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There’s buzz over at Memorandum about the launch of ajaxWrite. Some good (and good and good) and some not so good.

Technically, there’s not much there. We here at Homestead have a fully AJAX web page builder (before Google and MS), so we’re very familiar with how the designMode setting works and the power that it provides. The most interesting thing technically here is that it can open Word docs. Not rocket science, but it’s some work.

Some limitations that I noticed right away because Michael Robertson didn’t solve them (but we did):

  • There are only 7 font sizes. As I hope we all remember, HTML really only has 7 font sizes (CSS has more of course), and the designMode functions only allow you to set those 7 font sizes (1 through 7). We allow a ton more.
  • A bulleted list has a one-line gap from the line above it that can’t be removed.  Again, this is a limitation of HTML (without CSS), and so is a limitation that he just accepted from default designMode behavior.

Really, there isn’t much here. It’s still interesting; it just needs a lot of work. I hate the bloat of MSWord (I hate it when people send me Word docs when a rich text email would have been just fine), but this in no way competes with Word. I don’t think Bill is sweating just yet.

But what really gets me is this. I’ve complained about it before, and I’ll do it again. What about IE? In our experience, IE’s designMode functionality is better than Firefox’s (Homestead’s SiteBuilder app works in both IE and Firefox). If you are even remotely serious about taking on Word, why would you exclude IE? I’d love to hear any reason other than simple, short-sighted anti-MS politics. Again, Bill isn’t sweating just yet.

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