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Thread: Web office..things

  1. #1
    Mentor jro's Avatar
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    Web office..things

    There has been alot of attention paid to these emerging products commonly known as Web Office Suites. Whilst not really a Suite, each individual product has some of the functionality of an office suite. What I am curious about is, are these hype or the future?

    Web Office Suite: best of breed products

    Personally I think these are a little of both. I don't see desktop apps (office-ish apps) every fully going away, but I see them blending pretty closely together with their online counterparts.
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  2. #2
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    In the corporate "big-iron" world I believe you will see a lot more transparency. By that I mean that your main software will behave like it's local but in fact will be hosted on a central server. People won't even know that the program isn't local since it will save all user preferences on the server, allowing you to have roaming logins.

    I think that the best approach would be to have a web-based service that allows you to experience rich content creation using open-standards and select closed-standards (like Word). It would allow you to dynamically change what you see on the page (if you don't use certain features they should automatically disappear from the page but be readily available for inclusion/exclusion in a preferences area or maybe a button with drop-down feature lists). Additionally, it would allow you to use a traditional word processor or calendar program on your computer and then transfer the info to the online software site (ie, there are a lot of tools that allow you to connect your calendar software to an online calendar and vis-verca). All of the "programs" should be together on one site, with one log-in, that allows you to have email, storage, calendar, word processing, spreadsheets, etc. They should be transferrable to handheld computers, smartphones, traditional computers, etc (ie, there should be adequate conduits linking the various devices so that it is seemless). There is nothing more annoying than updating my computer and not being able to update my Palm or my online calendar because they don't have conduits.

    Well, just my two cents or so. Sorry if it was long winded.

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  3. #3
    Advisor Lovechild's Avatar
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    I don't really see web based applications playing that big a role, it's impractical. What we might see more of in terms of this king of thing is something like Novell' iFolder project, always available data.

    Every attempt to create web based businesses leasing office tools has failed miserably - people just don't want it.
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  4. #4
    Mentor jro's Avatar
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    Lovechild, you think it has something to do with the lack of ownership people feel about web apps? I was wondering about this, why wouldn't this work? I tried the word processor (Writely) and just didn't like it, but I couldn't put my finger on why I didn't like it.

    I am not sure it impractability that I didn't like, it might be, but there seemed to be more to it than that. Maybe it was just that I didn't have a specific use for it at the time too, I was just poking around.
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  5. #5
    Advisor Lovechild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jro
    Lovechild, you think it has something to do with the lack of ownership people feel about web apps? I was wondering about this, why wouldn't this work? I tried the word processor (Writely) and just didn't like it, but I couldn't put my finger on why I didn't like it.

    I am not sure it impractability that I didn't like, it might be, but there seemed to be more to it than that. Maybe it was just that I didn't have a specific use for it at the time too, I was just poking around.
    I think people view "web applications" as nothing positive, there's no advantage to it:

    You don't own it, which means no nice CD to put on the shelve (People tend to like this in my experience)

    You need a stable broadband connection to use it, the net goes down so does your document (granted for most windows users this is nothing new)

    To gain anything for this approach you have to relocate often - most people don't do this (work doesn't count, many companies would a) never agree to the firewall openings this would require b) uses specialisted software or addons which won't integrate well with such a solution).

    Does good is this.. it does nothing but add restrictions on how you can use YOUR software. And why would you want web based software to have it everywhere.

    a) you want your files everywhere not your specfic copy of OpenOffice (use iFolder for this btw.)
    b) If you want the same software everywhere, use free software or pressure people to use open standardised formats so you can at least work with your files.

    I simply don't see this having any kind of market.
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