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?