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AjaxWrite to "Compete" with MS Word 390

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the crashed-my-browser dept.
prostoalex writes "Michael Robertson (of MP3.com, Linspire, SIPPhone, GizmoProject and MP3Tunes.com fame) is launching a Web-only competitor to Microsoft Office by creating a suite of applications replicating Microsoft Office look and feel. From the posting: "But ajaxWrite is just the start. We have a library of applications we have been working on to replace most of the standard PC software titles. Every week we will launch a new sophisticated program on Wednesday at 12:00 PST on ajaxlaunch.com. These programs will push the boundaries of what people believe is possible today with web-delivered software. These programs look and operate much like their traditional software cousins, but are cross-platform, loaded dynamically, and are available to users at no charge. I'm convinced if you try a few of these products you will understand how the software business will fundamentally change." ajaxWrite is the first launched product."
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AjaxWrite to "Compete" with MS Word

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  • Not likely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:01PM (#14983264) Homepage Journal
    AjaxWrite to "Compete" with MS Word

    Not if he doesn't learn a lot more about the DOM, and fast.

    I was all ready to complement the AjaxWrite team on having finally delivered the first online wordprocessor with full font-sizing abilities. Then I realized something: There are only 7 font sizes. The same 7 that are supported by every rich text editor in existance. Why only seven? Because those seven are built into the rich text editing component that's included with Mozilla and IE. If you want to allow arbitray font sizes, you have to delve down into the DOM and start some complex tweaking.

    All AjaxWrite has done is hide these facts by assigning standard font sizes. Anyone with the right info [mozilla.org] could replicate this "feat" pretty easily.

    Sorry, nothing to see here.

    The bright side is that his app supports the Microsoft DOC format. How well it supports it is an open question, but he probably is using a library like POI [apache.org] to do the heavy lifting. Nothing wrong with that, but also nothing ground-breaking. I imagine that many users will drop this tool as soon as they realize they can't properly match font sizes.

    Let's check back next week and see if his next attempt is more interesting.
    • Re:Not likely (Score:5, Informative)

      by n9uxu8 (729360) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:04PM (#14983308) Homepage
      Support for DOC is not good at this point. Open any doc file and watch the simplest format be mangled. Save an Awrite doc file and then open it in word...marvel at the fantasticrapistally mangled doc. Nice idea...needs work...lots of work.

      Dave
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:12PM (#14983385) Homepage Journal
      On top of everything, I just realized that this is a XUL application. i.e. It's not going to run in anything but Mozilla-based browsers. Still, you've got to love the spin:

      ajaxWrite is a streamlined word processor, comparable to Microsoft Word. To keep the program lean, we left out some obscure advanced features


      Apparently, spell checkers, word counts, arbitrary font sizes, find (there's a menu item, but it's disabled), and hyperlinks are all "obscure advanced features". Here, let me fix that for you, Mike:
      ajaxWrite is a streamlined word processor, comparable to Microsoft Wordpad.

      See? Much better. =D
      • Re:Not likely (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Frymaster (171343) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:22PM (#14983477) Homepage Journal
        we left out some obscure advanced features

        i'll say... like a privacy policy perhaps? does boddy who runs this thing own my content?

        microsoft may have all sorts of draconian licensing policies, but at least i know what they are. with this thing i can just type up all sorts of private content that can be read easily and, apparently, legally by who knows who.

      • Re:Not likely (Score:5, Informative)

        by LnxAddct (679316) <sgk25@drexel.edu> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:26PM (#14983508)
        Seriously, my GMail composer has more features, including spell check, just for writing an email. This ajaxWrite just took firefox's rich text editor and threw tabbed DOMs into the picture. Completely unoriginal, there are significantly more advanced open source editors like the FCKEditor [fckeditor.net] out already(That's a link to their demo, not their index just fyi).
        Regards,
        Steve
    • Re:Not likely (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Your browser does not support this application.

