Tabbles is up on Bits Du Jour on Wednesday, and I was really excited about it, so decided to download it to see if it would fit the needs of a Virtual File System. I'm sad to report that it didn't. I didn't go into it enough to give a justified mini-review, so I'm just posting this short synopsis.
Tabbles is touted as a personal document management system that allows you to organize your files via visible tags. While it has a lot of functionality, usability was dropped way off the radar. When you open the program, you're presented with this full screen view of a folder that contains a visual browser for your file system, a folder with a sample tabble, and a few other folders. First a bit about tabbles (the object, not the program). Tabbles are these circular objects that are containers for folders, documents, or pretty much anything on your file system or in the cloud. You can tag them, have them in more than one place (without duplicating the content), combine them (so that you open a group at once or manipulate a group at once) or, of course, open them. It's a pretty interesting concept, and one that I was looking forward to trying out. But the view of your tabbles is always this huge graphical bit- there's no details view or anything like that. It's like only having variations of the icon view in explorer with all of the drawbacks thereof (only having a label, needing a huge amount of space, etc). It is also very tied to having some other sort of file explorer to organize your files, at least originally- so imagine needing all of this room to see your tabbles, then having to have an explorer window up in addition- it turned me off pretty fast.
This impression was obtained over about an hour of messing around with it, and wanting it to be what I was looking for. It was also after 3 days of trying to get it installed (I had a few problems trying to get the installer, then with crashes in the actual application and obtaining updates).
In short, it's very pretty, and seems to have a whole lot to offer in terms of the visual tagging, and relationship of documents. But the viewing, organization, and manipulation of the documents really put me off.
Direct Manipulation Mode
Results of Combine
Caveat: I've never gotten into the mind-mapping thing much, and this seems a lot like this for documents. If you're interested, I'd still say take a look. The developers have been really responsive. But if I hadn't had a chance to try it, I would have probably bought it thinking it was something else, and wanted to save anyone else that frustration.
Addition: To be complete, the normal price is $59.99, but on Bits tomorrow, the price will be $24.60 which is 59% off. According to a representative from Yellow blue soft, they only offer a per-computer license, i.e. if you want it on your laptop and desktop, or at work and at home, you have to get two licenses. They also address the explorer open at the same time problem- they will be looking into integrating it with explorer at a later date.