Good Enough Versus Bloated

I am so tired of comments made on the web that such and such software is better because it has more features than another. Recently Rizzo of M$ said Excel is just a million years ahead of what Google Docs provides. Does that even matter?

The last time I read any count Office was up to 300 “features”. A dog with more fleas is not a better dog. What matters in software is whether the software works for you. If all you are doing is formatting some HTML, TinyMCE may well be enough.

A lot of features added to Office these days are stuff that really does not matter except to encourage folks to buy another licence. Otherwise, those features would have been incorporated years ago. Why has M$ held back on all that innovation? I have been word-processing for ages and there are many tasks we did in the old days that we still do today. There is no compelling reason to buy new software to do old jobs when you already have access to the old software.

Google says their Google Docs will do what most people need to do. That’s enough. It is very wasteful of programmers’ time and licensing fees to pay again for what you already have.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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8 Responses to Good Enough Versus Bloated

  1. I think the reason many consider oldman’s situation as “niche” is that most PCs are bought by consumers, folks with no huge budget for IT, no skilled IT staff and no clue how to fix things except to take the PC to a friend or fix-it shop with variable results.

    Business and large organizations buy only about 40% of PCs and large organizations are a small part of that. Assuming that what large organizations do is suitable/possible for everyone is a mistake. Assuming that other OS is optimal for everyone is a mistake. I think it is optimal for very few. oldman disagrees. It’s OK to disagree.

  2. oldman says:

    “I personally find general insulting statements annoying. Insulting people is not an actions of a polite person oldman.”

    Yet I regularly have to endure having my comments and described requirements dismissed out of hand as a corner case not to be considered. I am regularly told what solutions that I regularly get great personal productivity out of dismissed as bloated, as if the fact that they cant run on an ancient piece of under-provisioned hardware is somehow an important factor in why they are used.
    When pressed those same people will tell me in effect to shut up.

    If I have mistaken you for one of them, forgive my lack of politeness.

    This having been said, The fact that an vendor like Google has potential for business who are willing to adapt to Googles more limited range of offerings is IMHO frankly irrelevant in the context of discussions on personal desktop computing and its issues.

    Speaking as a systems architect, The solution to protecting data in the cloud may come in the form of the emerging appliance called the cloud controller. These devices which contain a large local storage cache, are installed at the business and are then provisioned with an internet connection to the cloud provided of the business choice. The local users see this as a NAS device speaking CIFS and NFS, and so can interact with it as they usually do. As data is written it is periodically deduped, compressed encrypted and written to the cloud where it is stored. Some of these boxes have the ability to write to more than one cloud vendor, adding to the survivability of date. Within a cloud providor like amazon, one can cover ones self by paying for data to be written to more than one of its regional data centers.

  3. oe says:

    That wire to the cloud is an Achilles heel…good point.

    I think Google could really accelerate acceptance of their turnkey solution by offering up for SOHO and medium sized enterprises what their localized search appliances did.

    http://www.google.com/enterprise/search/gsa.html
    http://www.google.com/enterprise/search/mini.html

    Conceptually it seems that such hardware could be modified to locally serve up GDocs on the front, synch and host on the LAN, and then when the internet is up (hopefully most of the time) synch up to Googles server farm on the backend for the onsite/offsite cloud hybred. Another option Google could offer, with the provisio that you loose redundancy of remotely backup data, would be local hosted only, but the company data could remain in house (for highly sensitive stuff…). If they offered these I think a MAJOR acceptance barrier would fall from GDocs.

    As to formatting for internal communication documents and normal business stuff even GDocs is more than sufficient. Yes, the marketing and advertising departments may still need fat office clients, but most “non-glossy” documents don’t need anywhere the feature set of OO, MSOffice, Wordperfect…..

  4. oiaohm says:

    oldman I have been in the game as long as you.

    I asked you not to make general statements politely. Also for a person who has been in the game for 30 years I would not expected general statements to be used in the first place.

    I should have been more correct general insulting statements.

    “Of course to who are in love with dumb terminal computing in general and screwgle in particular. The world is peaches and cream.”

