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Author Topic: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulater going Cloud  (Read 2133 times)

Paul Keith

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Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulater going Cloud
« on: January 11, 2013, 04:42:58 PM »
http://blog.surfulat.../22/to-cloud-or-not/

The benefits of this packaged hardware+software solution could include:

-you can use any operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux) on any hardware and use Tablet’s to access content.

-all data is kept on a local hard drive, so you are in complete control.


Based on these two words alone, it is the most serious attempt at a cloud app since LastPass, Wunderlist and Dropbox.

Not only this but cloud pricing has been a hot topic and one of the weakness of Surfulator's pricing model has always been the limited installation front.

My second beef with Surfulator has always been the font but it's more of a personal one and I have not encountered a cloud service that has come with default tiny fonts yet.

It's also going to be a different demo.

Is this more of a dying interest in web clipping or a dying interest in Surfulator?

From my mind, the conversation is limitless but I can't spot a mega forum for these ideas.

Just off the top of my head, these topics are still missing from the conversation:
-taboo is dead and there's a niche left behind by that that surfulator can replace
-other tablet cloud apps still play into logins but by integrating it with the desktop, Surfulator could be the first no login cloud Android service
-social media sharing is still linked towards a button so Surfulator can be different from Evernote in that by capturing more fuller webpages, it can treat other cloud services more like a web and it has a host of models to mimic from Evernote's portable integration with printers, ifttt.com, android etc (just being able to pinterest a surfulator image that ready understands the direct web link would change pinterest and surfulator and cloud storage/social sharing)
-cloud services can also import Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds that website capturing services have problems in dealing with

I spotted the startupnation thread where the Surfulator dev did admit he has problems with marketing but I'm surprised a community like DC who is vastly familiar with Surfulator speaks little excitement for it. No offers at Kickstarting Surfulator Next. No conversations about pricing. No potential integration with FARR.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 04:41:39 PM by Paul Keith »

mwb1100

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 04:50:32 PM »
I am looking forward to the new, improve SUL, with the expectation that the combination of cloud with "complete control" will give me exactly what I want most in SUL - synchronization of knowlegebases.  I'm hopeful that this will come without being tied to one particular cloud.

However, I'm not getting too excited yet, since I think that Neville probably has a lot of work ahead so it might be a while in coming.

For the time being, I look at other KB solutions every now and again (especially if they indicate synchronization support), but keep coming back to SUL.

Paul Keith

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 06:55:50 PM »
It's not tied to one cloud but I'm not sure where Neville has stored all the information for Surfulator Next but what he has said so far sounds like he has his head in the right direction.

For example in the recent Bits du Jour comment, he said:

Quote
Further the locally installed version of the Next-Gen Surfulater will do the same thing, storing all content locally. You can think of this as your own personal cloud with most of the same benefits as using a hosted cloud solution.

Quote
For Surfulater Next-gen we plan to offer two products. One will be locally installed on your PC or LAN much as the current Surfulater is. The database will be stored locally on your PC and no 'cloud' use will be necessary. If you want to synchronize this to the cloud this will be an option. This would be a one off purchase with paid upgrades.

The second option will be software running on our server (or cloud if you like) and the database also stored on our server, with the ability to download backups. This would be an annual subscription. My blog posts and comments provide more information.

Quote
As for migration my thoughts are that the current folder tree will be converted into hierarchical tags. I think that will work quite well. Of course there will be full tags editing capabilities as well as hierarchy reorganization.

Quote
@Jesus InsideMe We have now moved to a server grade database. The only way you could loose everything is if you weren't doing regular backups.

...and he linked to that blog topic but I don't see it anywhere as the topic is about the future and this is more like a verified feature.

In the simplest analogy, it's like how Goalscape and Goalscape Connect are two separate products. You can have cloud sync of Goalscape files in Dropbox and then you can still have a web version in the form of Goalscape Connect.


cyberdiva

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 03:11:58 PM »
http://blog.surfulat.../22/to-cloud-or-not/
Is this more of a dying interest in web clipping or a dying interest in Surfulator?

Speaking just for myself, I have a very great interest in Surfulater.  I've used this program very happily for several years, and I view the direction Neville is moving in with both excitement and anxiety.  But I haven't been all that tempted to discuss this on forums, since I haven't yet seen exactly what the new program will look like, what it can/can't do, how it improves on the present Surfulater, what problems if any it introduces, etc. etc.  All I can say is that Surfulater is one of my favorite programs, and I hope I continue to feel that way about the Next-Gen version.

Paul Keith

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 04:05:46 PM »
Same here Cyberdiva. While I haven't bought Surfulator yet, it is one of my Top Addicted Software demo to test trial.

I guess I much prefer it being talked now than later as a finished Surfulator release is harder to modify where as the concept of a web clipper is always one of the few that can greatly benefit from SCRUM, Focus Groups and Mockups especially for users who want to truly find a different alternative to Evernote but I don't see much easily seen effort on that front.

I'd even take a lazy attempt such as simply creating a little advertised Public Pivotal Tracker for Surfulator.

cyberdiva

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 04:46:37 PM »
Paul, I agree that it's often easier to influence the development of a program before it has been released.  OTOH, it's harder (at least for me) to know what to focus on until I have something concrete to respond to.  The old chicken and egg dilemma.  I might note, however, that one place where some discussion has taken place is on Neville's blog.  He has posted at least three blog entries dealing with Next-Gen Surfulater.  People have responded, and he has responded to them.  I guess that may be the best possible place to voice concerns/hopes, since Neville reads and responds to what is said.  Here's a URL for the first of the three blog entries:
http://blog.surfulater.com/2012/06/29/surfulater-next-generation-part-1/.  Links to the two later ones are on the right side of the blog entry.

