Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Retext on Roll.app

Back in January I played with Libre office on Roll.app which of course allows the editing of native odt documents on a Chromebook on those occasions when the GoogleDocs import does not quite work.

You can also use the linux markdown editor Retext on Roll.app - here the use case is less clear but given the availability of StackEdit in the Chrome environment, but it does provide an easy means of generating a pdf to share or indeed email off to some other service such as evernote.

Running Apache Tika over a pdf generated from the online version of Retext shows it to be an incredibly standard implementation:

Content-Length: 17202
Content-Type: application/pdf
Creation-Date: 2014-04-14T15:59:03Z
created: Tue Apr 15 01:59:03 EST 2014
date: 2014-04-14T15:59:03Z
dc:title: New document
dcterms:created: 2014-04-14T15:59:03Z
meta:creation-date: 2014-04-14T15:59:03Z
producer: Qt 4.8.1 (C) 2011 Nokia Corporation and/or its subsidiary(-ies)
resourceName: richard_carew.pdf
title: New document
xmp:CreatorTool: ReText 3.1.3
xmpTPg:NPages: 1

(doing the same thing with the original markdown file is utterly uniformative due to markdown's lack of embedded metadata:

Content-Encoding: ISO-8859-1
Content-Length: 197
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

resourceName: richard_carew.mkd

which is of course what makes markdown so portable)

Application performance could have been faster, but given that the servers are topologically a long way from where I am quite acceptable for typing, something to bear in mind if using the service for field work to type up a bunch of notes.

All in all I find the Roll.app business model quite interesting - provide an execution environment, show people Macca's ads before starting the app, and have people connect their dropbox and google drive accounts to save providing storage - something that saves them the trouble of providing storage, and yet, unlike some other freemium services, lets them garner some revenue from casual users ...

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