The web sucks. Browsers need to innovate

The web as an application platform stinks, and I think this is even more apparent now as we see incredible iPad apps being released. Why are iPad apps, in their initial versions, so much better than websites that have existed for years?

When I started writing this post last week, it was going to declare the end of the web. I’m not quite ready to call it dead, but it’s on thin ice.

The web is great as a generic platform for consuming flat, static content, but isn’t good for anything rich

  • AJAX is just a band-aid to make a platform that is based around page refreshes feel more interactive.
  • Java and Flash are yet more band-aids to make the web feel fluid. But remember that feeling you get when you hit a page with Java on it? Gross.
  • Web applications don’t have threading, GPU acceleration, drag and drop, copy and paste of rich media, true offline access, or persistence. Are you kidding me? Gmail only recently added inline images (and it’s super buggy).
  • Web based email broke the mailto, one of the most basic commands for creating an email message.
  • Developer tools for native apps are better than web tools. XCode and Interface Builder are phenomenal. So is Visual Studio on the PC. On the web, people still use plain text editors.

People are using apps more because the experience is much better. We will see a decline in web traffic and search in the coming years

  • People use web search today because they don’t know how else to find high quality information. The web is a mess of content with no organization. On an iPhone, I launch the appropriate app.
  • When talking about iAds on April 12, Steve Jobs said, “Search is not where it’s at, people are not searching on a mobile device like they do on the desktop.” I actually think the issue here isn’t desktop vs mobile, but web vs apps.
  • Full six years ago I blogged about people’s over dependence on search. I felt Google’s search results weren’t as good as visiting the specific site with the information needed. Instead of blaming Google, I should have blamed the web as a whole.
  • Many iPad apps are simply a different view on data that is already available on a website. And every single time, the iPad app beats the web experience that has been around for years. NYTimes, Netflix, Zillow, and others.
  • To single one out, try the ABC app on iPad. Much credit to ABC, but I doubt they have the best iPad developers out there. Yet their version one application is awesome, and a much better experience than their website.
  • Thanks to better developer tools, a richer SDK, and simply higher quality standards, developers are making apps that consumers are using to interact with data in a richer way then ever before.

Browsers aren’t innovating. They are just trying to comply with standards and fix bugs and performance

  • Right now browser updates fix bugs and add application features, but can’t enhance the functionality of the web. This is only done by standards boards.
  • Browsers are forced to implement every “standard” that is agreed on, even if it’s not the best decision for the platform.
  • Browsers don’t add functionality outside of standards because developers wouldn’t utilize them. This means they can’t innovate.
  • Browsers don’t even comply with standards well. Developing for the web is a disaster because every browser has its own quirks and issues. They can’t even do one thing right.

The only way the web can survive is to reinvent itself, to refocus. Each browser should focus on innovation, not parity

  • Why do all browsers have to support the same standards? This only limits their innovation, and limits web developers.
  • Browsers should innovate as fast as possible, adding additional functionality without concern about the other browsers out there.
  • Web developers can choose which platform they want to develop for. Does your app run best using Chrome’s non standard SDK? Go for it.
  • Each browser can choose to mimic features that have been added by other browsers if they find they are losing developers or users.
  • Ultimately this will result in:
    1. Greater innovation in browsers and the web platform as a whole.
    2. Each browser will become its own platform, with varying application support.
    3. Users will choose browsers that run the applications they care about. Browsers with poor application support will die.
    4. Developers will no longer worry about running on every browser. The goal will be to create the best experience on one browser.

Developing for the web has always been a tradeoff: gaining a larger user base but sacrificing quality. The web has been improving steadily, but at a much slower pace than it should.

When GMail launched in 2004, it took one step forward and 10 steps backwards from the mail application I was using. Even today, the major features GMail is releasing are simply trying to match the features I’ve had on the desktop for years.

I think this is the tipping point for the web. The modern web had over 10 years to reach parity with desktop applications, and it couldn’t even hit that. Now it faces extinction as innovation in native applications accelerates.

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151 comments

  1. Hey, IE users have had a boatload of reasons to switch to _anything_ else for years now, but how do we as developers reach them? Preventing them from loading the content in the wrong browser only hurts our clients. I certainly hope this can change in the long term, but it’s the reality we’re stuck with in the short term.(Of course, separate to that, there’s the question of whether users would really be willing to maintain three or four different browser installations just to make different sites work. I’m certainly savvy enough to do it, and sympathetic to the developers, but I’d still be resistant. It would make the whole UX suck even more than it already does.)

