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Web App Musings

Recently I’ve been tinkering with my little Javascript game (not quite ready for public release, sorry), and other web apps.

While aspects of Javascript suck, and the platform variance definitely sucks, it is a reasonable language overall. Given current implementations I think it still would not be my language of choice for writing a big application — even my customized Google home page makes the web browser crawl — but I suppose with the commoditization of JIT technology this can be fixed.

Offline access seems like a new frontier for these apps, and I was pleased to read about the Dojo Offline Toolkit via Dan Moore’s blog.

I’m also interested, somewhat independently, in this idea of running applications on local web proxies. I suppose the cool kids all do this kind of thing with greasemonkey instead, though.

Unfortunately web apps seem like a step backward for free software. As far as I know most of the existing ones aren’t really open source — and since in large part they are running on my computer, they really ought to be.

One Comment

  1. Dan Moore wrote:

    Hi Tom,

    I’m not sure that free (as in speech) web apps are as important as free desktop apps, because some of the benefits of web apps come from network effects that single users can’t duplicate (Google search, social networks, etc).

    It’s an interesting question though. I’d point you to these articles: http://www.paulgraham.com/road.html, which talks about the benefits and differences of web apps versus desktop apps, and http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html?page=3, where Tim talks about ‘free data’.

    Sunday, April 8, 2007 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

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