Writely is in action : docs.google.com
October 11, 2006 5 Comments
Today, Google has injected it’s aquired document technology “Writely” in to Google Docs & Spreadsheets, an Online Office workspace from google. This is one more BETA from Google. But I should say, this product was well tested as a Beta when it was “Writely”.
The first thing I noticed is, Google wants to clearly differentiate between docs and spreadsheets. In a standard office environment, we call every working document as a document. I wonder what could be the logic behind seperating Docs & Spreadsheets. If Docs are word, open office writer documents, what they would call “Presentations”. That’s a big question.
Let’s discect what is up there in Google Docs !
Usability Perspective : Google has converted the Writely interface totally in to it’s own style of navigation. I am convinced by the look and feel, but I am not feeling good on removing some of the cool options from Writely and the navigation style of Writely. You can see the earlier navigation system of Writely Here..
You can read CNET’s detailed review on Writely here.
There is an advantage as well with google style navigation. That is nothing but, the famous gmail style navigation that most of the google users live in and out in thier daily life.
Google docs gives you a defaul folder view named “Active Documents”. This is a place where you are currently working on active documents and spread sheets. The “All Documents” folder view displays all the documents in one place as shown below.
I was quite happy to see all of my “Writely” documents are back in my vault with out any problem.
Colloboration & Publishing : Google docs scores a high rank in colloboration and publishing. There are plenty of cool options for document sharing, versioning too. Currently Google docs can support HTML, TXT, DOC (MS), RTF, ODT (Open Office), SXW (Star Office), CSV, XLS (MS), ODS (Open Office). These are the most commonly used office documents across world.
In future, we can expect more formats like Office 2007 formats, more Open Office documents and support for Office Services.
Once I uploaded a new document, Google docs has opened that document for me and provided two tabs to colloborate and publish. I was confused to distinguish between these two options but later understood that Colloborate is more like Publishing the document privately along with some credentials to edit it.
So when you “Publish” a document, that document will be published on Internet instantaneously. So be careful with this option. But you always will have a choice to stop publishing/ Re-publish the document at the published location..
Alternatively you can publish your document to any supported blog engine. This means that you can Google docs as a Blog editor as well. :-). And you can publish a RSS feed for all of your pubic documents.
Quality : As I mentioned earlier in this post, the quality is much high in constrast with other Google Betas like GMail; as this product was well tested in it’s earlier life itself. But Google has removed the cool Beta Meter which was a part of Writely. I think Google is still working on skinning Writely as I can see some error messages like this…
Overall Rating :