Friday, September 7, 2007

Wikis are really great for managing text, but they suck at managing proprietary formats of data. Natch, the purists would tell you to port the proprietary stuff to open formats, but you just can't get a wiki to sum a column of values, calculate the average and display both values along with the standard deviation.

So we all have these orphaned little word and excel files that we use for stuff that doesn't fit in the wiki. If you're organized, you and your cow orkers keep those files on a server somewhere, so you can all make changes and all have the most recent version of the files.

Enter versionate, who've souped-up the wiki's ability to deal with those orphaned files. You upload a word, excel or powerpoint file and they let everyone just view it right there in a browser. No viewers needed, it just renders it in html. And then get this, you can *edit* the files in a browser too!

So there you are in the datacenter on a borrowed computer that's got nothing more than a browser. You can still get to your team's excel file that you needed in order to find a spare IP or something. You can view it in the browser. And if you need to, you can update and it and save it back in the same format it was in.

It's really quite spiffy.

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