What CL Desktop has on Craigslist (and what it doesn't)
Date: Thursday, February 26, 2009 @ 08:51:03 UTC
Topic: Downloadeds

If you checked into Oscar night this year, you may have caught host Hugh Jackman's brief but hilarious quip about finding the backup dancers for his opening number on Craigslist--dubbed 'Craigslist Dancers' in his ditty. Though Jackman's dance troupe was likely anything but discount, the utility of Craigslist listings is, for many, no ruse. And the more important a service is, the more developers will create companion services to enhance the basics

CL Desktop is a new Adobe AIR application (for Windows, Mac, and Linux) that pulls Craigslist.com listings into to a skinnable desktop wrapper. CL Desktop has some nice perks overall, with a couple more baubles than you'd find online. However, a few other features are absent or could be improved.

CL Desktop mostly mirrors Craigslist's searching filters, down to posting records with photos only. However, local-level neighborhood search hasn't been implemented in the U.S., which put a hamper on my house-hunting. Likewise, the text in some of the returned results cut off instead of wrapping to the next line, which made the interface look a little sloppy.

Being able to name and save searches was CL Desktop's single biggest benefit. Choosing the number of records to show on a page is another win, as is being able to quickly save a posting as a favorite, read the full post from the app or online, and answer a classified post from the app. The listings displayed in CL Desktop, however, were never perfectly in sync with Craigslist.com. Although the results matched up after a few refreshes, we'd like to see them in lock step.

CL Desktop told us in an e-mail that the application, which houses a browser, gets its goods straight from Craigslist. Since the application only stores search queries and links to your favorite posts instead of actual Craigslist data, it appears to avoid violating Craigslist's terms of use, which govern the ways in which a Web site or other service can reproduce Craigslist listings.

While some will prefer to stick with Craigslist's slightly faster, sparer-looking original, the visually-minded will appreciate the enhanced CL Desktop, especially the features that save search queries and bookmark favorite posts.


CL Desktop home page

This article comes from NB Productions Your guide on the Web since 2000

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