WIMP/Folders Vs Search/Tags

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Have been following an interesting thread by Nick Carr, Rajagopal Sukumar & Sadagopan among others. Nick Carr came up with

What Microsoft is trying to do with its new Duet partnership with SAP – provide a user-friendly way to tap into data from a complex enterprise system – Google is trying to do on a much grander scale. It wants to be a front end for everything. One wonders if the big application providers will really want to forfeit the user interface – and the power it represents – to Google. One also wonders whether they’ll have a choice

Rajagopal Sukumar supports Nick saying,

We have been using  WIMP as the User Interface design strategy since the days when Xerox Parc and Apple Macintosh pioneered the GUI and subsequently made ubiquitous by Microsoft Windows. As everyone will attest software development costs time and money, so my argument has been that by  eliminating development on the Read part of the application, we can save time and money.

Now, there is a new twist to this strategy and that is Search. I think Search will make the WIMP interface obsolete for basic Information Retrieval/Foraging purposes.  Of course, for more advanced information retrieval applications you will use business intelligence tools.

But Sadagopan (and Vinnie Mirchandani – see the first comment of this post) are of the opposite opinion. Sadagopan asserts,

Google’s application centered interfaces are not that great – for example , its do not sort when you can search philosophy with Gmail is not exactly a great hit – I suspect that with my limited experience of using it, I end up spending more time in accessing information – this when I use my mailbox to 20% of its capacity.

In Zoho Writer, we try to capture the best of both worlds. While we have tags & the unique ‘Search based UI navigation‘ (where you can search/use features from a search box), we plan to come up with folders for organizing documents as an extension of the current ‘tags as folders‘ concept too. We tend to side with the Google way of doing things though & would not want features to be hidden within heirarchial menus.

For the power user in you – Zoho Planner API

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The success of GMaps says it all. APIs allow users to come up with their own applications creatively. Many Zoho Planner users have been asking for an open API for quite some time now & the Zoho Planner API has just been released!

With the Zoho Planner API, you can get all the info related to your Zoho Planner account & use it elsewhere to create interesting mashup applications. We believe the API will be a useful add in exploiting the power of Zoho Planner.

Check out the Zoho Planner API now. Do tell us what you think of the API & ask if you need anymore.

Note: A point worth remembering – we offer an unlimited Zoho Planner account for Free.

J. Murali writes about Zoho at ‘The Hindu’

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The Hindu‘ is India’s National newspaper & it was a pleasant surprise seeing a detailed writeup on Zoho in it today morning. J. Murali’s ‘Netspeak’ column is a great resource for all tech savvy people. Murali distinguishes himself in writing about the latest & best advances on the internet. From the article :

The Zoho service (http://www.zoho.com/) hosts a wide array of collaboration applications (both free and priced). Through several office applications, it is trying to gain some foothold in the highly competitive web-based office suite segment. The free product, web-based wordprocessor ZohoWriter (http://www.zohowriter.com/), developed for creating/sharing documents on-line, is one of its kind. It has almost all the features found on similar products (like Writely).

Another office-suite component worth a mention is the ZohoSheet, an on-line worksheet package. The product allows you to create/share spreadsheets in your browser. It supports facilities such as graph creation tool and mathematical functions like LCM, sum, log, sumsq (for sum of the squares of a set of numbers) and sqrt.

In addition, you can upload an Excel file on to the Zoho’s server and access it from anywhere. Zoho Polls, for instant launching of on-line opinion polls, is yet another useful product from Zoho. Its free on-line poll service enables you to float a poll application with a few mouse clicks.

Besides providing you a page for your poll, the service allows you to embed the poll on to your web site or blog. Zoho hosts several other services such as Zoho Creator and Zoho Planner.

It was nice meeting up with Murali at the recently held BarCamp Chennai (as reported here).

Trends on Zoho

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Google Trends says Spanish users of Zoho top the list (All years, i.e.). Gracias, usuarios! :)

And by the way, merely typing Trend/Trends in Google doesn’t return Google Trends as the top result. Low on Google Juice, perhaps?

ZohoCreator: Default and Custom Filters

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You can Sort and use Filter to create the exact View you need. This helps you get focused on the only data you are interested in.

In order to make the filter creation process most SIMPLEst, ZohoCreator creates filter automatically for you if your field type is ‘Picklist’.

and you can create ‘Custom Filters’ too with your own conditions.

~Roughic

Testing Web 2.0/AJAX applications

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Not a day goes by without a Web 2.0 product/service being launched. It’s the people’s/customer’s web all the more. But what about the developers who are resposible for this web revolution? Shouldn’t Web 2.0 make life easier for them too? What with Web 2.0 almost becoming synonymous with AJAX & ultra-short release cycles (‘a build every half hour‘ of Flickr), it becomes all the more important that these AJAX apps be checked thoroughly before each release. Though the perpetual Beta tag & the go-easy attitude of Web 2.0 early-adopters ensures that the developers are somewhat safeguarded, tools that automatically check for functional use cases of these Web 2.0 apps are the need of the day.

QEngine is a good tool for such test purposes. For how the tool can be used, please visit #/. A test suite has been set-up under the name “Web_2_0_IE” there. This suite demonstrates the functionality testing of Zoho Planners’s “Sign In, Creation of a new page, Editing (Ajax based), Deleting and Signout” functionalities. (Note: This requires installing a QEngine toolbar in your browser)

To know more about QEngine & how it can help you automate your testing needs, please contact qengine-support(at)adventnet.com