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Google vs the OpenSource Desktop

Posted by evanx on March 24, 2007 at 3:47 AM PDT

i was just reading a blog "Google Hasn't Improved Search" where the author says,

Whenever they release a new product, it does nothing to improve the existing search offering. Whenever they do something to change the existing search offering, it's a minor layout move. Whenever there's a new product in labs, it's no longer outlandish, it doesn't make me think and again; is no improvement or change to their core offering: SEARCH.

I agreed and added the following ranting comment about Google, which i repeat below.

But enough about you, let's talk about me, what i think

Google don't seem to have a cohesive plan except to hire anyone who's anyone, away from other companies who need them eg. Sun et al, for what purpose? To take over the information world, to displace and replace everyone else? It doesn't feel right.

Rather than leverage and contribute to opensource projects such as Thunderbird and OpenOffice, to web-enable those as stateless RIAs or something, they develop web-based apps for mail, calendaring and docs which are relatively poor in terms of usability and features compared to the opensource desktop equivalents. But at least the web apps have ads! ;)

Why don't they use Thunderbird/XUL for gmail? Why not add "G-drive" integration to OpenOffice? And throw in ads somewhere to pay for it.

So i think they are taking the industry backwards with their "web-browser-hobbled desktop knock-offs" when they could be driving the whole rich opensource desktop forward to leverage their internet infrastructure, and not just the browser.

But enough about my thoughts, let's talk about my plans


It looks like i'm back on the road again. Every six months to a year, i decide to switch locations from Johannesburg and Cape Town or visa versa, and it seems that time has come again.

I'm gonna be spending the next few months flitting around the country between Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, visiting various family and friends, with my two notebooks and my backpack. One "notebook" is a computer with GSM 3G connection, so i'm good to go. My other very important notebook is paper-based. Cos I find the best way to design software
i want to write, is in a coffee shop with pen and paper and a double cappucino or three.

After i've overstayed my welcome and exhausted the hospitality of my family and friends once again, i'm thinking of heading over to Europe and getting a job like my mom says i should. I'm justing waiting for Netbeans6 with its minty goodies like JSR295, JSR296, JPA... Ooo, what a good time to reenter to job market! :)

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