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Not quite English error message in Google Docs

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

Monday, March 19, 2007
7 years ago4,037 views

A not very well phrased error message came up in Google Docs:

We're sorry, but we were unable to upload this document.

If you have the desktop word processor installed on this computer, there are two other easy ways to bring the file into Google Docs & Spreadsheets

"If you have THE desktop word processor installed . . ."?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

maybe google is bringing together a client side install to work offline mode too ?? something in the line of a jotspot for your desktop ??

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Do you have the full message/ a screenshot, and possible ways to reproduce this error message?

Anonymous Googler [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

It is a typo.

milivella [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I encountered this phrase a few weeks ago. I simply thought: they say "the", but mean "a". However, I thought that maybe a Google desktop word processor was coming.

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I feel very stupid for not having taken a screenshot; obviously I will if it comes up again and the wording hasn't been changed. However, I too suspect that it's a typo. (It also included a double space, I think after "word processor", as though it had been keyed in quickly and not proofread.)

That said, I completely agree with Philipp that some kind of offline editing client from Google *must* be in the pipeline; I don't think Firefox 3's promised offline capabilities will provide *all* the necessary solutions.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Photoactive, roughly what were the "two other easy ways" the error message mentioned?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

> I thought that maybe a Google desktop
> word processor was coming.

I wonder if they'd bundle it to Google Desktop to ease distribution? Or maybe Google Pack? Or standalone?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

methinks it will be the googlepack deployment strategy after all Googlepack does have GDT as a component for install!!

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Erm, I *think* they were 1) to save it as HTML and then upload and 2) to copy and paste it into a blank Google Docs doc. (So yes, sadly, no sign of special offline functionality . . . YET.)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

If it's part of Google Desktop, which if I understand it correctly has an auto-updating feature*, they could sneak it in through the backdoor. "Google Docs Desktop (TM) is ONLY an update so it will be downloaded in the background for you, and associated with all your *.doc files." OK, I'm exxagerating :)

* E.g. Google said the previous XSS hole was automatically fixed without the user needing to install an update:
blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-0 ...

Amit Agarwal [PersonRank 3]

7 years ago #

Google could be developing a plugin like Zoho that lets you write and upload documents to Google Docs directly from MS Office.

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I think the distribution (Google Desktop or Google Pack) question is key here. There are various things Google has to make up its mind about now. The new online emphasis on Google Talk – the gadget, demoting the downloadable client – means that there's little advertised incentive for downloading the thing, and it's no longer evident to new users that it's worthwhile. But if you don't download the client you don't get features such as voice calls and file transfer.

In a way, the client is now too fully featured; all it needs is something that runs invisibly in the background, to allow voice calls in the web version, so it would make sense to let the client peter out and keep a lighter version of it as part of Desktop. Here at least Desktop makes most sense; that way you can choose to have Talk as a gadget, and have notifications; you don't really need a big program (well, relatively big).

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Yes I too bet they'd want to go the route of sneaking it in by the back door! But that isn't really evil, because the average user doesn't want to have to think about what programs they have installed; they just want things to work.

Because of the new toolbar I *already* have all .doc files associated with Google Docs: when I'm connected to the internet I click on a .doc file on my computer and it opens up in Firefox. At the moment, when I'm offline I have to right click on the thing and choose to open it in MS Word. A pain to have to worry about, but I like Google Docs... :)

With a wee client (as part of Desktop or whatever), I wouldn't need really to notice the difference when my internet connection was broken. If I was offline a web-like editor would pop up that did all the same things as Google Docs (plus more! like better printing...)

www.what.se [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

Google has already invested in a innovative has this through a Swedish companys work off line solution (AJAX):

See more at what.se/search.asp?google

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

And of course the other thing that should be distributed as part of Desktop is Gdrive... Again invisibility is the key. At the moment I have to remember *manually* (how outdated) whether I did the latest edits of a document online (on Google Docs) or offline (in MS Word). A nice almost invisible Gdrive client as part of Desktop could automatically synch the thing. Sigh...

GuillaumeB [PersonRank 9]

7 years ago #

Well.. isn't offline/online synchronization be natively supported in FF3? WHy would Google make such a tol then?

But hey! i'm dying to be able to edit my GDocs offline!

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I think a future version of Google Desktop will be Adobe Apollo enabled. This would be good for accessing offline documents, etc, then syncing them.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

<<...there are two other easy ways to bring the file into Google Docs & Spreadsheets>>

That's all? Where is the rest of the phrase?

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Sorry, Ionut. I was in a hurry and didn't copy and paste it all, OR take a screenshot. Stupid. But I'm sure the "the" was a typo; they meant "a". The other ways were just saving the thing as HTML and then uploading again, and copying and pasting . . .

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Ok, then there's no hint to an offline integration with Google Desktop. "The desktop word processor" is just Microsoft Office (or Open Office etc). The text was probably written by someone that doesn't speak English natively – in my language that wording is pretty good.

J. [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

The whole novelty of Google Docs & Spreadsheets is the autosave and the online Ajaxy functionality. In a world where everyone is trying desperately the blanket the world in WiFi, WiMax, and broadband, why does Google need to make an offline version? I think Google is thinking to the far future, and trying not to complicate matters with an offline version, which I think defeats the whole purpose of Google Apps in the first place.

How often are you offline?? My internet connection is up at least 99% of the year, if not more. When it's not, it's usually a quick power down/up on the modem. Why do I need an offline version again? And let's not use the airplane as an example. I hate airplane explanations. Airplanes are all going to have WiFi on board eventually, so let's not even discuss it.

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I don't think you're wrong. But there is the medium term to consider, when wifi ISN'T available everywhere, by any means. I live in the UK; I have internet access at home and at work, but not when I travel anywhere outside London, which I do a lot. But since in the long term we ARE going to be online pretty much all the time, I imagine offline functionality is going to make most sense as an add-on, an extra, a light client, rather than being made a central part of Google Docs.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

[put at-character here]J.
I don't know about in the US but in the UK there is still a lot of people on dial-up, pay as you go Internet at home. For these people an Offline version at home and a Online version everywhere else would save them a lot of money as they wouldn't have to be Online through all of their typing.

And all this is hypothetical anyway as it's probably just a typo :-)

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I guess the most immediate incentive for Google to expand Docs and Spreadsheets etc, and make them more sticky and useful, is to penetrate workplaces and corporations – hence the improved Google Apps (for your domain). And in that space offline access is a much smaller issue than it is in the personal space, since everybody has the internet at work, when they're not on a plane; it's homebodies who don't always.

So maybe Google reckons it doesn't need to be in too much of a hurry to provide offline access; maybe it can wait for Firefox 3's functionality at the end of the year. But Firefox won't do everything, and isn't rapidly scalable or indeed universally used. Let's hope they are working on something...

dave-cahill [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

If anyone's interested in seeing a screenshot of this, there's one here:

blog.dave-cahill.com/2007/03/c ...

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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