Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Complete Online Integration

I'm at a friend's house, and I'm trying to make the most use of my time by working on a school paper via Google Docs. I don't often use Google Docs for document authoring, but it's convenient and accessible.

I'm discovering new features like "email as attachment", "Publish to web", and "Publish to Blog". Oh, and I noticed a few months ago that I have the option in gmail of opening attached documents in Google Docs.

I could do (almost) all my document management via google. It's a bit of a paradigm shift. For example:

Prof. emails me an assignment as a word document, I open it in google docs. I now have a copy of the document in google docs, and never again need to open the attachment from the email. I view the assignment in one tab of the browser, work on the text of the assignment in google docs open in a second tab. Changes are saved automatically, and I can roll backwards and forwards version-wise if I make any mistakes. After the assignment is completed, I email it to the professor as an email attachment (doc, rtf, odf, or pdf), and I'm done. All online.

I don't have to keep a local copy of the instruction document, I don't have to use a local word processor to create write the assignment, I don't have to keep a local (versioned!) backup of the document. All I need is an internet connection and a web browser. And Google Docs.

I'm kinda pumped about this. The primary "missing piece" for me is headers and footers. And maybe footnotes.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.