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Thanks for reposting. It's a testament to Google's flat-seeming corporate culture that team members are encouraged to speak their mind so frankly.

The key paragraph for me is this one: Any teams that have successfully internalized the notion that they should be externally programmable platforms from the ground up are underdogs -- Maps and Docs come to mind, and I know GMail is making overtures in that direction. But it's hard for them to get funding for it because it's not part of our culture. Maestro's funding is a feeble thing compared to the gargantuan Microsoft Office programming platform: it's a fluffy rabbit versus a T-Rex. The Docs team knows they'll never be competitive with Office until they can match its scripting facilities, but they're not getting any resource love. I mean, I assume they're not, given that Apps Script only works in Spreadsheet right now, and it doesn't even have keyboard shortcuts as part of its API. That team looks pretty unloved to me.

This is my perennial Google grumble in a more elegantly stated nutshell: Google is a magical playground of wonderful things, few of which are finished. It's magical because the parts that work do so at great speed and with almost spookily good results. It's maddening because some things are automagically interoperable and others are head-deskingly separate or incomplete. The main thing I use Google Docs for is word processing, and though it's great to have stuff in the cloud it's just absurd - absurd - that when I move to an Android device the UI is unavailable, or that the full UI lacks support for things like user-defined text styles.

Thing is, Docs owuld be fine if I was just using it for a personal journal or some glorified notepad. But now that I'm a student again, I'm writing letters and model legal briefs and things like that, and it's just a pain in the ass for that, so every day I flirt with reinstalling MS Office...2003. The stuff I need to do was all in Office >10 years ago, and I would even put up with Clippy again just to have things like outlining, styles and templates.

Steve Yegge should get a seat on the board, pronto.




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