We favor “open” over “closed”

Open sign at Brownie's Family Restaurant, Bean Blossom, Indiana, USASince the very first telephone companies and there is an ongoing struggle between advocates (and adversaries) of open vs. closed systems. Today is the time of the closed systems.

The Apple II was wide open and while the first Mac hardware was the exact opposite you could still do whatever your wanted in software. Even if there were no official hooks for this and that, as long as you knew how to access something there was no one holding you back.

iPhones and iPads, iOS in general, perfect Steve Job’s vision. From hardware to software they are completely closed. Unless you jailbreak iOS devices nothing can be done with them that is not under Apple’s control; even the Lightning cables you use to connect them to USB contain a proprietary chip that Apple only licenses under a set of strict rules. The Mac with OS X is moving into the same direction albeit very slow. More, web services such as Twitter often start open first and close up eventually.

We at DEVONtechnologies clearly favor open over closed.

DEVONthink gathers your data in one place but neither holds it hostage nor does it ever upload your data to anywhere without you saying where. You can get your documents out of DEVONthink at any time and in the original format. DEVONthink Pro and up even come with scripts that give you an app-independent backup of all your documents. From DEVONagent Pro you can export search results in any way you like, and if there’s something we haven’t thought of our extreme AppleScript support is an open door for your extensions.

We will, of course, also continue to offer our apps in our own shop as long as the Mac platform permits.


6 Responses to “We favor “open” over “closed””

  1. Brian says:

    Have you considered more platforms, I use both Mac and Linux, and also in some rare cases Windows.
    And one thing I missed is to be able to take my library with me, I already keep the Library in Dropbox, and I can manually go into the folders and find a document, but I would really like to have access to the application on more platforms.

  2. eboehnisch says:

    @ Brian: We don’t have any plans to support Linux or Windows directly but other plans that will make your data available from more places.

  3. Mike says:


    does this mean it is likely the development of DT will eventually stop ? I use your DT Pro Office since 3 or 4 years for data collecting, literature mngmt, office work and I like it very much. I have not found any other office package that suits me.

    Best regards,


  4. eboehnisch says:

    @ Maciej: No, why should we stop the development of our apps? We’re just favoring open standards and systems when (technically and commercially) possible.

  5. Brian says:

    I actually found a way around to access the documents and being able to search when not near my Mac.
    Instead of using Dropbox, I now moved my library to Google Drive. Since Devonthink handles the scanning and OCR, I can now use Googles powerful search to find my documents when on the go. I still don’t get the power of Devonthink like tagging and such, but at least I can find the documents when not near my Mac.