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Home » Products » Reviews » The Very Ugly

Journalizer

If Then Software
Rating:@

There comes a time...

On every platform, with every process, there are conditions, and misgivings, and reasons to suspend judgement. For a while. But sooner or later, even the most naive must admit things have gone too far.

<key>PBXProjectSourcePath</key>
<string>/Volumes/DelfsiPod/DelfsWare Applications
/Completed Projects/Journalizer/Journalizer.pbproj</string>

From the blurb at the If Then Software site:

WELCOME TO IF THEN SOFTWARE. WE USE APPLESCRIPT STUDIO TO BUILD UNIQUE AND INVENTIVE SOFTWARE PRODUCTS DESIGNED TO RUN ON MACINTOSH OS X.

OUR PRODUCTS ARE ROUGH, DURABLE, AND STAND UP TO MOST ANY CHALLENGE. KEEP AN EYE ON THIS SITE WHILE WE HANDCRAFT EVEN MORE PRODUCTS FOR YOU.

THE SOFTWARE IS DONATIONWARE - WE APPRECIATE DONATIONS TO KEEP OUR COMPANY BUILDING STRONG PRODUCTS THAT MEASURE UP TO YOUR STANDARDS.

If Then get an A+ in both web design, graphics, and marketing savvy. Time to see how the software itself measures up.

The blurb for Journalizer tells us the following.

This software will allow you to activate or deactivate Apple's new file journaling feature without using the command line. File journaling is part of Mac OS X 10.2.2 and higher and will not work with previous versions. Journaling is already built into Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther).

The key here is 'without using the command line'. For that would be disastrous. Starting at the end and working towards the middle - and discounting, for the sake of the argument, the fact that this setting is eminently accessible in System Preferences - the command line, so challenging in this instance, is one of the following.

    sudo diskutil enableJournal /
    sudo diskutil disableJournal /

That's it. That's all there is to it. Two dozen keyboards hits and three spaces. And it's done.

All right, on to the middle.

The Journalizer download is a 136 KB HQX file - it won't kill you, but even with a T-1 you'd almost be through punching in the command line before your file was ready.

The antiquated HQX expands into a directory called Journalizer aptly enough, where the total disk waste is 31 items for 241,493 bytes and one block in a resource fork - the link so you can 'donate' money to this worthy cause.

This expanded package of course includes more than its share of .DS_Store rubbish: three all told, for a waste of six blocks or 24 KB.

There is an empty file, dragster.tiff, evidently to promote another fine If Then product - it's just that If Then forgot to put something inside. Careful QA on product shipment here.

    du dragster.tiff
    0       dragster.tiff

There's also both a keyedobjects.nib and a objects.nib, and as the system can only use one or the other, this is yet another strategic move by the doyens of If Then. The 'classes' and 'info' NIBs are included without being needed, adding to the bloat and waste.

    du *.nib
    8       classes.nib
    8       info.nib
    72      keyedobjects.nib
    48      objects.nib

A screenshot of this magnificent app is below.

Note the subtle touch with 'Window Transparency': you're going to be using this app for such a long time, you'd best get cosmetic settings you can live with. Something like getting married.

Oh yes, there are doodads galore - and If Then are as good as any rainmakers in the art of crafting juicy doodads - but getting back to the issue at hand: all this smoke and mirrors is just to disguise the fact that you could have done the task at hand in half the time it took to either visit the bewildering If Then website, or to download one of their fine products.

Quick refresher course.

    sudo diskutil enableJournal /
    sudo diskutil disableJournal /

The excellent Journalizer comes with an AppleScript file (natch). It's an additional 13624 bytes and resides in your standard 'Scripts' subdirectory. All you have to do is double-click it to open it in Apple's script editor.

It's immediately apparent what the Wizard of Oz is hiding behind the curtain.


So now the question becomes: what is going on here? What are the rock and the hard place this evolution of the art of programming represent?

For no matter how one tries to avoid taking it, there are two immovable objects involved.

The rock is the acceptance that Mac users are so terminally genetically stupid that they can't key in two dozen punches on their keyboards without losing it, and that a couple of hundred kilobytes both in download and disk waste are superior.

That's a pretty sad conclusion, but the alternative, the hard place, is almost worse: it's the realisation that yet another rainmaker is trying to rip you off.

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