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June 29, 2006 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Mac users have the excellent Omnigraffle, Windows users the ubiquitous Visio. Now there's an AJAX diagramming tool called Gliffy. What's next in the Office suite for AJAXification?
posted by dmd (34 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is a web-based Powerpoint equivalent, correct? What's left?
posted by brundlefly at 2:25 PM on June 29, 2006

it's Flash. Where do you see AJAX in this? Am I not using it right?
posted by neustile at 2:27 PM on June 29, 2006

With a color scheme a Linux user would love.
posted by smackfu at 2:27 PM on June 29, 2006

Damn, I mostly use Visio for electrical schematics, and this doesn't do schematics.

However, I shall quiety harbour a hopeful suspicion that it doesn't do schematics yet :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 2:29 PM on June 29, 2006

Ajax Project would be interesting. Is there an ODF spec for such an idea?
Uh, OneNote, although there's a few ajax "sticky note" applications that approximate the functionality.
InfoPath. I would really like to see an OSS app that duplicates InfoPath but on the web rather than through its retarded form filler.
posted by boo_radley at 2:35 PM on June 29, 2006

Quite annoying that the 'collaboration' is not real time, i.e. you have to keep reopening the document while someone else is editing. It's certainly not a Google Spreadsheet equivalent.
posted by neustile at 2:38 PM on June 29, 2006

(That is, it doesn't allow for the best feature of these "Office 2.0" apps -- realtime collaboration.)
posted by neustile at 2:38 PM on June 29, 2006

What's next in the Office suite for AJAXification?

Well there's a spot of mildew in the kitchen that Custodial Services seems to keep missing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:45 PM on June 29, 2006

brundlefly: you are thinking of S5
posted by jpf at 2:46 PM on June 29, 2006

yeah, what part of this is AJAX? that's the second buzz-happy misidentification of AJAX on MeFi today. Do folks just not under stand what the meaning of AJAX is?
posted by casconed at 2:56 PM on June 29, 2006

He was a Greek hero, wasn't he?
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:58 PM on June 29, 2006

AJAX now more buzz than substance. Who would've ever imagined that?
It is weird how it's become the grabwire jargon for everything which moves on a web page, even when, in this case, it's something as generic and ubiquitous and broadly recognised as Flash.

Animated GIF != AJAX
just to head you off there.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 3:06 PM on June 29, 2006

Gliffy is developed in Laszlo.. Laszlo is shipping AJAX support for their compiler supposedly at the end of this year.

But until then, does it really matter if it is Flash or not, as long as it works well in all browsers on all platforms?
posted by rajbot at 3:07 PM on June 29, 2006

Since all of your Gliffy documents are stored securely on our servers, there is no need to worry about backing up Gliffy documents, saving you time and hassle.Great, the source for your documents is stored on their server, and there is no way to access the source, back it up, or feed it into some other graphic renderer or database. Like say when Gliffy folds?

This seems dangerously less than useful.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:11 PM on June 29, 2006

NinjaTadpole: Just don't mention that to my VC, mmmkay?
posted by boo_radley at 3:14 PM on June 29, 2006

What's next in the Office suite for AJAXification?

Apparently a version of Visio.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:15 PM on June 29, 2006

This is flash, not AJAX. I suppose it could be doing some clever XML back and forth with the server, which is very AJAX-like, but that doesn't make it AJAX.
posted by Artw at 3:33 PM on June 29, 2006

Welcome to the party, Artw, the beer's gone but you fit in fine.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 3:47 PM on June 29, 2006

Oops. Read commentsirst, post later.
posted by Artw at 3:53 PM on June 29, 2006

I've recently discovered the number one problem with all these new-fangled Web2.0 "applications"...you are forced to completely rely on a third party for continued service. There is an application I really love, been around for about 9 months now, which will remain nameless. I think it was posted on Metafilter at the time. At the start it was a neat idea, it did everything I need it to do, and I actually started using it. Not mucking about looking at the pretty colours and proof of concept, but actually relying on it to serve a purpose.

