Google Maps is in Beta. Normally, a Beta phase doesn’t last all that long. It’s a time to test, tweak and get things ship-shape before a final release.

At least that’s the theory. These days, Beta applications seem to be enjoy a sort of eternal youth. The Beta version of Google News was launched in September, 2002. It’s February, 2005 and Google News is still officially a Beta release.

I have a few issues with Google Maps. Don’t get me wrong: when it works, it’s a joy to use, a very seamless, intuitive experience. But it uses some kludgy JavaScript to get things done and it does not degrade gracefully. Normally if I have a problem with a Beta release, I don’t think much of it: I give the benefit of the doubt and assume that the application is still undergoing development. In this case, given Google’s fondness for the perpetual Beta label, I’m not so sure.

Somebody has already analysed the JavaScript and XML being used by Google Maps. The analysis closes with a statement that I disagree with completely. I’ve mentioned before that I truly hate the phrase “at the end of the day”. This one takes the biscuit:

“I also think it bears noting that Google is pulling out all the stops to build rich web apps, no matter how weirdly they have to hack the browser to make them go. And I strongly believe that this is a trend that is here to stay — XHTML Strict/CSS/etc be damned. At the end of the day, what really matters to users is compelling apps that let them get their work done quickly.”

To paraphrase George Santayana, those who cannot remember the browser wars are condemned to repeat them.

Have you published a response to this? :

Previously on this day

16 years ago I wrote Bluetooth on the brain

Best. Haircut. Ever.

16 years ago I wrote RSS feeds for The Session

If, like me, you’re both a geek and a lover of Irish traditional music, you might be interested in hearing that there are now RSS feeds available from The Session.

18 years ago I wrote Stupid Translator

Jessica is going to just love this…

18 years ago I wrote BBC - Radio 4 - The Lord of the Rings

It’s Saturday and that means I get to have my weekly dosage of Tolkien taken aurally.