rolo: Shrugging off a decade of dormancy

I like finding old programs that still work, and still do a good job … and don’t require a huge amount of effort to make functional.๐Ÿ˜‰

rolo is a rolodex tool that apparently drifted away a decade ago, but with a little prodding, will still do like it’s supposed to.

2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-00 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-01 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-02 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-03 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-04 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-05

rolo stores its data in vCard format, which is either good or bad, since rolo is working with version 3.0, and might be missing out on something that the newer renditions offer.

Be that as it may, it will keep your rolodex in ~/.rolo/ in an easily editable .vcf file, for all the world to see. You can add, edit, delete or otherwise manage the contents of that file with rolo’s help, and as you can see above, it’s nothing intimidating.

rolo also does a couple things that I always like: First, it descends into your $EDITOR when you actually make adjustments to a file. I see this more in older software than in recent programs, although that’s hardly a fair generalization. I may end up eating my words on that one.๐Ÿ™„

rolo also has onboard help, a nice status bar and overline that cues your keyboard options, all of which make it a decent interface for navigating cards.

rolo is in AUR, but will crash when trying to build its libvc dependency. That can be fixed by commenting out the patches in the PKGBUILD that it tries to pull from a Debian source. Or I suppose you could manhandle it and try to point it toward the newer vc packages in Wheezy or elsewhere. I opted for the former, because it’s quicker to insert a few hash signs than play footsie with vagrant patches.

And once libvc was built, rolo ran perfectly. My only disappointment was that the first run left me with no cues on what fields were available in its expected format, so I had to scalp the example above from Wikipedia. Use that as a template, if you like.

As an address book rolo is at least as good as abook, and probably offers a lot more flexibility. It lacks a little visual flair (I found no color๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) but does quite well, considering it’s a decade out of its prime.๐Ÿ˜‰

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