Several years ago Bill Gates said that we soon would have web-based software and not bother having any on our desktops and notebook computers. His forecast was a little premature; people seem to like having software on their computers and are a little frightened by the idea of all their work in cyberspace; they can work offline with computer-bound software. Still many people have gone to totally web-based email; the precedent is set.
Yesterday I learned about Writely - The Web Word Processor while reading the blog The Distant Librarian. It is so new that the instruction page is not complete; there are several gaps were the editors have not yet decided what to say. What they do say is that their web-based word processor is free for anyone to use in its beta phase; later there will be a variety of free and fee versions. They suggest the product will be useful for people who like to collaborate with others; start a document and tell your friends by adding their email addresses to the permissions for document access; they can then add to the document online. The editors also suggest Writely will be handy for people who travel; if they can get to the Web, they can get to their documents.
I am composing this document on Writely. I am assured that I can post it directly to Blogger when I am ready; Blogger is the only weblog that is so supported at present, but the editors are taking requests. I have given Aaron access to the document, so he can collaborate.
I tried to post directly from Writely to Blogger, but it did not work. I kept getting an error message : " 'o' is an undeclared namespace. Line 1318, position 2." I have no idea what that means. I double-checked my blog settings. So I pasted the message here instead. Maybe the beta product is having a blogging problem. I'll try another item in a few days.
The word processor itself seems at first glance to have all the basic features I use. You can see this document at www.writely.com/View.aspx?docid=aks2wccr3jj. Maybe Aaron will have added a comment.