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A Google File-Type Control Center  (View post)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

Saturday, April 28, 2007
13 years ago6,277 views

This are good points!!

However, why should Google to open up to every darn file flavour ? This means that for every new type of app, Google needs to be able to move the source file into the destination format. In the long run, it just makes supporting of Gmail more cumbersome. It moves into a model that becomes heavyweight., complicated and leaves more room for errors and failure points..

A simple download and then it becomes the responsibility of the user to convert the file to desired format .

At the end of the day -how much interoperability is achievable ? where does one stop ?
  

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

the link to Google Docs is, mainly, a link destined to people who don't know what is Google Docs.
Remember that many, many, many persons are aware / don't care about Google Docs, Zoho & co.

So, OK, the link is a kind of ad. But I understand Google if they do nothing for Zoho users (& Zoho-like users) because they are a minority, there are many thing more important than that.

GuillaumeB [PersonRank 9]

13 years ago #

mmm interesting but it's not Google that should be doing this.
Instead Zoho should simply provide a tool that will automatically open .doc documents with Zoho itself, just like what Google did

Hashim [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I don't see this helping the average gmail user that much.

Google allows a download, and a view as html. This sounds like the resonable, scalable solution for all involved.

This feels like something that should be handled by your browser, not a specific service.

USBman [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I agree that this kind of functionality would be nice. However, I can't imagine why a company (Google) would purposely offer "customers" to their "competition," such as Zoho.

That said, Zoho DOES offer this kind of option, in the form of a Firefox extension. It is readily available at: addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firef ...

This eliminates the aforementioned need to download the desired file and then upload it again. It supports the following: .doc, .rtf, .sxw, .odt for documents, .xls, .csv, .sxc for spreadsheets, and .ppt, .pps, .sxi for presentations.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I bet it doesn't work with Gmail, because the attachment URL is not public.

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I believe if Google takes on this approach, we may see fights between other companies/services to compete in ownership and use of specific file extensions... take .doc file, does Microsoft own some type of claim over it? Everyone knows a .doc file-type is a MS Word file. But then again we have many other software overriding such settings based on the user preference. (i know i'm probably complicating myself)

does anyone know if Microsoft has argued against Google for using their well known MS Word Doc icon in Gmail?

Like USBman said, ZOHO offers a firefox add-on by ZOHO itself.. it would be smart for Google to support GreaseMonkey scripts with a vast list of file-type associations.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> However, I can't imagine why a company (Google) would
> purposely offer "customers" to their "competition," such as Zoho.

Not sure, but why does Microsoft offer you to open *.doc files with Open Office, if you chose to? Why not force Word if Word is installed on the machine?

> I bet it doesn't work with Gmail, because the attachment
> URL is not public.

In the model described, I was thinking about a HTTP POST to writer.zoho.com/import-rich-text/ (the full rich-text format data would be included in the post, the format to be defined by some kind of Google interoperability API).

ZZ [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

You always come up with great ideas, but this one is a flat stinker. Sorry.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

==>>"defined by some kind of Google interoperability API)." ??

It can't be defined by only one entity... There SHOULD be consortium that defines it and creates another stds body.. just like the w3c or IEFT

Gregor J. Rothfuss [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I would start with things that give you more bang for the buck, like email portability. Why does Yahoo mail charge for POP access, thereby holding my data hostage? I suspect it is to prevent defection to better products. Fortunately there are scrapers like freepops.org to get your data out.

If you wanted to migrate off of MySpace, good luck. Channeling Marc Canter, we need the social networks to support import and export of network data.

Nick Chirchirillo [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

>does anyone know if Microsoft has argued against Google for using their >well known MS Word Doc icon in Gmail?

Where is the Word icon in GMail? The only time I see a Word icon in GMail is when I have the extension GMail Skins installed, and the attachment is a Word document, but without it, it's a paper clip.

>Not sure, but why does Microsoft offer you to open *.doc files with Open >Office, if you chose to? Why not force Word if Word is installed on the >machine?

That is not something that Microsoft is doing. When you install Open Office, it writes code in the registry that adds Open Office in the list of "Open with..." applications. If you were to install Open Office, and then MS Office, I guarantee that Open Office will no longer be the default application suite used to open file types that MS Office supports (that is, until you change your preferences in Open Office, which in turn will change registry settings) But again, this is Open Office doing it, not Microsoft.

In short, I don't think that it is a company's obligation to give you the option to use their competitor's stuff, it's their choice.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> That is not something that Microsoft is doing. When
> you install Open Office, it writes code in the registry
> that adds Open Office in the list of "Open with..."
> applications.