Paul Keith

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2013, 06:27:12 PM »
I apologize if you are already familiar with this but one of the reasons Pivotal Tracker does not end at the finish state but at the deliver state is because SCRUM requires a constant client feedback to remodelling scheme.

I don't quite understand the intricacies of SCRUM but that's how it states it's essence can bypass waterfall. This idea of combining NANY w/ beta testing w/ milestoning.

I don't know how entrenched this are to SCRUM but Pivotal Tracker also adds velocity (a point based game that keeps you from starting other tasks if it does not fit the velocity of the previous operation's work) and it recommends all "stories" (their version of entries) starts with the sentence "A user should be able to".

Then as the task is delivered, the client must accept or reject the result.

I don't see how it can be superior or inferior to a site like Stack Overflow but as far as ideas on what to say, it provides a clearer boiler plate.

Neville's posts in blogs on the other hand are the opposite. They are reactive.

It's a subtle distinction but take this conversation:

Quote from: Mark
Mark says:
June 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Hello Neville,

I came close to buying your product this past week, but was discouraged by the prospect of committing to (yet another) orphaned product.

I don’t understand why you would abandon a good project in order to compete head-to-head with EverNote. EN has the cloud pretty much covered in this category. Some of us, however, are paranoid about the security of the cloud-based solutions. Google, many governments, and even RSA have been hacked. Desktop (maybe cross-linked to apps on tablets) seems better except for generic, non-personal information gathering.

Just some thoughts.

Quote from: nevf
@Mark, The plan is enable Surfulater content to be migrated to the new app, to the extent possible. So the app may well be orphaned, however what’s important is your information and that will carry forward. Security of our information is often times important and there are various ways to protect content from prying eyes, encryption being the obvious path. Your own Private Cloud may well be another possibility.

Surfulater and the like have a limited future unless you can access your information from any PC & OS at any time. Furthermore collaboration and sharing are all important. To meet these needs we must move away from the current model of Desktop apps.

Neville can only speak from an assuring statement because the client or in this case the potential customer is not part of the feedback loop. If the client then in the future determines the current client is not up to par with the orphaned client, Neville would have to adjust in reverse. Sticking to his own plan while trying to adapt the fanbase' needs. Even if he does pay close attention to this particular person's needs, it won't scale.

If the fanbase can send to Neville the specific idea that they want to keep (even if they can't explain it), then Neville can just focus on replying via providing screenshots which in turn kills two bird in one stone. New screenshots generate excitement but specifically replying to the concerns of the customer generate loyalty and encourage more direct feedback that speeds up and focuses the feature request by the clients while honing the prototype of Surfulator Next before it gets past the stage.

Of course this is just all in theory and not even theory that I fully understand. It's not like Neville is new to making a great Surfulator software, it's just the difference between the two things. One flow provides excitement and the other requires the dev to say back, "Yes there are features like collaboration but we won't be ignoring the other feature." In this case, the other flow also provides a boiler plate for someone who does not know what to say to say something they want to the devs while also alerting the responders to what is helpful vs. unhelpful responses in getting their needs met.

Example:

If you hate that the old Surfulator is being orphaned and you still want the software, it would be silly to tell Neville, "A user should be able to use an orphaned feature." This gives pause before the responders even send out this complaint and it also keeps Neville from responding in an assurance rather than feature delivery sentence.

It's also multi-applicable despite the simplicity of the boiler plate.

A user who does not understand why Neville wants to compete with Evernote will also understand how silly this sentence is, "A user should not be able to compete with Evernote" and this realization can help them tailor their needs to the software itself before they even post.

Even multi-feature focus complaints can't dodge this. A user who says they are not upset but have little interest in collaboration can also see the silliness behind "A user should not be able to collaborate".

This makes it easier for a dev to design around an interface that can host both ME features and collaboration features. Something that isn't really foreign in other services but by not following this formula of talking, Neville and the responder has to deal with the obvious sentence: "Sharing and collaboration are but one set of requirements for future applications and the easiest and best way to accomplish this is via. a database which can be accessed from any PC anywhere.'

While other better cloud services don't even worry about it. Collaboration is not one set of requirements, it's a no requirement. Most praised collaboration cloud services that have worse collaborative features get away with being praised as great collaborative services precisely because they just treat collaboration as a bookmarklet or a right click menu instead of a whole set of features but at the same time they don't also under-deliver on the collaborative features because the theme of the services are based on features and not collaboration. You don't have to lump collaboration with a meta-entity. A feature that can send via e-mail is still collaborative but it's an e-mail feature not a collaborative feature. A print feature can allow real world collaboration but it's a print feature not a collaborative feature. (Remote printing for example is both a collaborative and convenience feature but it's primarily a printing feature.)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 06:42:28 PM by Paul Keith »

helmut85

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 06:32:42 AM »
I don't want my analysis of what Surfulater and other such offerings will probably bring to us, to be buried within a thread titled with "Surfulator", so I open up a new one.

mitzevo

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 06:45:50 AM »
@OP: it's spelt Surfulater (with an 'e', not an 'o' [Surfulator]).  :Thmbsup:

The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Paul Keith

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Re: Surprised there's not any talk on Surfulator going Cloud
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2013, 04:41:06 PM »
My bad.  :P

Edit: On a side note I still prefer Surfulator as Surfulater has always come off to me as the terminator of web clippers what with being on the desktop and having the capabilities of a PIM.