In case you haven’t heard:

Yet another online word processor. The RTF import and export works quite well with Scrivener, but there’s a catch: You can export someone’s comments to RTF annotions, but you can’t import them. I guess this won’t matter if your reviewing process is just one-way only…

This is the one bought by Adobe last year. It uses Java, in case that’s important to anyone.

Edited to add: This is wrong, apparently (the Java part, not the Adobe part). See post below.

I wish I could understand what it does. Is it for blogers?

Also, Studio 717 mentiones that it “uses JAVA” I have seen that mentioned before. Why is that important?


Java is “independent of platform” but can at times run a somewhat slower than a program written natively for an Operating System. Usually small lean apps are written for Java, mainly for web apps or cell phones because they are easy to deploy and take little to run. (Just need current java installed). The drawback to these apps is that they can at times run much slower and bog down at times versus “native apps” so sometimes the progam may seem to lag or freeze. SInce they usally are small lean apps and easily deployable they are usually better suited for use as a web app or mobile device app than a full fledged Desktop app.

In fact it does not use Java at all. It is built using Flex, an Adobe development environment for Flash (which is, itself, a sort of cut-down but highly interactive page description language for the screen). See this post from one of the developers:

The next iteration of Buzzword will be built, apparently, in Adobe AIR which is a mixture of XML, javascript (not ‘java’ either, despite it’s name), and elements of Flash. AIR has the capacity to run offline in a ‘virtual machine’ like Java as well as ‘online’. In principle, I guess, it could replace the text processing engines in programs such as Scrivener… but only by supplying internally all the things that the OSX text processing engine supplies system-wide.

Building a word processor from the ground up is a major achievement and very, very hard. I don’t understand what the business model is (‘we wanted to be the first’ say the developers a bit disingenuously). No doubt, we’ll see it pretty soon.

Overall, I think this public exposure version is both cute and very clever from a design viewpoint. Extraordinarily fast for on-line WP and with lots of nice touches (text-wrap for images, not in Mellel yet). But no styles (yet), no TOC, limited fonts etc. etc.

The ‘bar’ for a WP is very, very high.

Ah, my bad. I used it a bit when it was in beta and thought I remembered that correctly. I’ll change my original post.

Edited to add: I have nothing against it; it worked fine for what it is. My problem was that I could not figure out what it was for. I already have offline editors aplenty and several online ones, including Google Docs.