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on xdocs

Jon Udell has an an article on the 'Ten things to know about XDocs', which is now officially called InfoPath. What I find most interesting is its supposed ability to generate XSLT visually. Also, it's interesting to see that they call it 'aggressively standards based'. Note there the 'based'. Just because MS-formats are now XML-based doesn't mean they are parseable by anyone. That won't happen until the DOMs are published, but I'm not holding my breath for that...

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 21, 2003 at 7:59 PM

the eclipse plugin API

Markus posted a comment related to my earlier RFC for the spaces plugin API, saying that I should take a look at the eclipse plugin architecture. Check. :-) While Eclipse will probably have things that spaces won't need (and viceversa) because of what the applications do, I'm certain it will be quite useful.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 21, 2003 at 7:43 PM

bloomba

I first heard about bloomba through Olivier, a spaces user who kindly forwarded me to the following Infoworld article. Then News.com also had an article on it. Both pieces point to other related software (Bloomba also has a weblog. Finally, Russ posted an entry on it today (with pointers to a businessweek article). Russ calls it "another media-hyped outlook killer".

Obviously I can't be completely objective because of my work on spaces, but basically I agree with Russ. I'd even call it 'multi-hyped, media-hyped'.

The first element of the hype is the fact that this is called an 'Outlook Killer' at all. Not only it doesn't support IMAP, it doesn't integrate with exchange, and it doesn't have any of the features of outlook besides email. No Calendaring. No Tasks. No Outlining. No Notes. With the features it has, it's difficult to see bloomba as more than an 'Outlook Express killer' (to continue with the homicidal metaphor) or an 'Eudora killer'.

The second element of the hype is the new functionality it purports to provide 'Google-like' functionality on your email. However, all of the articles on it fail to mention Zoe, which has been available for quite some time and provides functionality along those lines. Other email manipulation tools, mostly open-source (and, true, most of them in a state that makes it difficult for end-users to try out, but still available), exist to manipulate and dynamically organize information.

It's important to note though that the company doesn't seem to have claimed this; it would appear to be entirely a conclusion of the media outlets/reporters.

Still, it's cool to see more movement in this area. Clearly innovation in email management is overdue. It's also quite interesting to see how the media operates.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 21, 2003 at 6:45 PM

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