      Please download the latest version of Mozilla Firefox from http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/ [mozilla.org]."

      oh great, so we've replaced OS-specific software with browser-specific software.
    • Re:Not likely (Score:2, Informative)

      by Orion Blastar (457579)
      That is because Ajax, which the Word Processor is based on, has to be "tweaked" for each web browser in order to work. First it is Mozilla Firefox, maybe next they will support Safari, Opera, IE 6.0, etc., but only after writing a modified version for those browsers and have the web site detect the browser type and load the correct Ajax script. I already had this discussion on the Microsoft Atlas story on the limits and compatability of Ajax and Javascripts.

      As someone else noted, this is basically a Wordpad
      • Re:Not likely (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) *
        That is because Ajax, which the Word Processor is based on, has to be "tweaked" for each web browser in order to work.

        No it doesn't. If you code to W3C standards, the only browser that usually requires significant tweaking is Internet Explorer. The reason why IE has to be tweaked is because it doesn't support the standards. (Hello? Microsoft? I'm still waiting on DOM2 Events! *sigh*)

        Thankfully, the design of Javascript means that you can patch the webbrowser for your session. It's a little tricky, but it's
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@NOSPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:02PM (#14983270) Journal

    Well, this guy may think he's replaced WORD(tm) but I was unable to:

    • find the clippy help guy
    • find the shifting winding twisty changing menus (think chevrons)
    • get ajaxWrite to inexplicably put me in different viewing modes from which I could not find an escape
    • randomly start numbering stuff because I indented

    Until they get at least some of these features write, I'm forking over my $499.

    Oh wait, did I just say that out loud?

    All seriousness aside, one feature this really doesn't have (at least I couldn't find it) I absolutely must have is spell check. I'm kind of surprised, cuz it seems everyone is introducing some form of spell check instantiated in their latest ajax offerings (including other web word processors... e.g.,

    • Writely [writely.com] (not currently taking new registrations, but soon!)
    • Zohowriter [zohowriter.com]
    )
    • Personally I think it should be a little more... webish.

      And can we get those icons in cornflower blue?
    • "Until they get at least some of these features write"

      For you, the feature they'd need to get working is a grammar checker I guess :)
    • by milgr (726027) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @05:08PM (#14983855)
      Last year when I needed by buy MS office for myself, I found that there was a less expensive, legal way...

      Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003 [amazon.com] costs about $125, and can be run on three different computers.

      Microsoft stresses that this version of their Office 2003 is only for non-commercial use. You qualify for this edition so long as you are 1) a full- or part-time student enrolled in a K-12 institution, 2) home-schooled, 3) taking at least 6 credits at an accredited college/university, or 4) a full- or part-time faculty member and work 20+ hours at a school.

      When I bought my copy, I had a child in Kindergarten. A year later, and he still hasn't used Office -- but my wife and I did.

      Sorry for that advertisement for M$ products.

      Oh yeah, I frequently use Open Office -- which is free, does a great job most of the time, and runs on almost everything.

    • All seriousness aside, one feature this really doesn't have (at least I couldn't find it) I absolutely must have is spell check.

      Normally I'm a big advocate of OS-wide services for things like spelling checkers, grammar checkers, translation, and the like. Having access to them in OS X has pretty much spoiled me. I don't want to teach the spellchecker on a website or built into one more application not to mark "SNMP" as a misspelled word. And since my browser uses the standard text handling APIs, I don'

  • by trazom28 (134909)
    People, in my experience, don't necessarily want to be on the web to use a word processor/similar application. Takes the whole portability factor out of laptops as well. I don't see this being a popular option in the home market. Business market, possibly..
    • Actually I would love to see something of the kind in GMail, even it's just a Notepad-like variant of the Rich Text mail composition option. I do quite a bit of writing from various locations, and if Google had any smarts they would do a Wordpad-style notepad feature. You don't need the thing to be an MSWord competitor, I think that's just silly, but something that could easily be exported into Open Document or Word document formats would be great.
    • That's funny, I think the exact opposite for the same reason. The business market is more than willing to fork over the cash for the desktop apps. Many working stiffs would be unhappy if they can't use a word processor during their morning train ride commute. Home users, however, are almost always connected to the internet and would gladly buy a computer without the price of office apps added.
    • People, in my experience, don't necessarily want to be on the web to use a word processor/similar application.