  2. Sachin, I agree with you that the web as an application platform has its issues, but for some applications its advantages outnumber its disadvantages. It really depends of the kind of app. Take Brizzly: a nifty Twitter client, will it be better if it’s converted in a desktop app? I don’t think so, it really works well as it is, and I don’t have to download it, install it, configure it, etcetera…. Gmail: I love it. Never turned back to desktop mail clients. I can check my e-mail everywhere and it even works with mailto links!But for some apps, if they just doesn’t feel at home inside the browser, why on earth they MUST be converted to a web app? No-no… not for now, with the current state of web technology. But the advances in RIAs are promising, I personally like Adobe Air for instance.

  3. Apps are just prettier views, the network and information layer is still the web. Makes sense from that perspective. Search is dead on mobile? Which sites do you magically know about without a search tool? The diversity of the web is founded on choice. The app store shows you ten favorites. I discover the best apps on the web, not in the store.Apps can’t compete with web information distribution.

  4. The comments on this article leave me with a couple of conclusions: 1) The web is wasted on Developers; 2) The only "p" word that matters is Propagation, not Platform; 3) The term "Apple fanboy" makes me laugh out loud…so thanks for that!

  5. I really have to disagree here. See below.Also, as to Chrome, it adheres to all standards, and has merely improved upon the internals of the browser, e.g. better sandboxed run-time/security model, faster, etc. Otherwise, it’s support for Html5, CSS3, etc. all the way. No one wants to go back to the misguided Microsoft "divide and conquer the Web" model.—Begin reprint of my comment form your other post—Let them go nuts with apps or non-Web software on various platforms, but keep the Web as a standardized, unifying glue. Web developers have already suffered for years with Microsoft’s attempts to privatize the Web via Internet Explorer, and it has set the development of the Web back by years due to everyone having to devote extra resources to coding cross-browser compatibility.I find it pretty ironic that as you post this (and your other post), your own co-founder, Garry, is writing about how much he hates coding/testing for IE6/7/etc. Or that your very own service, Posterous, is entirely Web based and does benefit from Web standards.Keep the Web free and standardized, even at the cost of some advanced functionality. That can always be bought at a premium by those who require it, as in paid apps for your iPhone, etc. Simple as that.

  6. Alex: If you think the web should be free and standardized, that’s fine. But then developers and users WILL move to native apps more and more (like I said above). I’m offering a possible solution for the web platform to innovate faster and stay alive.Otherwise, the web will go back to what it once was (and what I think is the only thing it does well): to be the lowest common denominator to view flat, static content. For anything richer than, developers should and will choose to create native apps.It’s really not fair to compare my blog post to Garry’s. We aren’t the same person, we are not one mind. Internally we have made decisions about the level to which we want to support IE6 and what issues should and shouldn’t be resolved. That doesn’t contradict this post at all. We as developers choose which browsers to support based on their capabilities, user base, and our resources.wrt your comment about me coding: yes, I do code. Less now. But I was CS at Stanford, spent 6 years coding C, C++ at Apple. I coded the first version of Posterous (Ruby on Rails, Java) and I made our iPhone app.Through all that, it’s super clear to me that I enjoy web development the least. Clearly I love Posterous and this product is my baby, but developing for the iPhone showed me how weak the web really is.And to your comment about Posterous being entirely web: well, see that’s where you are flat out wrong. Posterous was post by email before the name "posterous" even existed. I hated the web tools that I had to use for posting content, so I decided to build an email based gateway. I want to use richer tools to post, and the web is for dumb consumption. (although now we email posts to subscribers, so you don’t even need the web to consume).The concept behind posterous is incredibly consistent with this blog post: I hate web software.

