clicking on the 'Settings' link in the upper right-hand corner, select the 'Advanced' tab in the dialog and check 'Show Account Browser link'. Once you 'Save' the 'Settings' dialog you'll notice the 'Account Browser' link appear next to the 'Settings' link. Please note: items and collections deleted from the Account Browser cannot be recovered.

Q How do I use a [insert DB vendor here] db instead of the default embedded Derby db?
see ServerBundleStartupConfiguration

Q Can I upgrade from previous versions of cosmo and still keep my data?
As of Cosmo 0.6.1, yes. A migration component is included in the server bundle, which will upgrade an older schema to the latest version preserving data. See ServerBundleInstallation for more information.

Q Can I migrate from Derby to MySQL??
Probably. Although there are no tools included in the server bundle to help you out. see CosmoDatabaseConversion.

Q How do I backup a cosmo server?
Backing up the server's data involves backing up the database, which can vary depending on the database used. For the default Derby install, the db directory inside the server bundle directory should be backed up. For mysql, the mysql db should be dumped using mysqldump.

Q Does cosmo run on java 1.6?
It should, although not a lot of testing has been done. Please submit bugs if you run into problems.

Q Can I run cosmo on a different app server?
Probably, although each app server may require different configuration tweaks. see ServerBundleInstallation

Q Using the webui is great, but how can I look at/update my data using other applications?
The server supports a variety of HTTP-based protocols that can be used to query/update user data, as well as perform user administration. See Developers, under "Client Access to Chandler Server data" for more info.

Q Is cosmo horizontally scalable?
It should be, with the caveat that 2nd level caching has to either be turned off, or configured with a clusterable cache. Also, because the webui uses sessions to authenticate the app server would need to be configured to replicate sessions or a sticky session load balancer would work too. Note that this really hasn't been tested.

Q Can I use LDAP or [insert other auth method] instead of creating users in cosmo?
Unfortunately, no, not at the moment. We would love to get this feature in, and patches are welcome!

Q Does cosmo support groups and/or ACLs?
Unfortunately, no, not at the moment. We would love to get this feature in, and patches are welcome!



Chandler Desktop Developer Questions

Q What is the programming environment for Chandler?
Chandler is written in a popular rapid development language called python and the wxPython graphics toolkit. Functionalities (called parcels or plugins) can be easily plugged in to the Chandler framework.

Q Why did you choose Python instead of Java?
No one reason dominated the decision, but the list of reasons looks something like this:

  1. Python is true open source
  2. Python data more naturally maps to the quasi-structured nature of Chandler data
  3. At the time a language decision was made, client side java seemed to be a barrier to a good user experience. (Eclipse is a more recent counterexample)
  4. Python programs are both concise and readable, this makes it excellent for rapid development by a distributed team
  5. It is easier to integrate non-python code into python than it is to integrate non-java code into java. For example, right now our UI code is the C++ Library wxWidgets, and we are using a full text indexing system (Lucene) written in Java.
  6. Some test programming was done in Python (the UI prototype Andy H. did), and the experience from this test seemed to validate our choice.

Q Why didn't you use zodb?
We grappled with this question here: Why not zodb?

Q What modifications did you make to Python?

We made 2 kinds of modifications:

  1. Modifications that affect how it builds:
    • For OS X we modified "configure" to specify our local Python framework within the generated Makefile (via "-framework").
    • When building the berkeley db extension we have changed the way setup.py looks for the libraries (it only looks in our local directories).
  2. Modifications that affect how it runs:
    • On Windows we commented out the code that searches the registry for installed extensions (so only our extensions would be loaded by our Python)

Q Where can I find documentation for the API?
See our Developers Wiki for all documentation related to Chandler source code and its API.


Chandler Server Developer Questions

Q Wow, the build seems to be downloading a lot of jars. Is that normal?
Yes. Cosmo has a lot of external dependencies. The jars only need to be downloaded the first time you build though, and afterwards only when we update our dependencies.

Q Where did all those downloaded jars go?
In your local Maven repository at ~/.m2/repository.

Q Huh? Maven?
We currently use Maven 2.0.4+ which can be downloaded from http://maven.apache.org/

Troubleshooting

Q Oh no! Chandler hangs during startup, what do I do?
This is exceedingly rare, but if this happens to you, hold down the Control key while Chandler is booting up. You will get a dialog with a number of recovery options. First choose the option to save a snapshot of your data to a file, and on next boot, choose the option to have Chandler "Do internal cleanup, but keep my data and settings". Be sure to report the bug and include the snapshot file generated.
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