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In-Depth ajaxWrite Review 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the web-words dept.
mikemuch writes "ajaxWrite is the first offspring of ajax13, Michael Robertson's (of Lindows and SIPphone fame) latest startup that aims to deliver a brave new line of web-delivered, AJAX-based apps. ExtremeTech today has an in-depth review of just how apt a replacement ajaxWrite is for the big installed word processors. It's a neat idea, but let's just say the web-based word processor has some catching up to do."
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In-Depth ajaxWrite Review

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  • Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Iron (III) Chloride (922186) on Friday April 07, 2006 @10:43PM (#15089315)
    I find these new AJAX applications to be very interesting. While I don't think they can overcome the market share of MS Office in the near future, they're very portable on that library computer without a word processor installed.
  • by WedgeTalon (823522) on Friday April 07, 2006 @10:48PM (#15089335)
    I said this back when /. ran the first story about ajaxWrite, and I'll say it now - ajaxWrite isn't near OO.o's or Abiword's league; its competition is Wordpad... and Wordpad is winning. This article is just reaffirming what was so plain to see when looking at the app for 5 minutes.
  • by dteichman2 (841599) on Friday April 07, 2006 @10:57PM (#15089358) Homepage
    JavaScript (ECMA) is slow and resource intensive. Even more so when communicating with a server. A portable document editor may be fine and dandy, but I'd really rather carry around a copy of Portable OpenOffice on one of my USB drives. While a real app may be large, at least it's full-featured and (mostly) responsive/stable. I don't know about you, but it would suck to have your net connection give out and lose everything since the last update.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2006 @11:14PM (#15089397)
    Online word processing per se doesn't seem like a brilliant idea. On the other hand, there are programs that I no longer use; but I have lots of files generated by those programs. An online version of CorelDraw that I could use to translate old drawings into dxf or odg or something; that I would use. I have a zillion old autocad drawings that I need to access every now and then but I no longer have autocad. I would pay a bit to use an online version of autocad occasionally.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2006 @11:58PM (#15089484)
    ajaxWrite has nothing to do with AJAX. It is a XUL application, and runs only in Mozilla ! It also has almost nothing to do with Javascript...so all you bozos out there saying that javascript based word apps are a bad idea....jeez..i don't even know what to say to you.

    For christ's sake...what's next...ajaxIceCream ?
  • Re:Please Just Stop (Score:1, Interesting)

    by kennygraham (894697) on Friday April 07, 2006 @11:59PM (#15089487)
    But, it's a hack.
    This is a good thing.
    [snip]
    or in the case of AJAX, a combination of technologies and taking them places that we never dreamed possible.

    The problem is that it's not just taking existing technologies. It's taking a non-standard proprietary extention to javascript, and adding it to the existing technologies. If it used real javascript, it'd be great. Yes, I'm a standards nazi.

  • Re:Please Just Stop (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday April 08, 2006 @01:50AM (#15089746) Homepage Journal
    Of course Java was killed by Microsoft introducing a non-standard implementation on IE.

    Oh, please. You could write a standard Java app for IE if you wanted to. The problem was that Java-in-the-browser SUCKED. It was slow, it was an UNBELIEVABLE memory hog, and the widgets looked absolutely amateurish and awful. In fact, computers are faster, but the widgets STILL look awful (and it's still arguably a memory pig, though the proportion is smaller since we have more memory to throw around).

    The other problem was that Java apps tended to be quite big, which made them a bear to download on slow connections. Not as much of a problem these days with broadband, but there are still a lot of modems out there.

    There's a reason that Google maps with AJAX is good (instant loading), and a similar thing with Java would be bad.

  • by b17bmbr (608864) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @02:39AM (#15089851)
    its competition is Wordpad... and Wordpad is winning. This article is just reaffirming what was so plain to see when looking at the app for 5 minutes.

    I went to the site and played with it for 5 minutes. Nothing special. But what realy is a word procesor anyways. We confuse page layout with word processing. You want tables, graphs, pictures, mail merge, fine, but is theally a WP? For the features presented, I found them rather impressive. Okay, I use vim for most my coding. I have been using Pages for about a year now, and it is really slick. I of course use 1/10th of what it does. I like it's simplicity and apple's print to pdf more than anything. I think you're missig the point.

    Could I do my fly fishing club's newsletter on it? No. Could I have done my Master's thesis on it? Yes. That's the difference.
  • by drewlondon (918917) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @06:40AM (#15090218)
    The definition of a word processor needs updating.

    One big document is not always how writers work. That's not how I work, that's not how I think. I like to write lots of different fragments, rearrange them, and then piece them all together later.

    I use AJAX sticky notes at http://www.protopage.com/ [protopage.com] as my word processor.

    It doesn't look like a word processor - but then the decades old definition of a word processor I think needs to be updated.
  • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smallfries (601545) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @08:54AM (#15090427) Homepage
    You've hit the nail on the head when you say application*s*. Given that this article is a dupe, and we all bashed ajaxWrite last time it was up, I'm suprised that nobodies mentioned the other apps. This guys plan was to realise a new app every week. So far he's got a sketch program, and a something for videoediting. The sketch program (like the ajaxWrite) is exactly the kind of simple programing assignment that you would get somebody to do to learn a new language. Its not drowning in features, although of course he compares it to Inkscape. I didn't look at the videoediting as thats not really my thing.

    One amusing thing about his hype machine is that he has a claim that the idea for the word processor came from another guy, and that he injected $50000 as VC to get it off the ground. Odd thing is three weeks ago he made that claim about the word processor. It seems that this claim shifts through the applications as they are written. That is some impressive use of 200,000 quarters on a piece of string trick.
  • by saltydogdesign (811417) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @11:18AM (#15090823)
    Yeah, better just stick to paper and pencil.
  • by JMZero (449047) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @06:50PM (#15092724) Homepage
    Huh - they already did at my company. We wrote a web script based word processor about 4 years ago. Since then it has processed around 2 million documents, and generally has high user satisfaction.

    Our users were initially concerned - as you are - about losing docs, so we wrote a component that allows periodic backup saves to your hard disk. But it's seldom used - a good percentage of people don't even have it installed. People's net connections just don't die that often.

    The one feature people missed was dotted-right-aligned tabs (as our base, HTML, doesn't really do that so well). We simulate the effect with tables - it's not perfect but it's just fine. Pretty much any other big feature - from mail merge to pictures to spellcheck - we got working pretty quickly. Script may be slow - but not slow enough to bog down reasonably fast computers. It's actually a very pleasant platform to develop an application on.

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