It’s been about a month since I wrote about moving the desktop to the internet, during which time I have done a significant amount of it.
Gmail is amazing. It has simplified my email situation immensly. When I get tired of seeing an email in my inbox I just star it and archive it. I don’t have to think about where it needs to go. The shortcuts are really amazing also, especially when you’ve already learned how to use Vi (a command line text editor). The one complaint I have is the search feature isn’t all that good. You can’t search for part of a word, or part of a name and find it. So, if I forget someones name and the word that identified a critical piece of information that person sent me, I’m basically out of luck. I have to wade through “all mail”, or keep trying different search words until I happen upon it. It would be really nice to be able to put in part of a word into the search field and have it match that part of the word within other words in my email.
flickr is really nice. They have a very nice desktop app to help move my pictures off my desktop. drag and drop and upload. done.
Google reader is pretty nice for a feed reader. I didn’t care all that much for the firefox extension, and have found the google feed reader to work very well. It took a little getting used to, but now I’m hooked.
Online Calendaring is really nice with trumba.com. Their calendar is amazingly advanced and allows me to do everything I have wanted to do with a calendar. Their repeating event feature is the best I’ve ever seen. The email reminders are super nice also. I just wish they had a task list integrated.
I’m sorely disappointed with the lack of a good online spreadsheet and word processor. Sure, there are all kinds of text editors online that do simple stuff, but nothing very powerful. Although, I guess for most text editing they’re ok.
I couldn’t find a single spreadsheet program that was worth even looking at. I have put an excel spreadsheet online before and was able to edit it through the web, but couldn’t figure it out again. I’m sure it has something to do with having MS office installed and a particular office extension and garbage, garbage. Very disappointed.
Of course, microsoft does have their big web initiative they’re working on where I would expect to be able to share a spreadsheet online with much more ease, but that’s still at least a year away.
There’s also AJAX technology, which has become much more popular over the past few years. I would imagine there are a few companies writing ajax engines to allow others to more easily migrate desktop applications to web applications.
So what does this mean?
The webOS that’s been talked about for some time now is coming closer and closer to reality. In fact, it’s happening as we speak dynamically. webOS isn’t an application,it’s an evolution. webOS happens when there are enough applications that people use on their desktops, available on the web, and where the technology is good enough that productivity goes up because those apps are online, instead of on the desktop.