[OT] Re: potential talking point- maps.google.com

On Tue, 2005-02-08 at 10:32 -0500, Luis Villa wrote:
> With maps.google.com, gmail, etc. google is proving that the best web
> apps in the world are cross platform and don't need activeX. My gut
> feeling is that this is relevant to us and we should weave it into our
> talking point someho

Google maps (gmaps?), gmail, flickr, and others are proving that for
certain types of applications the desktop is irrelevant - you can
successfully create web apps that are as good or better than their thick
client counterparts. Plus if you add in the increasing number of web
API's; Google, Amazon, Ebay, flickr, del.icio.us, technorati, ....

Every desktop app needs this gut check 'Am I still relevant in this new
thin client world? How can I provide a superior or complementary
function?' To me gmail et al are starting to prove Tim O'Reilly and
David Stutz right - innovation is about software above the level of one

Gnome apps should do OK in this comparison, due to the Just Works
philosophy however there is still a way to go - for example once you get
an invite gmail is trivial to setup and there is no maintenance.
Evolution on the other hand is difficult to setup (no more than anything
else but still annoying from an end user pov) - you need know things
like IMAP servers, SSL, authentication types, SMTP, blah, blah, blah. 

The other side is to provide more seamless integration with the web apps
and services, a la iTMS or the Flickr plugin in iPhoto - I like your
idea of a rhythmbox CC plugin to create a iTMS type experience. F-Spot
(thought not strictly a gnome app) works with Gallery, but this
highlights an issue - although it would be desirable to link into all
these web services most (all?) are commercial, although free as in beer
to the user, should we be connecting Free software to what might be
called non-Free services? I mean in terms of the stock Gnome packages -
distros and others could provide 3rd party plugins for these things of

But wouldn't it be great if we could link together the best Free desktop
apps (i.e. Gnome stuff) with the best Free and Open Source web apps - to
give a small example, wouldn't it be great to sync Evo vfolders to some
web based email app (e.g. IMP from www.horde.org), or in more general
terms something like iSync, or an offline RSS reader that shares subs
with a Planet or other online aggregator. Podcasting provides the newest
area of multi (multi) device application - think of the chain of
integrated apps from recording -> mixing / production -> weblog/RSS ->
download / aggregator -> media app -> portable media device.

Anyway this is OT I think so I end here,


> Luis
Paul Cooper                    |  Tel: 0121 634 1620
Assistant Director             |  Fax: 0121 634 1630
OpenAdvantage                  |  http://www.openadvantage.org

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