Dopplr vs Tripit

When arranging trips I used to manually enter the main details (dates, times, confirmation numbers, hotel addresses and phone numbers etc.) into iCal and forward confirmation emails to my wife so she’d have a copy if she needed them.

Then I discovered Tripit. Now I simply forward confirmation emails as they arrive to plan@tripit.com – something I could easily automate. My iCal automatically sync’s with a feed from tripit that has much more information than I’d ever enter manually, including links back to tripit.com for the full details. That then syncs to my iPhone so the information is always at hand. Perfect, and perfectly simple.

As I’ve found the service very useful over many months and many trips, I recently sent tripit invites to a bunch of people, mainly Perl folk. Many joined. A few pointed out that they already used dopplr and wondered if tripit was the same. I didn’t know, so I took a look.

I signed up with dopplr and was happy to see that, like tripit, I could forward confirmation emails to dopplr. So I forwarded the flight and hotel emails for my upcoming London Perl Workshop trip. Just like tripit, dopplr parsed the emails and worked out I was making a flight from Shannon to London and staying in a hotel in London.

That was all it did, though. It hadn’t noted my confirmation codes, flight times, hotel address. It had remembered nothing that would be useful to me.

All it had done was noted that I’d be in the same city as a few other people I know who use dopplr. tripit does that, but also let’s me control who sees which trips and who can collaborate with me on trips.

I did a quick search and found another review that reached a similar conclusion. It seems that dopplr are better at publicity, but tripit has the features I find genuinely useful.

To give it tripit a whirl, all you need to do is forward some recent confirmation emails to plan@tripit.com – you don’t even need to signup first.

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Loaded Perl: A history in 530,000 emails

MarkMail is a free service for searching mailing list archives. They’ve just loaded 530,000 emails from 75 perl-related mailing lists into their index.

They’ve got a home page for searching these lists at http://perl.markmail.org/.

Of course the first thing people often do with new search engines is search for themselves. I’m no exception. Where MarkMail shines is the ability to drill-down into the results in many ways with a single click (bugs, announcements, attachments etc). Worth a look.

The graph of messages per month is not just cute, you can click and drag over a range of bars to narrow the search to a specific period. It clearly shows my activity rising sharply in 2001 and then dropping to a lower level after 2004.

I particularly pleased that they’ve indexed dbi-users, dbi-dev, and dbi-announce lists.