I like a lot of the ideas behind Apple’s .Mac service, but the service itself is quite frustrating. The file storage is awkward, seems a bit slow and buggy, and with only 1 gigabyte of capacity, seems rather behind the times at this point. The .Mac service handles email, bookmarks, contacts, and so forth via a web interface, but it’s a poor and dated interface, and others such as Google have long since shown how backwards it is.

Yet there’s so much potential here. The file browser is hardly even useful. Integration is awkward. You can share calendars, but only one person can edit one. What if I want to tag or share any event or file or contact on a whim? And I’d sure love a way to view my keychain online.

Enter Joyent. While still in its early releases, and has quite a few kinks to work out, they are so on the right track. They bring an outstanding knowledge of networking infrastructure, courtesy of TextDrive, to the table. They also bring a well-designed, modular Rails application to the web, which integrates with IMAP email technologies, among other things. If you haven’t seen what it can do, be sure to have a look.

So why doesn’t Apple consider buying Joyent? I personally have no idea if it would work for either of them, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. It might take a bit for the .Mac customers to get used to it, but it’s so far and away better than what Apple has now, I think people would fall in love with it quickly. This move would bring Apple up to speed with their web interface, and make using the website to get to your information a viable option. And imagine the Strongspace-like view of your backups!

And I’m sorry, but WebObjects (the platform .Mac is based on) has fallen too far behind from neglect and disuse. Rails is where it’s at!

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