We Value Interoperability


We at CogSci Apps, a 🇨🇦 corporation, are seasoned devs with roots in UNIX who champion interoperability. We’ve built Hook for eternal use. Hook obeys standard macOS rules (no hacks, no haxies) and applicable standards. Hook is plaintext friendly. Pro users can inspect and edit integration scripts. You can export/import Hook data. Hook has an automation API so you can access all your links and execute core functions.

In depth

We are committed to the interoperability of Hook, that your investment in Hook will last forever, and we ensure that you are not locked into a proprietary solution.

The very essence of Hook is interoperability, its purpose being to help you access, connect and bookmark information from all your favorite apps and online sites.

Thus we have worked hard to ensure you can always make use of your investment in Hook, extract your Hook data, and even extend Hook.

  1. Hook’s key feature is Copy Link. This command returns a link whose URL, whenever optimal, is the one served by the app in which it is called. That means you don’t need Hook to use those URLs. For example, if you use Hook’s Copy Link in a browser, you will get a http(s):// URL (or whatever the browser provides); if you use it in OmniFocus, you get an OmniFocus:// URL, in DEVONthink,a DEVONthink:// URL.
  2. URLs returned by Copy Link are only in a hook:// scheme (format) when it provides sufficient value to do so. For instance, a hook://file URL is returned for files, which have many substantial advantages over file:// URLs. hook:// URLs can be converted to other formats via automation.
  3. Hook enables you to export your link data in a transparent XML format.
  4. Hook Pro supports AppleScript / JavaScript automation. That means users can get their data out of Hook and add data to it. For instance .hook files could be converted to aliases or .webloc files. Hook’s links could be exported to the Finder or a third party database in a structured manner, enabling similar operations.
  5. Hook Pro has an integration script editor. These scripts control how Hook interacts with other apps. That means you can inspect how Hook interacts with the vast majority of apps. You can even edit those scripts and add new scripts.
  6. Hook is based on an open architecture. There is an active community of savvy users and developers who help Hook work with various apps.
  7. Hook’s database can be inspected and accessed. It resides in the standard location (~/Library/Application\ Support/com.cogsciapps.hook/).
  8. .hook files are plain-text editable files (more general than aliases and .webloc files). This makes them very easy to convert via automation. One could convert all .hook files containing hook://file links to aliases, and all .hook files pointing to web resources to .webloc files.
  9. Hook Essentials and Hook Pro are available for a one-time fee. Users can continue using it indefinitely, with one year of free updates. Annual Updates licenses can then be purchased to extend app updates for a year at a substantial discount from the initial license.
  10. Hook Lite is free. You can consume links with it (and make hook://email links too). This means that if you want to stop adding links, you can still freely consume your prior links (and links from others). See buy page for terms.

CogSci Apps Corp.

CogSci Apps Corp. was founded in 2014, a spin-off of CogZest (founded in 2010).

CogSci Apps is not a “one person” show. It’s a corporation. Our three founders have been doing R&D on hyperlinking/meta-access issues since 2001, 2003 and 2006 respectively — dating back from their first days at Simon Fraser University (as researchers and developers).

See A Manifesto for User and Automation Interfaces for Hyperlinking.

Our founders use Hook every day for our own R&D and papers; and they intend to do so for as long as they live. (See Luc Beaudoin’s academic R&D projects). Beaudoin not only uses Hook, but enables the collaborators in his academic research (other professors and researchers) to use Hook for their joint projects.

The reader may recall “OpenMeta ” project (tagging). OpenMeta data were eventually migrated (or at least can be migrated) into macOS itself. No data was ever lost for compatibility reasons. But OpenMeta had a significant problem which Hook does not have: it stored data in extended file attributes (xattributes [see man xattr]) which are not adequately documented by Apple. Hook in contrast plays by the rules.

Membership in VentureLabs

CogSci Apps Corp. is a member of SFU VentureLabs, based on its current products and its impressive product road map. VentureLabs provides us with regular strategic and tactical feedback and advice.

Check out our founders and download Hook to take it for a ride.