      Don't think "web based", think "browser based". The app itself can be running some stripped down web server-type component, and script language interpreters like Perl and PHP... Nothing here demands Interweb connectivity... But this app in particular is not ready to take on MS Word, not even close. There are a million nice Rich Text editors out there, for example FCKeditor [fckeditor.net]...

    • Maybe some day they'll release the sources and you can run your own version of the web service locally. Doesn't make much sense for individuals, but for a company with n hundreds/thousands of employess, it may save quite a few clams over office. Of course it'd have to competefavorably with other OSS / free offerings.
    • Opposite (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gruneun (261463)
      I don't see this being a popular option in the home market. Business market, possibly.

      My first thought was "Maybe for the home, but not my business." There's no way in hell I'm composing a proposal for a competitive contract on an open-source, web-based tool.

      Maybe, when they release their version of Quicken, I can throw my finances up there, too.
  • Man, I dunno. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:03PM (#14983298)
    My web browsers crash all the time and I'm always closing the windows by accident. And I'm supposed to use this as a host for my *word processor*? Is this really a good idea? Unless all storage is on the server and it has a VERY smart autosaving strategy, I don't really see this as being the tiniest bit useful.
  • by jfengel (409917) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:05PM (#14983314) Homepage Journal
    "Click on the ajaxWrite icon to launch an MS Word-compatible word processor in seconds".

    Many seconds. Many, many seconds.

    "Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at 207.67.194.7."

    I want a web-based word processor so that my letter to Mom can get slashdotted?
    • by Sporkinum (655143) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:12PM (#14983388)
      Exactly.. it me be ok for some things, but given the vagaries of the net, you might not be able to rely on it to edit a file. I have the same problem at work with Office delivered VIA Citrix. It will lock up in the middle of editing, or I won't be able to lauch the application. I fixed that problem by installing Open Office.
    • Bullets are lacking in bullet options, the numbered bullets are ONLY numbers, ie it cannot be changed to Roman Numerals, nor can it be alphabetic.

      text positioning works well enough (left, center, right, block) ...

      but I could not get it to save, at all. I tried multiple formats, but without success. It could be a load issue. Also, it was excessively slow to initially load. Is AJAX a design that works better (quicker?) on LANs as opposed to WANs?

      harryk
      • but I could not get it to save, at all.

        I'm guessing that's because their server is Slashdotted. The only way to convert a file from HTML is to upload it to the server, convert it, then send it back to the client. If the server is a little busy at the moment... well...

        Me thinks he needs to buy time on the Sun Grid Engine [slashdot.org].
    • Many seconds. Many, many seconds.

      Oh, the eternal wonders of the slashdot effect!

      Slashdot multiplies the seconds just like our Lord multiplied the fish and bread.

  • Quick review... (Score:5, Informative)

    by carsonc (792247) * on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:05PM (#14983316)
    Quick review... Problems:
    1. spellchecker isn't working yet (there, but grayed out) ...making it useless
    2. I will let you close the window and loose you work without a warning. That's a big minus in my books.
    3. And it's not handling the load from /. very well, it's really slowing down.
    Other that that it looks okay. Like most of the web mail apps from Yahoo and Google. Expect that I like the drop down menus, very intuitive and easy to navigate if you use regular word possessors. They will need to add online storage to make it really useful.
  • Really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lebski (931360) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:07PM (#14983336)
    I just don't see how a web app using AJAX is going to compare to MS Word. Let's be honest AJAX techniques hardly compete with traditional development languages and MS have a 15 (or so) year advantage. I'm sure you can make something nice, maybe even something useful, but not something to rival Microsoft's dominance. Oh and it's not like this is the first web app to try this...
    • Re:Really (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fireboy1919 (257783)
      Spoken like a non-developer.