    This general statement also attacks people like me who use those solutions correctly. So why am I not allowed to take offense? Particular the second sentence you tacked on. Making out people using those solutions don’t consider the risks. This is insulting to people like me because I do consider the risks.

    So its a general insult to everyone who is using those solutions. Now if you had been more targeted to those who don’t maintain proper onsite backups or have forced the use of google docs by staff who need libreoffice, openoffice or msoffice. No offensive to people like me. Because those mistakes are incompetent assessments.

    So why should I not take offense to your statement?

    I maybe recommending to a business Google Docs and Dumb Terminals but with a proper designed Onsite backup of the Google data. This is because I am competent IT network designer.

    “The only person I answer to here is Robert Pogson, the owner of this blog. If he objects to the content of my posts, he has the option of banning me outright, modifying my posts, or warning me to change my tune.”

    So if Robert Pogson is the only person you answer to. Since by your statements Robert Pogson is the only person I have to answer to. He allowed my post end of issue. If he did not like it he could have deleted or commented against it.

    Really you comments are view by everyone. If they are wrong everyone has the right to take offense.

    If only Robert Pogson answers people play arguments out side his skill set that are invalid that Robert Pogson will not be able to counter.

    Yes polite is polite. You don’t require any means to enforce to make a polite request of a person. I personally find general insulting statements annoying. Insulting people is not an actions of a polite person oldman.

  5. oldman says:

    “Please don’t make general statements.”

    Please refrain from telling me what to post. My opinions are my own and come from over 30 years experience on *nix and Windows platforms.

    The only person I answer to here is Robert Pogson, the owner of this blog. If he objects to the content of my posts, he has the option of banning me outright, modifying my posts, or warning me to change my tune.

    You, on the other hand, have no more standing here than I do.

  6. oiaohm says:

    oldman Biggest problem in offices is people using different versions of programs.

    Ok google is a horrid way around that problem. Sharepoint gets called Shredpoint for lots of very good reasons including complete database corruptions past recovery ever. Google downtime and you know google has proper backup system in place. Is less likely to lose you data completely than Shredpoint.

    Of course there are alternatives like http://www.alfresco.com/ that has integration with MS Office, Libreoffice, Openoffice and others.

    Best feature of alfresco proper cluster support. So that you can have 2 or more servers running side by side so having nice active fall over even if they are in different building. Also you can a cloud based alfresco mirroring back to local.

    Please don’t make general statements. I do like dumb terminal computing in the correct places. I don’t like the idea of placing everything the business needs on a cloud without a local backup. And a local way to fire up in case of disaster.

    I remember the IT lessons of 9/11 in the USA. Businesses with correct IT recovery plans lived. Businesses without died.

    Google does provide some pretty good API’s to extract all data stored on the google server and sync to local. Problem is lack of matching local software to run the same online interface.

    If google goes down and you lose you data. Its your business fault for not having a proper backup plan for it. Yes google has provided all the apis you need to back everything up.

    Now when google goes down not being able to put up your own server to provide that data that looks and acts the same to your users is the google issue.

    Incompetence is Incompetence.

  7. oldman says:

    “Well GDocs does provide group-ware features that is unmatched among others; it throws away the old paradigm of emailing revisions around and the band-aid but inefficient solutions that have evolved to prop up the old paradigm like Livelink or Shredpoint.”

    Our organization outsourced email to google. Fortunately gmail has an imap interface so that I dont have to disrupt my productivty moving from thunderbird to their IMHO crappy web client.

    Yes Screwglecraps came along and I’ve tried it and have found it to be a very mixed bag.

    OE, groupware features are meaningless when you have to properly format a document, and for anyone who does more than the most casual usage, gdocs is a toy.

    Of course to who are in love with dumb terminal computing in general and screwgle in particular. The world is peaches and cream.

    Until Screwgle goes down or loses your data.

  8. oe says:

    Well GDocs does provide group-ware features that is unmatched among others; it throws away the old paradigm of emailing revisions around and the band-aid but inefficient solutions that have evolved to prop up the old paradigm like Livelink or Shredpoint.

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