Google – what happened??

September 4, 2008


In continuation to this post by Eran Kampf:

I originally thought about a simple reply but it came out so long that I ended up making this a formal post.

Long long time ago people came up with the idea of working remotely without any hard drive on the machine.
Since then came AJAX because people did not like the user experience of browsers, and online content failed almost completely. People did not want to pay for a song that is “somewhere out there”, for the right to see a movie but not own it, and for working on their documents (some times sensitive) without receiving their own copy.
Google woke up one day and decided to do that… for some reason. It’s probably a nice browser.

Originally movie producers thought that DVDs would take away all revenue. Today the movie is just a promotion for the DVD. The reason is that people feel better when they own the things that they like. When you put effort in a document you like it. Ask any developer that wrote a feature that needs to be taken out of the application.

The two basic rules I have for you are:
1. It takes at least two dots to make a line, and
2. Never argue with the way customers feel about things.


I had another interesting experience related to this: a while back I noticed that MSDN searches suggest common keywords and thought to myself: that it is an amazing feature, that it is about time that the online version did what the offline version does, and that this has to be pretty heavy to download… A few days ago I noticed the same feature on Google search… “Hmm…” I though to myself, and was wondering how heavy download was this and were do they keep this information hidden (not a big issue, it’s just not interesting enough to open a tool for it).

Funny how the wheel turns…




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  1. Eran KampfSeptember 4, 2008 ב 13:41

    Relying on optimizing AJAX and Google Gears for offline storage is just like adding more horses to pull your carriage – its still a carriage, not a car.

    The current standards used on the web are long defunct and the organization in charge of maintaining them (W3C) does it once or trice a decade (!).

    That’s why companies are forced to proprietary standards like Flex and Silverlight.
    And maybe we’re going to a browserless future were we have AIR\Silverlight web enabled applications running on our OS?

    The point is, taking Apple’s rendering code and putting it inside a featureless window and adding some optimized JavaScript VM is far from innovative light years away from the revolutionary expectations tech writers like Arrington write about….

    But hey, we’ve had the same story with a featureless chat program a few years ago 😉

    heh, write a short should-be-blog-post here…


  2. dotmadSeptember 4, 2008 ב 14:18

    I have to disagree with your example – the box office revenue is still the first and foremost concern of any movie producer.

  3. AsafShellySeptember 4, 2008 ב 18:38

    Hi Eran,

    I have to agree with that.
    As a product designer, when I see such cases where two answers are both good and bad usually the answer is some new methodology that has a mix of the two.

    Basically C++ dialogs are based on resource files which come from a simple text that is not far from HTML. I’d say that the major difference is whether you have a script engine or not, and whether your main storage is online or not.

    My intuition is that the answer is somewhere around scripting with local storage but having access to online resources. There were a few attempts but most of them were made with a browser host. Maybe the problem is with that. Original implementations of Basic used an interpreter (script engine) and VB 6 (if I’m not wrong) supported that as well.

    Maybe what the world needs is just a new scripting host, and one that would be implemented in a good design and not just as an overlay feature for a text viewer…

    (nope, can’t write short comments here 🙂

  4. AsafShellySeptember 4, 2008 ב 18:43

    Hey Adi,

    I’ll ask a few friends in that industry to comment here. I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard that.


  5. ekampfSeptember 4, 2008 ב 21:39

    FYI ActionScript is a scripting language that complies to industry standard for dynamic languages (ie ECMAScript)