2.6 out of 5 with 5 ratings

Tomboy Reviews

Complex Installation - Instructions Don't Work

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Installation instructions (for Windows users) tell you to use an updated version that does not exist in Windows form at this time.

Multiple programs have to be installed first.

I've installed all sorts of stuff on Linux and Windows. The problem is not me.


Please BURRY this

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This is an increditably LARGE (code-wise) application with complex dependenices (MONO etc), that offers VERY LITTLE that a collection of TEXT files can't do.

Extremely bulky and useless, having probably only its looks as a pro, this application deserves to be erased from history.

Its a so-called "student" software, stuff that will be fiddled around and soon left in unfinished state. With small addition that its ugly.

Besides, it was re-written in C (as Gnote) and is much much lighter afterwards. But STILL primitive.


I'm still amazed at how powerful a simple collection of text files is. Especially these days, with search indexes and all, where you can find any note by full-text search in a matter of seconds. I've tried so many note-taking applications due to an inexplicable urge to find a more "organised" system, but so far I always reverted to my Dropbox folder of hierarchically organised ASCII and RTF files. I'll even open each file/note in a matter of seconds by just typing a keyword in the Windows Start menu. I guess these days, a note-taking app really has to offer some pretty intricate features to make it worth its while.

You don't have to use text files. Odt (LibreOffice/OpenOffice) document is just a compressed Zip file, with Content.xml being document text, formatted using ODT tags. The text is plain and fully searchable, provided its not broken by paragraphing or markup tags. Also the odt has nearly everything and supports templates. There are scripts that allow mass searching for any text string, like "# this_is_a_tag". Et voila.

Thanks for the tip! I will consider it if I ever feel the need for a more rich format. So far I'm very happy with plain UTF-8 text files though, I like keeping it simple when I don't need formatting. Them being uncompressed also has the advantage that pretty much every other application knows how to handle them. Even indexed Windows Search handles them perfectly: if I use the "#thisisatag" format, I can just type a tag in the Start menu, and Windows will list all files containing the tag within a second.

please note tomboy-ng (in the Tomboy Git Repository) is typically a 2 to 4 Meg download with little or, in most cases, no dependencies.

Tomboy is an enormous amount of trouble that only developers would tolerate.

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There is no "app" or "program" for Tomboy. You have to build it yourself, using XCode (make sure you download the right version), MacPorts (make sure you download the right version), "Git" (yeah, introduce yourself to that little gem).

Tomboy is supposed to be a list manager. All this work? For the ability to WRITE LISTS? I have spent hours screwing around with this Tomboy project, and it still did not build.

STOP! Do not give me stupid advice about how I can spend even more of my time to build this thing successfully. I believe that the software should work for me, and I should not have to work for the software. Tomboy is a waste of time for 99.9% of computer users.


how much hate for a simply "this isn't easy at all to install on Mac".

Mac version abandoned

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The Mac version has not been kept up to date with development, lagging a good year and a half behind and preceding both 10.7 and 10.8.

So, don't bother.


tomboy-ng is an easy binary install on current Macs. Download a dmg file, open it, drag the tomboy-ng icon over to Applications. Close.
Only wrinkle is that as the developer does not pay some arbitrary fee to Apple, when you first open it, you must Ctrl Click and choose 'Open'.

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Excelent note-taking app. Cross-plattform and the auto-highlighting of notes is unique and useful.