Google => Goofle ?


Now be honest – as a Google Mail user are you seeing a lot more of these type messages?

1)More Ooops messages like these doing ordinary operation in GMail ?
2)Complete unavailability/outages of Gmail Services ?
3)Slllllllow … very slow response time time ?
4)Anomalous results doing simple edits?

It is happening more often than ever and I am seriously considering using other email sources. The reason I left HotMail and Yahoo was The Pain and it has now come to GMail. And unfortunately, BIGTIME.

But even worse GMail, despite all the new fangled interface stylings and buttons has failed to deliver some key mail features as well:

1)option to use embedded images within your text with simple wordwrap options;
2)option to use simple margin and padding settings;
3)inability to use simple templates for various letter/message types like Greeting Card or Table-based summary or Business letter or “you name, customize and save your own template”;
4)inability to provide trust-options like signing receipt from recipient(s);
5)simple help documentation on how to get the most out of existing GMail features;
6)Option to use HTML to provide stylings unavailable in GMail.

It is almost become embarrassing – as if Google forgot to do a lot of things before they removed the beta sign. In short, Google in the mail world is beginning to look like Goofle. Not good – especially considering Google’s ambitions in the RIA-Rich Internet Applications arena.

Google’s RIA Ambitions

Information Week has been reporting how Google plans to use Google Apps and Google Mail working in offline mode to jumpstart the stalled acceptance of Google Gears (it comes as part of the Chrome browser). Google Gears is important to the parent company because it allows users to work offline as well as online with major Google programs not just Google Apps and Google Mail.

In short Google Gears is the company’s entry into the RIA game from the backend and using the Web’s JavaScript as its primary engine – though Python may be in the deal as well. Google can just buy the RIA frontend capabilities by swallowing one of the dozen AJAX/JavaScript UI Framework companies for chump change. And Google is currently debuting candidate AJAX Frameworks in joint Google Labs and API ventures with some of the better JavaScript Frameworks.

Now Google Gears is important because it handles the really hard part of RIA – the backend transactions and synchronizations (things that Adobe’s Flex/Flash/AIR  and others in the rIA game are just starting to work on). This backend work involves all the downloading of Web data required for offline operation of Google Apps or GMail (or whatever). Google also manages the desktop offline session. Finally, and most importantly,Google does fairly transparenty the crucial task of reconciling/synchronizing the online versus offline App and Mail (or other) data. This becomes non-trivial in two situations – 1)when collaboration among two or more users on the same document is involved (Google Apps, etc) and 2)when you as a user update App or Mail from a machine (or more likely a cellphone) not containing your offline work and subsequently make the offline connection. This can quickly become =>Danger Danger Will Robinson.

But if the feature set of GMail is incomplete or, worse, the ability of GMail to deliver stable and reliable service is in an uncharacteristic Goofle stage well then all bets are off on Goofle’s …. uhhh Google’s ability to deliver backend inspired RIA to the Cloud with deft and crisp aplomb.

  3 comments for “Google => Goofle ?

  1. Matthew Wiebe
    March 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve been an avid Gmail user since May 16/2005. I haven’t noticed any problems with it. Sometimes when I check my mail using IE7, it chokes on login… But a simple refresh cures that.

  2. admin
    March 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Matthew, that is the same response that I am getting from some of my Gmail buddies – Problems?? What Problems. But many more report even more travails with GMail than I have cited here. If you are looking for links to reported outages here are two:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10170636-2.html – CNET reporting Feb 2009
    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/11/systemwide-gmail-outage/ – Aug 2008

  3. Mark
    March 21, 2009 at 1:19 am

    I feel the same way. It seems like Google products are always missing something, or incomplete. I don’t understand the popularity of Gmail at all, and the fact that there’s no way to automatically back up Contacts is a huge strike against their service.

    Unlike Yahoo, Microsoft, and Apple, Google feels like a fly-by-night operation to me sometimes.

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