Comments on: DataViz Tight-Lipped on WebOS Plans

DataViz are well-known to PalmOS users: their versatile Documents to Go mobile office suite has been built-in to every device that Palm has released over the last few years. With Ed Colligan's announcement that DataViz would be a partner on their new webOS, Palm Infocenter contacted the company hoping to learn more of their plans for the platform. While they're "thrilled" about the positive buzz for the new system, they're still playing their cards close to the chest. DataViz spokesperson Shari Hoffman told us via email:

"We are thrilled by the amount of positive press this announcement has received as we are a long-time supporter and partner of Palm. At the current time, DataViz is not able to comment or respond to the questions you included in your email... I thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding this exciting announcement and I will be in touch with you in the near future to discuss this further!"

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'Near future'

mikecane @ 1/17/2009 12:48:01 PM # Q
How "near" is the "near" future?

What I also suspect: Since the Pre is a whole new paradigm (yes, dammit it is; stop to think about it like I have and you'll soon wind up with a similar frikkin headache!), I think DataViz wants to explore what it can do differently with Pre versions of its programs.

All that said, I still do NOT want D2G. Sorry, DataViz, but you've lost the formatting on TOO MANY of my files for me to ever trust you lot ever again!

RE: 'Near future'
freakout @ 1/17/2009 2:14:40 PM # Q
Interestingly, one of the questions I asked was "are you developing a new version of Documents To Go for the platform?" Since they wouldn't confirm even that, maybe they've got something new brewing.

They wouldn't even admit if they were at the developer camp Pandora told us about, although it seems likely. I'm guessing that all/most of those devs that were on the slide Colligan showed were there.

RE: 'Near future'
DrewT3 @ 1/17/2009 4:55:07 PM # Q
Their blog mentions that CES was the first time they had seen the Pre. Maybe they are developing something on an emulator, or maybe they are out of the loop.

RE: 'Near future'
robitaille88 @ 1/17/2009 5:15:41 PM # Q
I asked them on their blog about webOS:
>>I couldn't help but notice the Dataviz logo shown at the presentation. Does this mean DocsToGo for webOS is in the works? ;-p

They responded:
>>You're very observant!

>>I can't say much about our future plans right now. For now, it sufficies to say we're a long time partner with Palm and (as always) we're excited to see a new, potentially game-changing mobile OS come along. Stay tuned...

Certainly implies their relationship with Palm doesn't end at the GarnetOS...

RE: 'Near future'
Gekko @ 1/17/2009 5:19:59 PM # Q

not sure how we'll sync office docs without desktop sync. i don't want to have to open/edit/write office docs and then have to constantly password-open storage and then re-save/move changed docs to the "cloud" every single time.

RE: 'Near future'
mikecane @ 1/17/2009 6:02:36 PM # Q
Do you really think you'll be *prompted* for that every time? I doubt it. It'll be done once and the Pre will handle it automagically afterwards.

You just better hope they have some killer encryption. Because I don't think you'll want automagic when it comes to WiFi!

RE: 'Near future'
Gekko @ 1/17/2009 6:08:34 PM # Q

i'm talking about the desktop side, genius.

RE: 'Near future'
mikecane @ 1/17/2009 6:34:26 PM # Q
You don't get it. The desktop is a terminal to The Cloud too. What do you think happens with MobileMe and the iPhone, genius? It's all automagic updating. Whirrrr whirrr whirrr. Don't let the Dell HD keep you up at night.

RE: 'Near future'
Gekko @ 1/17/2009 6:40:14 PM # Q

yes, which requires logging in and logging out to access your "cloud" desktop.

RE: 'Near future'
LiveFaith @ 1/17/2009 6:53:00 PM # Q
** All that said, I still do NOT want D2G. Sorry, DataViz, but you've lost the formatting on TOO MANY of my files for me to ever trust you lot ever again! **

Ditto! Obviously, they are in big here, and probably onboard at launch. It will probably be a significantly rewritten new product. Hopefully, totally rewritten from a syncing perspective. The desktop sync and program stability have been a nightmare for me since D2G v3. Formatting has actually been good, so maybe they can leverage that.

