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Google Docs Team on Reddit: Ask Us Anything! – Providing A Peek into the Future of Google Docs

About fews hours back, a member of five of the Google Docs team announced that they’re giving members of the Reddit a chance to ask them anything.

“Wondering what’s next for our mobile app — or what we’re having for lunch? We’ll be around between 12 to 6 pm ET to answer your questions. FYI – our team is mostly based in NYC, except Ronald, who’s in Mountain View today. Ask us anything!,” said the team on Reddit.

The team so far has responded to a plenty of questions, offering some insight into where Google’s free online productivity suite is headed over the coming months. Here’re some of the highlights:

Regarding an offline version of Google Docs:

“You’re going to see offline start to roll out later this summer. We used to have offline with Google Gears, but it became pretty clear that plugins weren’t the right approach. We’ve been reimplementing offline using HTML5 standards like AppCache, File API, and IndexDB.

We’re some of the first webapps that’re really putting those standards to the test, so it’s taken a while to iron out the kinks.”

Well, we’ll launch in whatever incremental pieces make sense. But the long term direction is if you access a Doc URL while offline, it should open the local copy of the doc and let you edit. When you go online all your edits get synced in the background. You should also be able to see a list of your docs while offline. We’ll need to work through all the tricky problems with how to merge conflicting edits. It’s fun stuff.

Regarding how data stored in Google Docs is kept safe:

Document data is stored in a storage system built on top of Bigtable. Storage is distributed across many machines and geographic locations, and all access to the underlying storage is tightly controlled and audited in compliance with SAS70. For more details, I’ll refer you to this set of FAQs.

You can find the Reddit thread here.

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