Webapps are the rage these days. I think personal information management is one of the key areas where web apps have a very good chance to make inroads into conventional desktop applications, and here’s why:
* these days we use computers at work, at home, on the plane, in a cafe — everywhere. We would like to have seamless access to our personal information //everywhere//. But personal information is personal, so security it important. You don’t want to carry around your laptop with you everytime though. Most places have Internet access — why not put everything online?
* We’ve already seen some very rich internet apps around personal information management. There’s [[http://mail.google.com|email]], [[http://tadalist.com|to-do lists]], [[http://backpackit.com|organizer]].
I think a critical piece in this puzzle thats missing right now is a rich web based calendar. Currently I just use something like unison/rsync to keep my calendar/contacts updated on each computer I work at. This is cumbersome, but it works. Email synchronization is a mostly solved problem (IMAP). But synching the calendar and contacts this way is problematic.
For a while I was using [[http://calendar.yahoo.com|Yahoo! calendar]] — its highly functional (reminders, recurrances, holidays). But I think the interface still needs a lot of work. There is no free/busy support, nor is there any iCal/vCal support as far as I could tell. I want to be able to subscribe to other calendar sources and aggregate free/busy information and so on.
There was [[http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/004282.html|quite a rumor]] about Google releasing a web based calendar, but it hasn’t happened yet. I won’t mind if the folks at 37signals.com did it — but someone //should// do it, and do it fast!
I don’t care too much about web based email and addressbook because I access email from a variety of sources, and for a variety of reasons its not possible to access them all online. Further, I need to access my addressbook across all of my email accounts in a seamless manner — again, for a variety of constraints this is not always possible online. A local client like KMail is much more flexible in this regard.
Although I’m quite happy with my current setup in KDE ([[http://kontact.kde.org|kontact]], [[http://basket.kde.org|basket]]) I think I’ll give backpackit and tadalist a try. A few less things to synchronize.