I just got signed up for Virtual Ubiquity’s “first real word processor for the web”. It’s called Buzzword and it’s lovely. I’ve just seen the first introductory document but many things have caught my eye.
For one, they have a nice collection of fonts. Much better than Verdana and Tahoma – the usual stuff you see on the web. They’ve even got Minion Pro. I’m not sure if you need the font installed on the system for it to work but even so, it’s great to see Minion Pro on a web-based word processor.
Secondly, the design is very good and unobtrusive. I especially like the way comments and table manipulation work in it. List handling is pretty good too.
Trouble is that without proper document structure such as header and footers, sections, page orientations, no word processor will even challenge MS-Word or any other desktop application. Besides, on my laptop (which is not that fast) it’s simply not possible to work effectively on a web-based app.
Which brings me to the second app I’ve tried. Adobe AIR. It “lets developers use their existing web development skills in HTML, AJAX, Flash and Flex to build and deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop.” I just got a twitter client app for AIR but even that small an app caused my system to stop responding for a second or two. So, it’s not for me right now.
Something needs to be done for the speed of browsers. I’m not talking about the bandwidth. I’m talking about the rendering speed.