I disagree: Microsoft has created Windows, and Windows includes the option for Open Office to associate the file-type with their product.

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

My personal opinion is that a Google File-Type Control Center would add some complexity to attachment handling and that the average user is pretty happy with a download link.

USBman, I was just about to say that the best option would probably be to allow the browser to more easily process different types of files according to how the user desired. It's a little strange to think about everyone (Gmail, Yahoo, hotmail, ...) changing all of their attachment methods. That doesn't even include other web sites' ways of handling files, e.g. stuff to share large files:
hyperguru.com/guide/Lists/How- ...

Rather than every single service in the world providing a way to open documents in (say) Zoho, solving it at the browser level would make sure that any new future apps would also have that option.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I agree with Matt – but why just stop at the browser level?

I think it would make more sense if Google, Zoho and other providers of online office applications created some kind of shell integration installer so that if you click to download or open a .doc file, your OS / browser would upload it and open it in Google Docs (for example) – which I think is what Google are trying to do with that feature in Firefox that allows you to open these types of files in Google Docs.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> My personal opinion is that a Google File-Type
> Control Center would add some complexity to
> attachment handling and that the average user is
> pretty happy with a download link.

But Google does offer more than a download link – for their own tool. Why make an exception here?

> It's a little strange to think about everyone (Gmail, Yahoo,
> hotmail, ...) changing all of their attachment methods.

A browser enhancement would also require Opera, Safari, Firefox, IE etc. to update their handling of this – and even IF you'd get some standards body to make everyone agree on this feature, which may take years, you (as website maker) still need to support older browsers for many more years.

jk [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]phillipp: you probably know yourself what the difference is between an operating system. (which other stuff can be installed and therefore this only makes sense if it also can be opened with it)

or some email web app which has a link that direclty integrates it's other product and offers a universal download for everything else...

as we know google, they always add features gradually, and they are absolutely not to blame if they only include their own link

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> you probably know yourself what the difference is
> between an operating system

Jk, yes, and Google has created parts of the online OS, as well as parts of the Google Office already. They're doing both, so we need to look at it from both perspectives. Example: when you open a Google Docs file, you're looking at a typical Office application. But when you're looking at your *Google Docs & Spreadsheets files listings* (docs.google.com), then this resembles more what a traditional OS interface handles... like Windows Explorer. Only this time, "Google Explorer" won't let you default-associate files with anything but Google Office.

INFORMANT [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

While simple to implement, this can not be offered by Google as they prepare an unlimited storage option for their user base. In such a scenario, Google would then risk bearing the cost burden of file storage for all competitors – beyond Zoho, this includes Zimbra, Microsoft, Salesforce and so on (noting those with large install bases).

Why on earth would any company offer such a utility? This would make far more sense for the small and fledgling online storage vendors, not Google.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Some sites do allow you to open your data/files in other websites. Flickr.com allows me to let other sites connect to my photos so that I can use them in new ways. This is cool but I don't know if I would want a site to be able to mess with my Google account.

I think this would be better handled through a browser extension/add-on then having Google do it.

Nick Chirchirillo [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

>Microsoft has created Windows, and Windows includes the option for
>Open Office to associate the file-type with their product.

You pretty much just proved my point there... :)

Microsoft only put the option for OPEN OFFICE to associate the file-type. It is Open Office's responsibility to change the default, not Microsoft. Since all of Google's applications are online and AJAX, which IS editable as many people have shown through Firefox extensions as well as Greasemonkey scripts, Google already has included the option for other online applications to associate the files with their products. It is now up to the other companies to give that ability to the users.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> Why on earth would any company offer such a utility?

If nothing else, then perhaps to fight off being hit by monopoly law suits (similar to the troubles Microsoft once faced). Not today, but maybe 5-10 years from now. I'm no law expert, so I can't tell how much is "too much" per US law; I think what we're currently seeing are all baby steps towards a Google OS/ office. But these issues may grow in importance.

> While simple to implement, this can not be offered
> by Google as they prepare an unlimited storage option
> for their user base.

Interesting...

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> Where is the Word icon in GMail? The only time I see a Word icon in
> GMail is when I have the extension GMail Skins installed, and the
> attachment is a Word document, but without it, it's a paper clip.

Nick ..... without the Gmail Skins installed... you can clearly see a Word Doc icon in your email attachment.

Here is Google and Microsoft's Word doc icons (image links), straight from their own servers.


mail.google.com/mail/images/do ...




microsoft.com/israel/sql/image ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Same for Excel in Analytics...


www.google.com/analytics/home/ ...

Nick Chirchirillo [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

My mistake, I actually never took notice to that before. I thought you were talking about the paperclip showing that there is an attachment in the email.

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

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