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Google Opens Doors To Writely (BETA)

 4:34 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Five months after being bought by Google, the Writely online word-processing application is now open for anyone who wants to sign up and use it.

Writely has been closed to all but its existing members since its acquisition by search giant Google back in March. But last Thursday, Google allowed anyone to join up and make use of the hosted word-processing application.

Google Opens Doors To Writely [news.zdnet.co.uk]


Although, I notice it still has a BETA on there.

Writely allows you to share and collaborate documents in real time, edit from any remote location simply using the web browser, offsite storage and backup, and, it's claimed to be easy to use.



 4:55 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

::sigh:: In Safari, just visiting the homepage errors out. "Too many redirects occured" on the way to: [writely.com...]

Added: And considering that only three browsers *are* supported and none of them are IE, I don't see the point. It's like all the fancy AJAX sites that popup that only work in the version of whatever browser the developer has, and only on their computer.
* Camino: 1.0a1 or higher
* FireFox: 1.0.5 or higher
* Mozilla: 1.5 or higher


 5:34 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

For the record, I'm a huge Writely fan and have been using it since *way* before it (and I) was affiliated with Google :). In particular, I found it to be immensely hand when working with clients and colleagues remotely (and often in real-time).

whoisgregg, I'm a bit puzzled by your browsers-supported statement. Here's what I see when I go to the relevant Writely FAQ page:

What browsers does Writely support?

Writely will work wherever you have access to the Internet via a Windows or Macintosh computer with one of these browsers:
* IE 5.5+ (Windows)
* Mozilla 1.4+, not including SeaMonkey (Mac & Windows)
* Firefox 1.0.6+ (Mac & Windows -- except for 1.5b1 on the Mac!)

Writely is not supported, and probably won't run on:
* IE 5 (Mac) or IE 4 (Windows)
* Netscape 4
* Opera
* Safari
* SeaMonkey

Regardless of your browser type, you must:
* Enable cookies.
* Enable Javascript.

We've heard from some folks who run Writely running on Linux, but don't support it because there have been too many problems with it.

Interestingly enough, I've run Writely on Firefox using Redhat linux, and never experienced a problem. Additionally, I have informally tested Writely on the latest IE6 and it worked fine for me.

[edited by: Adam_Lasnik at 5:35 pm (utc) on Aug. 21, 2006]


 5:55 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ahh, I see where I got confused. The page to which unsupported browsers are sent only recommends a subset of the supported browsers. This page only recommends the three I posted earlier: [writely.com...]

I expected the "Unsupported browser page" to list all supported browsers so I did not dig deeper into a FAQ. My mistake. :)

Added: You may want to pass along that the "Unsupported browser page" (linked from above) recursively redirects Safari users to the "Unsupported browser page." I suspect it exhibits the same behavior in any unsupported browser.


 8:19 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have to give them the coolest use of a poll feature I've seen yet, the Beta Meter which shows a percentile of users that believe its ready for primetime.

From the vote link:
We realize it's quite popular to stay in beta test indefinitely.

But, it has always been our goal to end beta at some point.
The question is:

Are we ready yet? Let us know what you think!
You can come back and change your vote at any time.


 8:21 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have also been using Writely long before Google took over and just like the above poster - I found it an easy tool to use for keeping track of and sharing client project progress.


 12:14 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

whoisgregg, that's very useful feedback... thanks! I'll point the Writely folks to this page. [and to clarify: I work for Google, as I note in my profile, but I'm not on the Writely team.]


 12:45 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't get the point of why was GG enforcing to a king of universal (gmail) account in order to use all the GG services without to having to re-register again and again and again and ag....


 1:11 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

interesting, it seems the program is written in .net (it uses aspx extensions) but it claims to be hosted on linux.

maybe google spent the past 5 mo porting this to python.



 9:53 pm on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I did run writely in safari, with the debug menu to set the user-agent to MSIE 6.0. Works, but the things like changing selected texts will not work, it's like first press bold, then type bold, then turn bold off and continue. some things do not work, but what is for sure, is that saving the file as RTF will result in a rtf with exactly the same content as the on-site one from writely.

Looks like writely is a bit universal, as if they were making it universal as possible but then decided to use some platform-specific code that limits some functionality.

[edited by: John_Keates at 9:55 pm (utc) on Aug. 23, 2006]


 5:23 am on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

> interesting, it seems the program is written in .net (it uses aspx extensions) but it claims to be hosted on linux.



 9:09 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

and here is the answer: [searchdns.netcraft.com...]

www.writely.com is on a Linux server But www3.writely.com is powered by Windows Server 2003.

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