Sunday, December 02, 2007

Google Docs has no clothes

My earliest posts on Google Docs (nee Writely), written in 2006, are here and here. Back then I thought we'd see Writely technology move into Blogger and Page Creator, and that Google Docs would become impressive.

Hasn't happened yet.

Since then I've used Google Docs fairly often, always with the latest versions of Firefox. It's a miserable word processor.

Sorry. It's true. Maybe it's better with IE, but I haven't tried it there.

If you do anything beyond simple text manipulation, the editing behaviors become increasingly unpredictable. Odd spaces open up that can't be removed. The HTML view doesn't explain the funky editing behavior, but it's a tag mess anyway.

Don't try inserting images and moving them around. You'll have to revert to a prior version as the document becomes irreparable.

I knew MacWrite. Google Docs is no MacWrite. It's arguably superior to WordStar, but I haven't tried any long documents in it. WordStar, however, was obsolete 20 years ago.

Google Spreadsheet is more useful; I haven't bothered with Google's presentation software.

I think we're a lot further from moving everything to the network than most pundits imagine ...

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