Google’s AJAX powered Web-Page builder is here. Perhaps the web alternative to Microsoft Frontpage in its Beta, or an AJAX powered Yahoo Geocities, understandably it’s not quite there yet. Upto 100 MB of Free Hosting, this seems to be an early April Fool’s Day present from Google. Fully powered by AJAX and feature rich, the interface is easy to use and folks who wish to build Web pages needn’t suffer from HTML Handicap anymore. Strike one. Now, back to speculating what else could they possibly release on April 1st.
Ismael Ghalimi hits the nail on the head with the post – Office 2.0 Interoperability. I’m one of the victims of what I’d call, “Oh, I forgot what login I entered for this web service” syndrome. Sometimes I don’t trust a lot of web services and enter an alternate login e-mail address. It becomes nearly impossible to remember them all, and having a “Remember Password” isn’t a great idea when several people use the same PC terminal. (as pointed out in the post)
This is where Google’s services score over the other. A Gmail address is sufficient for accesing all Google affiliated services, right from Google Reader to Orkut. Like the post says, it is a very complex problem to solve, given the number of e-mail service providers. What I’d suggest is something similar to a feature of Zoho Writer: There is a “Post to your blog” option with a list of popular blog service providers, it would be great if genuine web services offer a “Sign in with your X email account” where X would be an e-mail service like Yahoo, or Gmail. The web service would remember what X is, but not the username and password. A lot safer.
That system has a major let down, though.
I have a primary e-mail account and a secondary e-mail account, both with Gmail, for its user-friendliness. If I select Gmail as my service, on my second visit, the web service will remember that I used a Gmail account to sign in. I’ll have a problem remembering which of the two addresses I used. It’s Ok in my case because I have just two accounts with the same provider. A lot of people have more than two accounts and they’ll still have trouble signing in.
Single Sign on, though a complex issue is, as much as I could say, the best way Office 2.0 interoperability can be acheived. After all, compatibility between two services is an important feature that people look for in any service.
With Google Suggest turned on, if “How to” is entered in the search box, the first option it suggests is “How to tie a Tie”.
Now to the post. Ajaxian carried extract from a story about Web 3.0, carrying a couple of puns and names from animation world like Chuck Jones and fantasy things like ACME invisible ink. The author is quite funny, and writing about future or emerging technologies in the manner in which he’s done it is no mean piece of writing. And it’s only essays like these that are pointers to developers “who are toiling over an AJAX- and Ruby-powered social software product”, no matter how sceptical or irritated they feel about it.
“Some small teams of sharp peopleâ€”people who once, perhaps, worked for those with dimmer visionsâ€”are now following their own muses and designing smart web applications.” With each passing day, there seems to be some AJAX powered application or the other hitting the new web, I can’t agree more. It’s actually the liberty that it offers, more people are lured into it everyday. A couple of years back, when sending a batch of image files to a lot of people, was synonymous with attaching every individual file and sending them as an e-mail. And one had to see to it that it wouldn’t exceed their storage limit, which was around 4 MB. Later on, Flickr happened and made the life of a lot of people, especially those people who spend their time distributing those odd and interesting pictures a lot simpler.
I wonder if the idea of a concept such as Flickr would have been a success if a Computer Conglomerate which sells a wide variety of software packages decided to develop such an application. Flickr wouldn’t be Flickr if it were that way. It wouldn’t be human enough. As mentioned, AJAX developers will have to “determine all the things a user might do, and wireframe the blessed moments of each possibility.” All those applications that use AJAX almost understand what you want. The tagging service del.ico.us, for instance, tries to predict what tag you can possibly use based on previous user’s experience. Gmail sorts the e-mails and their replies in conversation view, instead of making people fish around the Inbox or Mail folders. That is the advantage of having smart people who worked previously with boring projects. They’ve made the Web almost intelligent. That, precisely is the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. While Web 1.0 had answers that cater to the crowd, Web 2.0 has (or will have, in the near future) a solution that suits the individual user.
It will not be long before the Web tries to understand the possible mistakes that happen while tying a neck tie, and display a warning message in the screen that most probably it was wrong, based on the responses obtained from the previous users who tried to do it by the same method.