The All Mighty Green One

Non sense, whining and stupid unfounded comments from the green.

Developer’s Love Affair With Web Programming

We are currently experiencing what some call the second coming of the Internet bubble: Web 2.0. However it is defined or interpreted is the “wave of the future”. We already experience it with the fervous activities of several developer communities and the awesome products that are available to us on line. I will make no lame attempt to make example of each group, most of you are probably well aware of which are the primary groups and products are. And even if I do make an attempt, by the time you read this something else will available that will make the tool I’m mentioning seem like yesterday’s news in comparison.

Don’t get me wrong, I am talking about the related technologies per se not the experience they provide. The experience is induced, contrary to fulfilling an important necessity in the way we communicate. Will elaborate on that a couple of lines down.

My main complaint with this is the growing and continued notion that EVERYTHING HAS TO BE INSIDE THE BROWSER. This is one of the most annoying arguments I have to battle on a day to day basis. First of all, any absolutism in general, related to technology or otherwise, will fail sooner or later. I do agree that since you can have applications and information in a “neutral” medium such as a browser, it helps to reach a wider array of users, since you stop caring about operating systems and other elements that make distributing applications troublesome. The flip side of this of course is that these problems have just been raised a level, and now web developers have to suffer browser incompatibilities. It just amazes me how the dudes at Microsoft can devote millions of dollars and thousands of hours to a DRM scheme that will cripple the operating system, but can’t make a working browser. But that is an argument for another post.

I am aware that the use of web applications help with one of the oldest problems in computing: how to deal with multiple platforms and deliver the same product/service. Big companies which usually are formed from mergers an acquisitions for diverse infrastructures greatly gain from this approach, for obvious reasons. In this context I will continue to support web development as I have so far.

I am a fan of a lot of web apps, which I use very frequently. I used one at the moment I was writing this precise text which you have been unlucky enough to read. So please don’t assume I am just a fanatic that’s hating on the technology as a whole.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: There is a space and time for everything in live. Web applications in our industry are no different. They are becoming more robust, usable, and reliable. Never the less they are not the panacea. They will not solve all problems. Let web apps be, but remember they have their space and other technologies have theirs. Yes turbo gears and rails fanboys, I’m talking to you.

Who knows. Maybe I am wrong.  What do you think?

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February 26, 2007 - Posted by | software, technology

6 Comments »

  1. Non-web apps need to be installed in a computer in order to work and that would limit the amount of users since a lot of people don’t know how to install a computer software (which means less $$$ for the companies), on the other hand most users DO know how to access the http://www…. besides, non-web apps means more licensing cost, and you know how companies love to reduce cost.

    Comment by Melvin | February 26, 2007

  2. Oh, by the way… welcome back

    Comment by Melvin | February 26, 2007

  3. Thanks for the sentiment. Good to be back. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

    You made two interesting points, but I’ll refute them both.

    First of all desktop apps don’t necessary mean licenses and money and web applications the contrary. There is a good mix of the four possible combinations. While the mass distribution of web apps, is ideal for distributed and free services, that does not mean it cannot cater for-pay-services as well.

    37signals.com, docs.google.com (pay version coming soon), etrade.com, just to name a few, are all web applications which are on line and charge for their utilization.

    As for the installation, I will agree that the installation is simpler, because web apps need no install, but…

    A) Installation has become monkey proof, in thanks largely to the good folks at microsoft. And everyone else catching on.

    B) I disagree with the notion that web applications are simple and desktop applications are complex. This has come out of circumstance. Because of the medium a web app is delivered, it has less chance to offer you a complex user interface with a lot of options. This is rapidly changing, take a look at pipes.yahoo.com if you don’t believe me. New technologies (beautiful ajax), and more bandwidth resources are making this possible.

    Applications are becoming easier to use, but that is a product of the necessity of business men to reach wider market shares and demographics, as computers everyday stop being an engineering tool and start becoming another house and/or personal appliance. This is constant in desktop and web applications alike.

    Finally, we all love to reduce cost. Don’t make devils out of companies just for that reason!

    Comment by enmanuelr | February 26, 2007

  4. My comment was launched from the user point of view. If I was an end user(which I am) I would rather access the application through the web than having to download and install a software to do the same thing, e.g. Net Banking, college registering and scheduling web applications, to name a few, I just find it cool. But I’m aware that most of the applications are desktop applications, without them I would not have my computer up and running, and doing the things that I want and need. Oh and I never said companies = evil.

    Comment by Melvin | February 26, 2007

  5. Don’t have much to say to you on this, we’ve already had this discussion on the past. All I’m going to say to you is, try to rework a little your post, so that is sounds less like a rant and more about why and how the situation is happening, and were it (in your opinion) will lead us. Cause that’s what I thought I was getting when I saw your title, and were I thought you were going.

    So go ahead, make me a believer. Prove to me that your views on this subject have strength.

    Comment by nav1 | February 26, 2007

  6. […] Apple’s application standards, right? WRONG. They gave me Flash and AJAX (with whom I’m already pissed off to begin with), and told me it’s better than an SDK. At a develpers conference no less. Where […]

    Pingback by Why does Steve Jobs insult us? « The All Mighty Green One | June 13, 2007


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