      AJAX techniques hardly compete with traditional development languages

      AJAX is for communication. It's not a development language. You still use traditional development languages on the server side. That's the point: thanks to AJAX we can do that and just use the browser as a GUI.

      But lets assume that you meant "web applications can hardly compete with desktop applications."

      Doesn't it seem amazing to you that with so very little manpower (by comparison to the traditional approac
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:12PM (#14983386) Homepage Journal
    is raising VC money because it has "ajax" in the name.

    Without rehashing everything that's been said so far abotu the comparison to MS Word, let's just say, it has a long, long way to go before it's gogin to put any serious dent in the MS Office revenu stream.

  • by RunFatBoy.net (960072) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:12PM (#14983390)
    I'm not sure that a full-fledged word processor "begs" to be an online app. Do I really want to risk having to have a net connection if I am going to get shit done?

    I've been in hotels with crappy net connections. It's 4am, and I can't reach my word processor, now what?

    Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] -- Exercise, web 2.0 style.
    • Worse yet, what if you drop connectivity half way through your writing session ... you're stuck with your writing on the page with no way to save (unless this baby saves every single minute or you can copy it to, er, Word).
    • Do what most people do, got to bed.
    • It's 4am, and I can't reach my word processor, now what?

      Time to get a life?

    • Some day soon, internet will be as much a 24/7 utility as power. When that happens, I wouldn't be surprised if applications become to move toward such dependency on the fact, that they do not work without the internet anymore than they do without power.

      You and I might hate that because we remember the "freedom" of doing things on your own disconnected from that big network, but the children or their children will never even notice it.

      No internet access for a device will be just as disconcerting as it i

  • by J05H (5625)
    that you need reliable Net access to use any of these "apps". I've got Google's personalized start page set up, and if there are any network issues I end up with a lot "temporarily unavailable" warnings. Not the greatest thing when you really need to finish that paper. If there was a way to write then upload it would provide more usability.

    Josh
  • This is why... (Score:2, Informative)

    by babbling (952366)
    This is one reason why web-based applications might not be such a good idea:

    The connection was refused when attempting to contact 207.67.194.7.

    I'm sure many other people can come up with other reasons, such as error 500...
  • by bushboy (112290) <lttc@lefthandedmonkeys.org> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:18PM (#14983434) Homepage
    I just tried it and it crashed!

    That's a great first start to compete with Word.

    Now all we need is an animated paper clip which says :-

    "You seem to be writing a letter, would you like to :-

    a. Punch your monitor
    b. Scream
    c. Smile a crazy smile and run around the office, naked and screaming"
  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:18PM (#14983436) Journal
    When I learn a new language or technology, I like to start out with a couple of small well defined projects in which I can do the entire thing by hand - no fancy code generators or other IDE help, so I can understand truly what goes on underneath. I find it really helps. I've done it for C. I've written code using raw Xlib rather than toolkits when learning about X. I've written code using the Win32 API when learning about Windows.

    Of course I decided to do the same with AJAX - use no fancy tools and code something small but useful completely by hand to understand what goes on. I wrote an application monitoring web app for our distributed app at work to give a nice graphical display and enquiries. It works well enough.

    However, I could never shake the feeling that AJAX was what the RAF calls 'graunching' - forcing several components together that don't really fit properly. Writing a GUI in a web browser just felt awkward and wrong. Also, you had to be very careful how you did things especially if you have 30-odd info panels on your browser window - otherwise it's breathtakingly slow. Of course, an AJAX framework would have these (very necessary) optimisations - but AJAX really does seem incredibly inelegant.

