Daily Archives: 2007/01/17

Collabo-rational software

I am very much a friend of software like The Rosetta Translation Portal. Still many translation happen with email communication which takes long – although maybe in the communication process people can learn more. But thats not my point. I think, I wish that more software would try to
combine common results. As: Common translations – so if somebody translates a menu entry in KDE or GNOME  you have the option to just use this in Firefox or the other way round. So immediate worldwide collaboration. Chatting should be integrated (take Jabber!) The same could be true for bugs. There are bugs that have the same roots in many distributions and also in GNOME or KDEs bugzillas. But still: No direct data exchange is there. Why should a user have different bugzilla accounts? Couldn’t we have the one developing ID (with openid?).

So this is something I would like to describe as Web 3.0 – its not that I liked the Web2.0 hype – but as we have this term I like to tell with the term Web 3.0 that there is much more than just nice graphics and AJAX. And if you see the web as a real WEB it is sad to see that not much of interwebed websites do exist. Web 2.0 has some nice features – but it does not solve collaboration problems. Most Web2.0 is about interactivity – but what we really need is automated collboration. And again I think that the old principles of Unix could be an example of how things could work.

I now just talk about that in the light of help for free software projects, because I see how much time is wasted in doing things that sure have been done and said many times before. And that is because web solutions are seperated. Web2.0 tried to solve these things by making web sites stronger and  more easyto use. This is good – and we should not walk back – but I feel that their is a huge overweight in making better usability while less work was spent into making work redundant.

So we now have dozens of independent social bookmark systems or wiki solutions. But they are not talking to each other. So we have to have hundreds of accounts – and if we switch a provider – we have to start from scratch. if we are lucky one provider was able to write an importer for the data of the old provider – but this is seldom and mostly will only be done if the data is in a market dominant tool. This is what Salesforce.com did for Excel spreadsheets. Even on the desktop – OpenOffice.org did not care about Gnumeric spread sheet standard – both prefer to use Excel as exchange. So that one could wonder what FLOSS applications would do without Microsoft? ;-)

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