Yesterday, some of our users reported that their GTDInbox status buttons had disappeared. Some had also lost the sidebar Review Box. Many of the users who initially reported this had just upgraded to Firefox 3.6, so we assumed that the problem must have been in the way that Firefox 3.6 handles scripts. As it turned out, the problem was in changes that GMail had made. Even as we were trying to solve the problem in Firefox, the engineers at Google were solving it for us. GMail hasn’t made an announcement on their official blog, yet, but our own look at the code indicates that this is what happened.
This morning, many of our GTDInbox users reported that their buttons had returned, so it appears that this problem is solved. If anyone continues having problems with the buttons, please post to this blog or (better yet), report the problem as a bug at the GTDInbox UserVoice so we can handle it in our customer support ticketing system.
This issue is a perfect example of the superiority of cloud-based computing systems. GTDInbox depends on GMail just as much as other GTD systems depend on MicroSoft Outlook. However, when a problem develops in GMail, the Google engineers can fix it for everyone with minor inconvenience for companies like us and for end users. On the other hand, anyone using desktop software has to download and install a patch. As we all know from month after month of Patch Tuesdays, while this is necessary, it is inconvenient. Also, when major problems develop in desktop systems, it is often up to the end user to fix them or pay to have them fixed. With cloud systems, we still have occasional service outages and other problems, but end users don’t have to fix them themselves.