At times, open source seems like an unstoppable force. Then, apps like OpenGoo come along and sully that perception. OpenGoo aims to provide you with a top-notch Web-based office suite, but instead it manages to undermine every benefit that an online productivity application like Google Docs provides to its users. The main problem is that the developers appear to have misunderstood the meaning of the term "Web-based app."
The first thing that struck us with OpenGoo was the download page, which doesn't exactly jibe with a Web office productivity suite. Nor was there an obvious application launcher, though that is another questionable requirement for such an app--programs should be immediately apparent upon visiting the site. Because of these issues, we had to use the demo during testing. It works fine, but (unsurprisingly) it's nowhere near as polished as Google Docs.
The other issue with OpenGoo lies in its open-source capability. Although there is tremendous value in this capability--as well as having access to source code should OpenGoo go down--developers have mistaken where it begins and ends. Open source should be invisible to the end users, particularly those who are interested in a Web-based office productivity suite. By making it an in-your-face feature, OpenGoo demonstrates a misunderstanding of its audience. Plus, it ends up making site navigation a chore; you're not going to get Google Docs' ease-of-use here. OpenGoo certainly has potential, but still needs work. We recommend waiting for the next version before diving in.
Edited by Jasmine France, 8/19/09