Onfolio and IE thoughts


Scoble recently wrote about Onfolio, which is essentially “Favorites on steroids” as he says. Well the favorites feature in IE pretty useless so anything is better. Kudos to the folks who made Onfolio though because the UI is very polished, something you don’t see to often (nice 32 bit icons, good use of standard HI controls, fonts, elements etc).



Onfolio reminds me a lot of a feature we have in Mac Internet Explorer; The Scrapbook. Scrapbook was essentially a way to take a snapshot of a web page, and save it off for the user in their Explorer Bar like feature (we called it something else). Anyway, the feature was great because you could quickly and easily capture things like order confirmations and so on. Onfolio seems to extend that metaphor and adds a whole bunch of useful functionality, like better categorization, sharing, adding personal notes. However, as a person who uses more than one Computer I find it a deal breaker that there isn’t any kind of roaming story, or way to persist my saved stuff across multiple machines. Joe Cheng kindly left a comment in Scoble’s post that indicates that since the data is just stored as .cfs files in theory they could be roamed. I use a feature called Intellimirror, or Roaming My Documents (part of Windows 2000 and XP) to keep the Windows My Documents folder the same across all my Microsoft PCees, so I’ll have to find a way to get Onfolio to store the files there (which is where my IE Favorites are stored).



Interestingly enough Scrapbook, is one of my two favorite MacIE feature to make it over to Windows. Forms Autofill was another feature we created to help users populate web forms with some stored information. Google brings that to us with the Google Toolbar.



And this all brings me to something I was complaining to my manager about the other day. Why did we just all of a sudden decide to stop innovating in the browser space? I mean it’s still in the top 2 things that people do on the Internet. Do we feel that IE is perfect and that further innovation is no longer warranted? Is it because it’s the dominant browser, end of story? Well we have other products that are market leaders and we still pour R&D into them. Well, it’s more than likely that it’s because it generates no direct revenue. However, it’s a part of Windows and that generates a lot of revenue. I’m personally upset that nothing is being done to enhance my productivity when browsing the web. Right now it’s atrocious, with all the windows that I can never track down, the annoying disappearing status bar, the CSS bugs etc. I’ve used Avant Browser and Firefox, but still find myself coming back to IE because it’s the default, and it’s there.


I wonder how much longer before my PC caves in because of all the add-ins, enhancements and other software I have that extends IE, Outlook, XP etc ;-). I can just hear my co-workers reminding me of how many extensions and hacks I use to have on my Classic Mac OS machines…

Comments (7)

  1. Johnny Hall says:

    What the interesting question to me is, is "who makes the decision not to keep developing IE?".

    I would imagine that the decision is made fairly high up, executive-level. Bill and Jim and Steve and the rest.

    I think it’s the biggest single mistake/disservice that MS has made recently.

    I’ve loving a lot MSs’ output at the moment, but if IE properly supported web standards, and was being innovated then I’d be a lot happier.

    I can’t even imagine it would be a huge cost to fix the broken CSS implementation.

  2. Jim C says:

    Omar,

    Awesome post! I could NOT agree with you more.

    It’s total BS we don’t see many IE improvements lately. Rememebr when Netscape was king and we saw so many improvements???

    Jim

  3. Omar Shahine says:

    I think the problem is that it is a huge cost to touch IE in anyway…

  4. Joe Cheng says:

    Hi Omar,

    Thanks for the nice comments. By default, Onfolio puts new collections in "<home>My DocumentsMy Collections". I’m not familiar with imirror, so hope that answers your question.

    FYI we are strongly considering adding first-class support for syncing collections across machines for the next release. (Basically it will come down to whether I am smart enough to design/implement it within our time/budget constraints… heh)

    -jmc

  5. Johnny Hall says:

    Then maybe MS should throw away the IE rendering engine and use Mozilla?

    Sooner or later MS will have to do *something*, don’t you think?

  6. Omar Shahine says:

    Joe-

    The fact that they are in my documents is a great start. This means that the data will roam using Intellimirror. However, I am encouraged that you are considering a real sync solution. Lemme know if you need a tester ;-).