    Additionally, the X in AJAX doesn't really belong - if you run a protocol analyzer, you'll find XMLHTTPRequest doesn't actually send XML at all unless you explicitly send some XML. In fact it sends any plain text you pass it, and receives plain text back quite happily. But I suppose if it was called AJA it wouldn't be very buzzword compliant.
    • Try http://www.nextapp.com/platform/echo2/echo/ [nextapp.com]
      It fits everything together well, and you don't have to write a single line of HTML or javascript.
      If you can write a swing application, you can write an echo2 application.

      Also, XMLHTTPRequest is just that, a request. What gets sent back is up to the server.
      The difference is that it doesn't cause an entire page refresh in the browser itself.
    • Additionally, the X in AJAX doesn't really belong - if you run a protocol analyzer, you'll find XMLHTTPRequest doesn't actually send XML at all unless you explicitly send some XML.

      That's because the XML DOM parsers in current-version browsers are dirt-slow, it takes way too long to parse proper XML and you don't get that fancy Web 2.0 responds-like-an-application feel from your app while it waits for your file to finish parsing.

      Best practices dictate using delimited text if you have really simple conten

  • Undo

    Oh, and how about supporting some browsers that have passed the Acid2 tests and are standards compliant....you know, Opera (9), Safari, Konqueror...
    • Undo

      See that arrow on the toolbar that circles around toward the left? That's Undo. I think it's also in the edit menu, but the app seems to be broken (read: Slashdotted) at the moment.

      Oh, and how about supporting some browsers that have passed the Acid2 tests and are standards compliant....you know, Opera (9), Safari, Konqueror...

      Acid2 doesn't matter in this case, for the same reason why Opera and KHTML won't be supported: This is a XUL [wikipedia.org] application. The upside to using XUL is that Robertson might have sp
  • I tried to save the document I wrote, and when I opened it on my local machine it was empty...
    might be because of slashdotting...
  • by Bogtha (906264) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:21PM (#14983467)

    I knew I was dealing with Microsoft-quality software when I tried to open the screenshot in a new tab, only to be told off for not enabling Javascript, despite having it switched on. You'd think people building a word processor in Javascript would know better.

    For all you newbie web developers out there - assuming that somebody who follows a link without executing the onclick handler has Javascript disabled is wrong.

    In my case, I right-clicked and hit 't' to open in a new tab. This resulted in a page opening in a new tab telling me to enable Javascript. This is not what I wanted. Then I tried holding down Ctrl and clicking the link. This resulted in a new window with the screenshot in and a new tab telling me to enable Javascript. This is not what I wanted twice over.

    When I finally got what I wanted (open a blank tab, open the history sidebar, select the address of the popup window), I realised something. There was absolutely no need whatsoever to have this pop up in a new window. It's one of those annoying firms that likes popping things up for no good reason. In my experience, organisations that do things like that have incredibly annoying websites run by PHBs who don't have a clue what they are doing. If the rest of their code is like that, consider me underwhelmed.

  • by rdeadman (675487) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:21PM (#14983468) Homepage
    We should coin a name for it. How about "applets"? Hmmm. Wait a second...

    Strange that we on Slashdot go gaga for anything AJAX while deriding Java as a slow, bloated pig. Seriously, AJAX is great for making web pages more responsive but is ill-suited as an applet replacement. Give me ThinkFree [thinkfree.com] anytime.

    Flame shields up...

    • If Java had a fast, totally cross-platform and bug-free GUI toolkit, with full accessibility support for the visually impaired, and it was embedded into all web browsers, then I'd agree, in many ways Java applets would be superior. But the fact is that Java applets have none of those things. Great idea, no execution.

      AJAX is at its best when it takes a concept that fits very well into the web paradigm, and adds desktop-application-like interactivity. Google Maps is a perfect example of this. Unlike a Jav
  • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:23PM (#14983485) Homepage Journal
    Java was designed to do just this task. Next to it, AJAX is a kludge that gives us more interactive widgets on web sites simply, and is best for smaller jobs. If you're writing an entire client-side browser-delivered application, Java makes sense. Wedging your entire application into the browser DOM doesn't.