I suspect it will be in ROM and .DOC, .XL*, and .PDF will be supported directly. The end of native POS D2G doc formats and conversion. The horsepower whould be on board for seamless file operation.

Pat Horne

RE: 'Near future'
mikecane @ 1/18/2009 8:39:43 AM # Q
>>>yes, which requires logging in and logging out to access your "cloud" desktop.

Not for people who have "Remember Me" set up.

And hey, you've never shut a browser window you were logged into only to come back to it later and *not* have to log back in?

RE: 'Near future'
Gekko @ 1/18/2009 8:48:25 AM # Q

i use firefox and have it set to automatically "clear private data when i close firefox" for security/privacy reasons.

but don't worry, like G. Gordon Liddy, we'll be sure to just tell you "what corner to stand on", OK?

RE: 'Near future'
mikecane @ 1/18/2009 8:54:47 AM # Q
>>>i use firefox and have it set to automatically "clear private data when i close firefox" for security/privacy reasons.

Are you being intentionally dense or are you still hungover from last night?

1) Open tab
2) Log into YahooMail
3) Do whatever
4) Close tab
5) An hour later
6) Open tab
7) Go back to YahooMail
8) It's still there, logged in

WHERE did I say you shut the fekkin browser?

RE: 'Near future'
Gekko @ 1/18/2009 9:00:28 AM # Q

hangover was yesterday. i try not to drink two nights in a row unless i'm on vacation.

my point was that every time you shut down your browser or PC, you'll have to re-log yourself back in to get to your cloud. OR you can leave your PC and browser running 24/7/365. perhaps quick fingerprint swipe would solve this issue. go play with the cloud (file storage and PIM) and you will see the issues. corporate-level cloud is better, but you still have the logon issue - among others. i don't want to have to log in every time to get to my data via desktop. and i don't want to leave my PC/browser running 24/7/365.

RE: 'Near future'
mikecane @ 1/18/2009 9:17:14 AM # Q
And I'm saying the Pre must do the logon automagically - if you choose that option. And if that option is used, I hope there's damned good encryption!

I'm sure you've seen past news reports of bastards monitoring WiFi hotspots with their laptop picking IDs out of the Cloudstream.

That kind of eavesdropping might not be possible when using Sprint's network - but in a hotspot, maybe.

RE: 'Near future'
Tuckermaclain @ 1/18/2009 3:28:01 PM # Q
If it handled office docs it could be a go for business users. It could overtake WinMob perhaps as their favorite. If they don't pursue this market they are left with the "facebook" and texting crowd. I can't imagine Palm not wanting a chunk of the more prestigious market.

RE: 'Near future'
mikecane @ 1/18/2009 3:58:24 PM # Q
Google is also listed as a Partner. Google Gears coming too?

RE: 'Near future'
DarthRepublican @ 1/18/2009 4:32:31 PM # Q
I have three comments on this thread:

1. I don't see why anyone would continue to use the PalmOS formats when Documents To Go has supported native MS Office formats for years. That's what I do, I just create my files on my desktop or on my Palm device and stick them on and SD card and DTG reads them just fine without any conversion. As for as syncing...

2. Palm actually had a pretty good solution for this with the LifeDrive. You designated one or more directories on your computer to sync with directories with on your LD and it would sync them during a hotsync. Microsoft and all flavors of Unix, including Linux have similar solutions like Synctoy or rsync. One thing I can do on my Palm TX is stick its SD card in my laptop's SD card slot and use Synctoy to synchronize its documents folder with a "mobile" folder on my laptop. This way there is only one set of documents which is mirrored both on my PDA and on my laptop.

3. Cloud sync is pretty simple on Android and will have to be equally simple on webOS if it is to catch on. My T-mobile G1 asked for my Google username and password exactly once, on the day I bought it. Ever since then, it has faithfully and silently pulled down my GMail messages and contacts without any intervention on my part. Android tells me when I have new messages but most of the time I'm not even aware of it except for the rare times when I happen to have my G1 on during a sync (at those times it displays a sync icon in the notification bar.

