[NTLK] [OT] Newtons, iPads, Chrome, and Fluid
Mr Jonathan Dueck
jonathandueck at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 5 21:35:48 EST 2010
So I've been lurking on this iPad discussion, and thinking about the Newton and the iPad. At the same time, I've switched my browser on the Mac to Chrome (love it so far)--which makes me think of the Chrome OS--and have moved my Gmail and Google Calendar out of the browser into the site specific browser Fluid.
Here's the commonality I see: each of these new things (the iPad with its inherited iPhone apps, ChromeOS [of which Chrome the browser is a harbinger / subset], and the site specific browser) is Newtonlike in that they manage their own data--no file system access, just database-like collections of things. When I open up Google Docs in Fluid, there are my documents (and nothing that doesn't work with that app). When I open up the QuickOffice app on my iPod Touch, I see the docs for it (and nothing else), online and off. Et cetera.
This seems limiting to me, but on the Newton I find / found it to be a fantastic way to focus, and a pragmatic way to interact with the computer. You want to do something? Just open the application you want and all your files are right there, indexed in its database. This has been remarked on in the list.
But the Newton has two other things that I think need to be incorporated into the iPad / Chrome OS / the site specific browser "apps": a way to search data across all your applications (making "grouping" of projects more or less a non-issue, though folders / Hypernewt / etc. let us do that), and a "route" button that moved data between them.
I suspect this could be implemented if there was some kind of standard (maybe there is?) for indexing the data on web sites / iPhone apps, and some way of connecting those data sources with a standard search mechanism--sort of like IMAP or LDAP for textually representable data on web apps, or on iPhone / SSB / Chrome OS apps. (Or perhaps someone coud kludge together something that did these things out of Greasemonkey scripts or the like... but a standard would be better).
Anyhow, I bring this up because the really interesting discussions on this list brought to mind the Newt's database structure as a point of similarity with these new devices; and thinking about the user experience on the Newt suggested to me that the Route button and universal search (of your apps, not the web) really need to be developed for these new app-based (no-user-accessible-file-system) devices / interfaces. Does anyone know of standards like those I imagine above, or efforts to put together functionality like this that works between web apps / iPhone apps?
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