Monday, February 27, 2012

Files in the Sky

Monday, February 27, 2012
Since technological breakthrough embraces the society, various ways of making life easier have been its aim. From paper works need not type writers, photos edited in just a sitting, periodicals lay-out in a click, digits processed in a second to the documents kept within the boundary of the sky without limits.
Google Docs serves as a collaborative tool for editing amongst in real time. Documents can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time. Users cannot be notified of changes, but the application can notify users when a comment or discussion is made or replied to, facilitating collaboration. There is no way to highlight changes made by a particular editor in real time during a writing session, nor a way to jump to the changes made.
Google Docs originated from two separate products, Writely and Google Spreadsheets. Writely was a web-based word processor created by the software company Upstartle and launched in August 2005. Spreadsheets, launched as Google Labs Spreadsheets on June 6, 2006,originated from the acquisition of the XL2Web product by 2Web Technologies. Writely's original features included a collaborative text editing suite and access controls. Menus, keyboard shortcuts, and dialog boxes are similar to what users may expect in a desktop word processor such as Microsoft Word or Writer.

Google Docs is Google's "software as a service" office suite. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations can be created with Google Docs, imported through the web interface, or sent via email. Documents can be saved to a user's local computer in a variety of formats (ODF, HTML, PDF, RTF, Text, Microsoft Office).
Documents are automatically saved to Google's servers to prevent data loss, and a revision history is automatically kept so past edits may be viewed (although this only works for adjacent revisions, and there is currently no way to find and isolate changes in long documents.).
Documents can be tagged and archived for organizational purposes. The service is officially supported on recent versions of the Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome browsers running on Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, and Linux operating systems.

1 GB of storage is included for free. Currently additional storage costs per year are: 20 GB-$5, 80 GB-$20, etc. up to 16 TB.
Individual documents may not exceed 1 GB as of 13 January 2010, embedded images must not exceed 2 MB each, and spreadsheets are limited to 256 columns, 400,000 rows, and 200 sheets.
In September 2009, an equation editor was added which allows rendering in LaTeX format. However, Google Docs lacks an equation numbering feature. Find and Replace is available, and although there was no ability to do the search in a reverse direction in the original release, the newest version of Google Docs allows reverse search and reverse replace.

Supported file formats
Google Docs supports 15 file formats:
  • Microsoft Word (.DOC and .DOCX)
  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.PPT and .PPTX)
  • OpenDocument Format (.ODT and .ODS)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Tagged Image File Format (.TIFF)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • Fonts (.TTF, .OTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
  • Archive file types (.ZIP and .RAR)

Data safety and privacy
On-line document storage and processing are unsuitable for use by governments or commercial organisations due to data security issues and national interests, especially when sensitive or confidential data is involved.
On March 10, 2009, Google reported, for example, that a bug in Google Docs had allowed unintended access to some private documents. It was believed that 0.05% of all documents stored via the service were affected by the bug. Google claims the bug has now been fixed.


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