With all this in mind, it would seem that a desktop syncing solution for the Palm Pre would work with your phone acting like any other PC on your network. You designate a computer on your network for your phone to sync with and tell it which folders (these would presumably be shared folders, making your computer the server and your phone the client) to sync to. Whenever your Pre is connected to the same network as your computer, it automagically syncs to that computer. For security, it should be possible the Pre to remember a username and password that it must use to sync. This wouldn't be through "the cloud" mind you, this would be through your own personal or corporate network.

As a stopgap measure you could always mount your Pre on your computer as a USB drive and use a tool like Synctoy to sync your documents with it. But a real long term solution would require the Pre to have its own sync tools which can work without having to install drivers and with only the most minimal setup.

Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1

RE: 'Near future'
mikecane @ 1/18/2009 5:28:36 PM # Q
Listen: On just about EVERY D2G document I created, the formatting was LOST. Over and over again. If D2G were a person bleeding in the street, I wouldn't dial 911. I'd find a knife and stab it to death.

RE: 'Near future'
Gekko @ 1/18/2009 5:44:55 PM # Q

focus more on content and less on formatting. substance over style. keep it simple, stupid.

RE: 'Near future'
mikecane @ 1/21/2009 12:02:10 PM # Q
Documents To Go: A New Start?

I link here because it's relevant. I won't do this often. Bookmark the blog. (THIS one, btw, will be G-rated. Although "crap" did get through via screensnap. Whoops.)

RE: 'Near future'
Gekko @ 1/28/2009 11:07:54 AM # Q
>Listen: On just about EVERY D2G document I created, the formatting was LOST. Over and over again. If D2G were a person bleeding in the street, I wouldn't dial 911. I'd find a knife and stab it to death.

use a 2003 version of docs to go on a 2003 shiit pda and you wonder why it doesn't work right?

99% of f**k ups are due to user error.

Reply to this comment


Satoribomb @ 1/18/2009 6:39:00 PM # Q
I have yet to see anything that says the Pre will not be able to sync with a desktop system. I find it hard to believe that Palm would alienate the millions plus people that owned one of their previous devices. Im doubly convined of this after looking at the Palm deveopers' site (

"And good news for Palm OS developers! There are a number of ways to migrate data from an existing PDB file to your new webOS app. Stay tuned for more information for developers with Palm OS applications who want to build webOS applications."

Since the .pdb data is housed either on an existing device or a desktop, end users would need a way to get their existing data on to the Pre. The simplest and most elegant way to do this (and easiest from an end-user standpoint) would be to support both Desktop and Wireless syncing.

So folks, please stop assuming the Pre _only_ syncs with the cloud. The cloud still has reliability issues and there are a lot of folks with Palm and Outlook data on their desktops to be migrated.

RE: Sync
LiveFaith @ 1/18/2009 8:59:18 PM # Q
If it's a "Cloud", then what's so impossible about the connected PC/Mac sitting there being part of that cloud? Seems pretty obvious that it would not be left our.

Don't forget, regardless of how great Palm's CES prez was, the Palm fans still have a lot of psychological scars and trust issues. Pass the PREzac please.

Pat Horne

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Documents to go 10 error

dbcomm @ 2/5/2009 1:07:54 AM # Q
Here's hoping someone from DataViz is listening.

I'm running DTG 10 on my centro. After working fine, all of a sudden my word2003 and excel2003 files disappeared from the phone and the expansion card. It happened at my doctor's office when I tried to pull up some medical info. Needless to say, not having the info on hand was a problem.

Now when I Hotsync I either get a 'files locked' message (they are not locked)or a log entry that says 'translation failed-couldn't save files to the desktop.' DataViz is no help because they 'only support the current version.'so I can't contact them.

I see three choices here:
1) Dataviz can read this and help.
2)Somebody in the forum has a solution.
3)I join the parade of those who have less than nice things to say about DTG and would welcome alternative software suggestions.

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