I wrote once before about the existing WebOS systems. I planned to follow that post up, but time did not allow. Now I will follow it up twofold.
I have come to use WebOS in a broader sense than I once did, which seems to be the ‘catching’ way to use it these days. That is, defining WebOS to include things such as Netvibes and BoxtheWeb, Omnidrive and Box.net, Zoho and Google Docs. I have been asked by some how I find WebOS useful at all, or if it is just an interesting experiment. I will attempt here to answer that.
Online storage is amazing. Work at home, save online, work at school, save online, etc. It is far more convenient than carrying flash media everywhere I go. I have used YouOS, Google Docs, and Gmail for this, but the result is basically the same.
Online office is similarly useful. I can work on and access the same document across computers at my house, or on campus, without any real hassle. Open, edit, save. Collaboration features just make it that much more fun! SVN for documents 😉
AJD (ala BoxtheWeb or Netvibes) is something I really love. I use BoxtheWeb, being the project originator, but there are many out there. I have many feeds, but I still like to be able to glance at them all at once. See what my contacts are reading these days, access my del.icio.us, and search, all from one page. There’s something to be said for that convenience.
Last but not least (and I’ve likely forgotten others) : YubNub. I couldn’t live without it. The amount of time saved being able to type ‘g singpolyma’, ‘tet microformats’, ‘hwdial singpolyma.net’ is amazing. And the development stuff is fun.
As for full-scale webtop integrations. I haven’t been using the full-fledged features yet. There’s something there though… just not ready yet (or maybe I’m too geeky to see it past the GUI 😉 ).
I mentioned in my last post the need for standards. If I could run Netvibes widgets on my BoxtheWeb page while integrating my YouOS storage, that would be very most awesome. The companies themselves seem to be organising, but it’s private and they’re not taking input. So, as always, the community needs to get their foot in the door before the industry runs on its course and we have many too many products and it takes years to create standards.
Drawing inspiration from the Microformats process, research into existing practices/standards should be present before suggesting something new. To aid the community in organising such research and development, I have created a wiki and a discussion group.
Perhaps not all of us are geeky enough to do the research and formal stuff for the wiki, but anyone who uses any of the products listed above, listed on the wiki, or related products, as well as those interested in Simile and related projects can contribute to the discussion on the discussion group. Anything from observations about how things work, suggestions as to how things should/could work, or even pointing out projects that may have been missed is welcome. Feedback from users as well as geeks is necessary to make this project work.