Monday, 1 June 2009

Wave goodbye to Google Docs?

Google is releasing what some have called a SharePoint killer in Wave. I won't go in to reviews of the vapourware product, but just take this chance to remind people that Google already has a SharePoint killing app: Google Docs.

When Google Docs came out I started using it. I set a project for myself to write and store all my graduate school papers in Google Docs, and I have been doing this now since 2006. I have written part of about 10 term paper documents.

Real life usage is so important. If I had just open Google Docs and wrote a page or two I might say its great, but having tried to use it again and again to produce 2,000 to 4,000 word documents (not that big) I can honestly say it is NOT ready for prime time.

The problem is it that it is doing in the web browser more than a web browser can do. I have worked on Ubuntu, Open SUSE, Mac and Windows XP all 32-bit. I have used it with IE 6, IE 7, IE 8, Firefox, and Google browser.

The problem always starts to kick in at about 1,500 words in to the document. It takes forever to do anything, and by the time all browsers respond you can have clicked yourself in to a problem. I sometimes forget between term papers but when I return to write a paper I have the same problem again and again. I never have been able to finish a 2,000 page document in Google Docs.

You just need a word processor client. Its that simple. You only want to send up saves to the web and you certainly don't want to use a browser as you main information management tool.