Then, shock horror, the people running the site couldn't afford the hardware to support the growing userbase. Their "real time" application slowed down to once-a-week updates, completely defeating the purpose. Their weblog hasn't had a post on it in 6 months. Their forums are full of spam. And, of course, no source code available so someone else can come along and try to take over the project. Thanks guys. You know who you are. Huzzah for Web 2.0.
posted by Jimbob at 4:02 PM on June 29, 2006

why so coy, Jimbob?
posted by boo_radley at 4:04 PM on June 29, 2006

Names, Jimbob, we need them to satisfy our lust for internet justice!
posted by blasdelf at 5:19 PM on June 29, 2006

Fantastic - thanks for the link. This is much nicer than using Visio.
posted by missbossy at 5:38 PM on June 29, 2006

Ugh. Sorry. It didn't even occur to me that it might be Flash - it honestly didn't cross my mind that someone might launch a site like this and have it not be AJAX, so I didn't even right-click and check.
posted by dmd at 5:53 PM on June 29, 2006

...A vain hope that the service will resume soon, and all will be back to normal...
posted by Jimbob at 6:12 PM on June 29, 2006

Sign in?
posted by caddis at 6:12 PM on June 29, 2006

The thing I really love about Web 2.0 and AJAX? How well they work with web accessibility tools.

That's sarcasm. They're not accessible.

With the Target web accessibility lawsuit warming up, I think accessibility will finally be a buzzword in 2007 or 2008. About frikkin' time. I'm tired of dealing with other people's poorly designed sites and half-baked ideas.
posted by dw at 6:24 PM on June 29, 2006

I think I've got Web 2.0 figured out.
Disclaimer: self-link, my blog, nobody paid me to write this, unedited, stream-of-consciousness with digressions about high school, pop music and supermarket mergers, puns you've heard before and a cute little icon: View at your own risk.
posted by wendell at 7:45 PM on June 29, 2006

dw: you can do accessible stuff with AJAX. It's just people don't. Same as, oh, every other web technology out there. Even Flash has accessibility features.
posted by ubernostrum at 7:52 PM on June 29, 2006

Yes, if you follow the approach outlined here you can maintain a high degree of accessibility. It's very unfortunate that people are developing toolkits that don't follow this approach. However if application developers commit to toolkit T, and the T developers in turn get accessibility religion, then any T-based app will get accessibility for free, so maybe there is hope.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:47 PM on June 29, 2006

dw: you can do accessible stuff with AJAX. It's just people don't.

I know, ubernostrum. But it really bugs me that people still aren't thinking about accessibility when they code AJAX widgets. And don't get me started on Flash -- a lot of their accessibility stuff is kludged in after years of hearing people like me pound them on it.

True story: Last year I asked Jesse James Garrett at one of his workshops about the accessibility problems with AJAX, the biggest problem being that screenreaders didn't necessarily know if something on the page had changed. His response was that the screenreaders would just have to adapt.

That's a recipe for disaster -- and/or a lawsuit -- right there.
posted by dw at 10:10 PM on June 29, 2006

His response was that the screenreaders would just have to adapt.

Pfff. The solution is and always has been graceful degradation.
posted by Artw at 11:26 PM on June 29, 2006

Windows Vista will have lots of DHTML widgets on the desktop: XUL and similar technologies promise more UI components rendered by browser engines (e.g. Microsoft Gadgets)
  • Down side: they're not well supported by screen readers and don't comply with accessibility guidelines for the platforms on which they appear (e.g. MSAA in Windows).
  • Up side: as such technologies become more common, screen reader makers will build in support and toolkit developers will be pressured to improve accessibility and compliance with platform guidelines.
As always, accessibility will lag behind general widespead adoption.
posted by alasdair at 12:33 AM on June 30, 2006

For multi-platform diagramming, OpenOffice Draw works quite nicely. Screenshots: org. chart, floor plan, flowchart, even vector graphics.
posted by rjd at 7:44 AM on June 30, 2006

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