    In contrast, Java was not designed to do server-side code, and is making less sense in that application as platforms that offer better time-to-market for server-side development become accepted.

    Bruce

    • In contrast, Java was not designed to do server-side code, and is making less sense in that application as platforms that offer better time-to-market for server-side development become accepted.

      Java wasn't "designed" for anything specific; it was designed as a general-purpose language and platform. It fits very well in the large server-side application domain, and is being used there more and more. Not sure where you get your impressions.
      • I always thought Java was designed to have us poor PC owners realize that our machines are far less powerful than a Sun, and that we should reflect a moment on how fast our machine would be if it were from Sun.

        (this moment being the load and initialize time of the JVM)
  • I'd be pissed if I was writing a document and then someone DDOSed the site (either intentionally, or via a slashdotting/digged/farked onslaught) and I lost all my data. What happens if you are in the middle of a dodcument and a router, ISP, or web server bites the dust? Too many points of failure for me.
    --
    Price Comparison [priceage.com] with coupons!
  • one killer feature that ajaxwrite must have is styles and formatting. it's simply not useable for anything but writing notes without it. .......... kris
  • Load a simple word document, get a NullPointerException.

    Nice program you got there.
  • Get yourself a copy of Portable OpenOffice.org [portableapps.com] and a thumbdrive, and you're much better off than relying on Ajax and an internet connection.
  • Not quite MSWord... (Score:4, Informative)

    by BishonenAngstMagnet (797469) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:31PM (#14983550)
    Last time I checked, MSWord doesn't get Slashdotted.
  • Why Ajax isn't always appropriate:

    Service Temporarily Unavailable
    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
    Apache/1.3.33 Server at www.ajaxlaunch.com Port 80

    Portability across platforms is great, but we'll still need a local copy. Which would seem to bring us back to XUL...

  • I've never seen MS Word do this

    Service Temporarily Unavailable

    maybe they need an animated can of Ajax holding a Service Temporarily Unavailable sign when the service goes down.

    Also I'd like to say that BSOD reads and sound much better then STU

  • Wiki Online WP (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jettoki (894493)
    When I want to do word processing online, I use PBWiki [pbwiki.com] on a private page. You have a complete history of changes made to the page available to download as backup versions, etc. And the wiki is available to you from any computer with an internet connection.

    These are the only possible advantages I can see to word processing online, outside of cost benefit. I'd much rather use MS Word or Open Office for most tasks.
  • Writely (Score:3, Informative)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:41PM (#14983644) Homepage
    Where Writely [writely.com]. I tried it out and it's pretty good. As far as web based word processors go. Seems to have a lot of features that AjaxWrite is missing.
  • Just last week a co-worker showed me Thinkfree Office Online [thinkfree.com] which I thought was pretty impressive. Word-processor, spreadsheet, PowerPoint clone, all with 30MB of free disk space.

    Warning: it's slow to get started the first time, because of massive Java-Fu.
  • Ajax here, Ajax there, AJax everywhere! PHP and Ajax, Perl and Ajax, MS now supports Ajax, Ajax and RAILS! RUBY ON RAILS WITH FOAM AROUND MY MOUTH. Rails FIRST TO SUPPORT AJAX (which stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML as opposed to sychronous JavaScipt! DON'T forget: YOU DON'T WANT Synchronous JavaScript Synchronous = bad, AJAX = GOOD!) Ajax will change everything - especially since we needn't use a word that people will confuse with JAVA for allways and ever.

