Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Location: Colorado, USA
|Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:49 pm
Cloud Computing is Great until you have a Sunny Day!
|Message from Google Calendar:
|Sorry, we cannot load your calendar right now
I've heard of the same problems effecting Google Docs lately. All of this Cloud Computing stuff can be really great, until their service is unavailable. What if I was trying to sync my phone calendar before going away to a client meeting? Sorry, service is down. What if I was trying to show a spreadsheet in the middle of a meeting presentation? Sorry, service is down.
I'd much rather use a service like DropBox to share my files across computers with a backup stored in the "cloud". At least with DropBox it creates a mirror copy on my local hard disk so I can still access my data even when the network is down or I am working offline with my laptop.
I'm worried about Google. They are so focused on grabbing all of the world's data into their internal servers that they seem to have forgotten the practical aspect of all of this: the network still isn't always available.
I ran into another problem with Google Calendar just yesterday that's related to this. When you add a remote calendar via the "Add URL" option, there is STILL no way to force it to update this calendar. Google apparently only updates external ICAL links once a day (and sometimes longer than that). I want to just click "Reload now" so that I can sync my phone and take it with me to a meeting. I don't want to be missing any updates to my calendar added/changed in the past 24 hours because Google hasn't reloaded the ICAL feed.
I can understand not wanting to flood the network with ICAL requests, so I understand not fetching the links too often. But just give us a manual "Reload" button! That's what Sunbird has, and it works great! There has been a Support issue in the Google queue about this for over 2 years now!
Of course, adding a feature like this goes against what Google is trying to do. They don't want you to link to external calendar feeds. They want you to put ALL of your calendar data within Google itself. At least that's the conspiracy theory.
I think Google might be finally learning that being a top-notch *Software* company is a *lot* harder than being a search-engine company. Their software just has lots of problems and their support seems non-existent.
For now, I'm going back to my working desktop applications with my local data files.
P.S. Google Chrome still needs better "tab" support (like multi-line tabs) or at least a tab API so people can write better plugins. I still can't switch from Firefox to Chrome because of this. Another support issue that has languished in their queue for years.