From an internet technology point of view, 2006 and 2007 could be characterized by the rejuvenation of client technologies for web-based applications.
The main theme of this trend is to enable web applications to borrow as many characteristics from desktop application as possible without losing their inherent web attributes such as seamless deployment and cross platform/devices support.
‘Desktop Application’ Articles:
Google announced its plan to “hire a couple of folks to help make OpenOffice better”. This is pretty exciting!!! I am a big fan of OpenOffice, both the product and the people behind it. I had the privilege to meet them, and it is always refreshing to see a group of talented developers so dedicated to their goals. I really hope this partnership will be very productive. And, I am sure this help is very welcome from the OpenOffice team.
One thing I have always wished for is to get from OpenOffice functions that I cannot get from Microsoft Office. OpenOffice does a good job at providing similar functionality as Microsoft Office. However, while OpenOffice provides innovation and modern functionality, it does not provide much more than Microsoft Office, at least not in a "Web 2.0" sense.
For example, in nowadays, most Web Applications (such as Flickr, Blog Service, Wikis, …) offer some powerful Web services. It would be useful to integrate these services directly into the OpenOffice editing experience. Here are a couple of features I would love to see in OpenOffice:
- Use OpenOffice Writer as [super] blog publishing tool (for WordPress, Bloggers, and TypePad).
- Use Flickr or any other photo services directly into Writer, Impress or even Calc., basically, being able to search and insert images from any photo services (i.e. ‘a la Flock‘) while editing my document.
- Use any blog and Wiki services as a data source for Writer and Impress. For example, while writing a document or presentation, having the ability to quote a section of a blog or Wiki page (e.g., Wikipedia).
- Many other possible integrations exist.
I am sure the OpenOffice platform and architecture allows for such extensions. It would also be great to include some of these integrations in the default OpenOffice package … just to stimulate engineering creativity and to offer a good reason to use OpenOffice even if we still have to use Microsoft Office, at least for a while ;).
I am in a quest for a good blog editor. I have some requirements, but I am faily flexible at this point. So, my first attempt will be with w.Bloggar. Actually, I am using it to write this post.
Overall opinion: Not too bad for no WYSIWYG editing. I need to play a little bit more with it. However, for a more involved post, I might be using Dreamweaver. BTW, it would be nice if Dreamweaver can add some of these blog posting capabilities … just a thought.
Here are my quick pros/cons:
- Easy configuration: Not too hard to configure your blog settings (connects well with WordPress). Easy to start blogging.
- Useful preferences: Can be on system tray, can start with last open post, can configure proxy (per blog!!), and can export/import preferences
- Good HTML tag support: For people who like to edit HTML code, it does provide a simple yet useful HTML code editor with a “helper” toolbar like WordPress’s “quick tag toolbar.”
- HTML preview: Good HTML preview tab.
- Spell check: Good spell check capabilities.
- Offline support: Simple but good enough offline support.
- Support categories: It does download your categories from WordPress.
- Good post synchronization: This is pretty cool – you can go back to previous post from Tools>Post>Last 5 Posts. It will then download it back, and you can make your changes and republish it. Unfortunately, it does not sync with our local one (.post) that you created previously.
- No WYSIWYG editing: It does not seem to be that important in blogger’s world, However, I would really like that. Not saying that I do not want to still be able to look at the code. A program like Dreamweaver would be a good compromise. There are some blog editors that does offer this functionality, though I will try to profile them.
- No source formating: This does not allow you to “XML format” your html code. Since it generates mostly XHTML, it should not be too hard, and will help readability for a complex HTML document. However, I guess that hard core HTML coders prefer having full control over their HTML code.
- No tag autocomplete: Again, this is not a must but should be easy to do for a native application. The simplest one is to autocomplete the closing tags.