    My god the dumbness of people is truely
  • by CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:50PM (#14983725) Homepage
    Some people don't like Michael Robertson, but I do. He's not your typical open source hero, but in a way he is one of the pioneers.
    Free and Open Source software needs all kinds of people. Besides programmers you need documentation writers, artists, interface designers, lawyers, activists, and marketeers. Michael Robertson is good at marketing. He is good at promoting software solutions. He uses a lot of open source software for that, including some rebranded and extended applications.
    Some people claims he steals and abuses that software, without giving back. I do not agree with that, his companies play by the rules and release source when necessary.
    But sourcecode is not his important contribution, marketing is. Allthough you might not like his products, the bottomline is that he is promoting free/open software, and people are using it who might not have done so otherwise.
  • I clicked, and I promptly discovered the grand flaw of Web-based apps: If you want to do something NOW, and the server is swamped, you are SOL.
  • FCKEditor [fckeditor.net] is a much more mature and much better editor.
  • AjaxBrowser (Score:4, Funny)

    by Arandir (19206) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @05:06PM (#14983840) Homepage Journal
    I'm still waiting for the AjaxBrowser. Then I can dump Internet Explorer, and do all of my browsing, like my word processing, online.
    • I'm still waiting for the AjaxBrowser. Then I can dump Internet Explorer, and do all of my browsing, like my word processing, online.

      That's a really bad idea. You don't want to be tied to a net connection to depend on the availability of your browser. An online browser will never replace a standalone browser. You're still always going to want to have your Internet stored on your hard drive. ;)

  • with one of my own DOC files. It opened it and displayed it properly. Fair enough, although it wasn't a terribly complicated document - a one page affair with some bold, centering, etc.

    However, if you look at the available menu, this thing doesn't even come close to Microsoft Word functionality. You can adjust the fonts, alignment, etc., basic stuff like that, and apparently insert a table (I didn't test that), but the rest of Word's functionality simply doesn't exist.

    Nice try, Mike. Come back in a year whe
  • Loses in MS Word-like functionality to: FCK Editor [fckeditor.net]
    Not much better than: Gmail Composer
    Less compatibility than: Writely [writely.com]
    Definitely not as good as: MS Office
  • Is it just me or does Michael Robertson have a knack for WAY over hyping everything he does. Lindows/Linspire was supposed to change the Linux desktop world - and frankly Ubuntu has done a better job. SIPPhone doesn't seem to stand up to Skype [extremetech.com]. And Mp3.com got sold and redone by Cnet. Now this 'ajaxWrite' doesn't seem to be any different than the many other WYSIWYG editors available today.

    I think Mr. Robertson should wait until his products/ideas are actually able to do what he says. But then again who d
  • AjaxWrite is behind the times. There are plenty of better online Wordprocessors. There is now a free remote KDE desktop [cosmopod.com] that you can access from your browser or from a client. OpenOffice is available online at Cosmopod, so why use a half finished product.
  • It looks like I can't write that term paper. I can't connect to my word processor.

    Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at 207.67.194.7.
    *The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
    *If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
    *If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

    Microsoft Word 1. AjaxWrite 0
  • Office icons (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 23, 2006 @05:56PM (#14984183)
    They are going to get in trouble, those toolbar icons are copyrighted. I researched once when I thought about using them in my project and Microsoft is quite strict with the usage of them
  • Waste (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Cisco Kid (31490) * on Thursday March 23, 2006 @06:16PM (#14984288)
    I dont want my software as a 'service' (unless I'M providing the service).

    I dont want to store my data on someone else's server.

    I'd like a copy of the Gmail interface, that I could run on my own server, and access my privately stored email.

    There was a recent article on Writely, which is apparently similar to this. I went to the site, hoping to download it, and put it on my server, but it too is a 'we store your files on our server' scenario. This might cut it for meaninless drivel teens want to exchange, but not for anything important.
  • by swtaarrs (640506) <swtaarrs.comcast@net> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @06:49PM (#14984475)
    I opened an incredibly simple openoffice document and it removed the indentation from all my paragraphs...indentation isn't an "obscure" feature.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.

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