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January 28, 2005 / jnolen

SocialText Trial

In the spirit of fairness, I signed up for the SocialText thirty-day free trial.* So far, I've just logged in to look around, so I'm a long way from a comprehensive review. But they do have some nice features.

I think my favorite thus far is the "quick edit." Basically, when you click on the link to edit a page, it immediately switches to the edit window without reloading the page (thru DHTML trickery). Likewise when you preview the page: the interface changes without a page reload. Your new content is rendered and loaded through a remote call while the enclosing page stays static. It makes for a very fast, very smooth experience. I like it.

As someone [ed: need reference] said recently, GMail and Google Suggest (see how it works) have really raised the bar on Web user experiences. If you're not planning on some complicated javascripting and XMLHttpRequest remote-calling, your web application is going to feel old-fashioned pretty soon.

* It's a shame that SocialText only offers a thirty-day free trial. I'll never be able to pay the money for a real SocialText license (at least, not as an individual). But I do want to see how they continue progressing over more than just the next month. Which is why I think they (as well as JotSpot,) need an open demo site.

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