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  1. #41  
    There is a logical problem with any solution that syncs from handheld direct to a desktop: What do you do when an item has changed both on the handheld and the desktop? Palm OS handled this (for the built-in apps) by duplicating records, and forcing the user to manually edit one and delete the other. This is an ugly solution, but it's hard to do much better, when the two devices communicate sporadically.

    With more than two devices, direct syncing only works if the user rigidly follows certain rules. It can be done (I did it, under Palm OS), but it doesn't "just work".

    For these reasons, I seriously doubt HP/Palm will _ever_ develop anything like Hot Sync and Palm Desktop.

    Under webOS, apps can presume that "usually" there's a data connection to the Internet, and thus to any servers in the cloud. Thus, when changes are made on the handheld device, they can be sent to the server "soon". Changes on the server can't be immediately pushed to the device, but when the handheld polls the server, it can assume that any changes it made have been incorporated. The polling interval can be adjusted if frequent changes are made on the server. This does not completely solve the problem, but it closes most of the gap.

    Any devices that communicate in real-time with the server, such as desktop computers using a web application, can be considered part of the server. If you want to edit the info on your handheld using the big screen and full keyboard of your desktop or laptop, look for a web application you can live with (and works with the cloud service your handheld app uses).

    When the system has more than one "usually-connected" device (such as you and your spouse's webOS devices), the problem starts cropping up again -- changes made on your device get pushed to the server right away, but if your spouse edits the item before the next poll, he or she will be editing "stale" data, and his or her changes will normally overwrite yours. Polling often helps, but it can't completely eliminate the problem.

    This is why Palm is implementing CouchDB/DB8 -- the protocol incorporates version information that makes it easier to detect and resolve simultaneous changes.

    There is one possibility for direct communication: the webOS Emulator supports "Host Mode" -- essentially, it lets a desktop web browser act as a client of the (emulated) handheld. This is currently only supported for the Emulator, not devices, is slow, and Palm only supports it for application development. I am not sure if it could be developed as an end-user tool, but if it is, it would eliminate the need for syncing, since you would be using the apps on your handheld.
  2. #42  
    There are oh so many discussions about syncing to Google on the web... Especially in Germany, the general consensus is to mistrust Google. Sure, a guessed 98.7% still uses Google Search without thinking twice (as do I), but most give them a no-go for calendar data or (work related) e-mail.

    I use both a Mac, a Windows PC and a Ubuntu box. My calendar data is stored in a WebDav cloud that is accessed primarily by iCal. I can access this data in real time on both my PC and Ubuntu via TB/Lighnting - alas in read-only for those cals i write to in iCal, but that is a problem not to be discussed here... There's no need to sync here. What I cannot do, though, is access this already-in-the-cloud-data from my Pre. I must admit I never used the Palm Profile calendar yet for one simple reason: I cannot access it from TB/Lightning nor iCal. Having my cal data everywhere I go is nice, but I don't want to always pull my phone to check my calendar when I'm sitting right in front of a 22 inch screen that allows for much, much more comfortable reading and, most importantly, much improved overview. Really, what purpose would a desktop calendar still have? Where is the "smart" in my phone, when it can't show me the exact same info as my computer without having to use a third or fourth party? Additionally, my wife and I use seperate cals on the cloud. Lacking the desktop sync minus the option to subscribe to non-default webDav servers, there is no possibility for me to see my wife's calendar without paying some dev 40 bucks for a desktop syncing solution that works some, or put in a giant corporation where you have to watch closely which box you are ticking, oh and don't forget that magnifiers.

    I think WebOS is pretty close to a good cloud-based OS, but it does lack some fundamental thinking. I already have tons of email addresses, I don't need a Google account. And I don't want it either, not even so that I can sync my calendar.

    The polling problem DougReeder talked about earlier, I don't think it is that serious when you really make Palm Profile work. Only you can write to your private calendar. What ones spouse and oneself need is the possibility to allow each other to read the others calendar. Put a calendar for common interests on a WebDav server (maybe your cable router has it integrated too?) and merge doubles to that one if you like. Or just leave them doubles. Now add the possibility to subscribe to those Palm Profile calendars from your iCalendar enabled software and your data is all over the cloud on any device. No need for a new standard as one of my foreposters said.

    I remember a slogan someone made up earlier this year, maybe it was last year:
    "Pre your mind"

    I'm missing some of that Predom and I hope it is to come in one of WebOSs future updates.

    So long.
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