  7. OK, Sachin, thanks for clarifying a few things. BTW, I merely said that it was ironic that Garry was writing those posts at the same time, not meaning to be unfair.To me, Email is simply part of the Web standards, you may have a different definition, which is fine. BTW, there have been huge issues with SMTP especially which I have never understood why weren’t fixed. TO THIS DAY, I can forge you as the sender, which is crazy…everyone complains about SPAM (80%+ of all Email sent), even passed a law against it, but no one could be bothered to fix the protocol…As to the larger issue, here is what I just wrote as a comment on Chris Wilson’s (MSFT IE dev) new post "The IE plateau – a history lesson":"Yeah, yeah, just keep telling yourself that… the rest of the world knows that Microsoft’s intentions toward the Web have for the most part been less than honorable.IE6 has been the bane of Web builders’ existences for nearly a decade, and has cost the sane advancement of the Web years in terms of people having to waste time and resources on cross-browser compatibility.Just the way Microsoft wanted it, I suspect…Thanks for nothing."There must be something in the air that all of these posts are appearing today on the same day…http://cwilso.com/2010/04/30/the-ie-plateau-a-history-lesson/

  8. the answer is not to let all browsers throw standards out the window. we went through all of this before with building a version of our site for different versions of IE, let alone different browsers.someone is going to need to do stuff their own way (ie google’s chrome) and developers will follow suit. it won’t happen overnight. it’s going to take mass adoption of an innovative browser to work, because developers don’t want to go back to the 90s of building 20 different versions of their product to support 20 different sets of standards in browsers.i’m rooting for chrome. i hate all the bandaids too, but right now, there’s nothing on the web that i want to do and can’t already. i just wrapped up a project with cross domain gets and posts inside of a modal window, and browser security alone should make this impossible. but it can be hacked (not saying that’s the best long term solution, but i’d rather hack it for now than build 20 different versions of something).

  9. Sachin,I couldn’t agree with you more. Seven years ago, I wrote an article ‘When Client Applications Matter’ because it was getting to the point that nobody wanted to download ANYTHING (unless stealing music or free phone calls was involved), yet the tradeoff was a fairly static computing experience. It just seemed that there were logical areas where a native application was simply better than HTML over HTTP, yet we’d all drunk the kool ade that Web was better.I have been listening and watching, first how the browser was the new operating system, destined to swallow up the desktop, and then how the cloud will render hardware obsolete.Now, mind you, in the long run, this will all be true, but then again, we will all be dead in the long run. Net-net: the browser has proven to be the worst piece of software for all of the reasons you flag, and when you surround it with (pick any): plug-ins, client-side java, flash, AJAX, it just sucks more or less.Whether it’s MORE or LESS simply depends on your aspirational quotient between:Works "Good Enough" andOptimal User ExperienceI, for one, aspire for optimal user experiences, which is why iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad Native Apps are such a breath of fresh air.Apple dissers should note that on Android or iPhone the most compelling apps are Native not AJAX.Final thought. There is nothing incongruent as a user or developer with celebrating the raising of the lowest common denominator Web and blowing the top off the roof by building native apps.We have to get beyond the Tyranny of the Either/Or.Cheers,Mark

  10. What is this "gross" feeling you get when viewing a website with javascript because I sure as hell don’t get that feeling.I don’t know what to really think about everything your wrote. I don’t agree that browsers are innovating. But, I will say that I know for a fact that things will change in the future and new things will come along that make the web experience better.Oh and don’t replace the web with apps, I don’t want to have a million apps to do different things that I can just do in a web browser.

  11. Ok. Well I guess I can understand Java, although I’ve never had any issues with it. As far as apps go, they are good for getting things done. But, I don’t want an app for gmail, an app for facebook, an app for this website and that website. If I’m using the web I want to be using a browser with tabs and all that good stuff.

  12. Interesting read, thanks everyone for the comments, and Sachin again for the responses.If I would summarize your post in my own words I’d say: the web and browsers offer a subpar experience for users _and_ developers in comparison to apps (for iPad, iPhone etc). The solution is to have browsers experiment more and not religiously adhere to standards, the best browser-experiments will multiply, somewhat like an evolutionary process.As Ben Alabaster said and you agreed to (iirc): adding a layer in the stack would probably work. The layer in this case being an interchangeable display engine. The same goes for a layer when developing, Cappucino adds a layer so developers don’t have to write boilerplate Javascript/HTML or write browser specific code.I suspect that adding one or more layers between the "raw web" and the user/developer will solve the problem you’re describing. However, in preventing walled gardens, developer lock-in and ensuring future backwards compatibility, which I think is the way to go, there should be standards for this layer.I’m no astronaut-architect, so what layer this is going to look like technically is beyond me.

  13. The browser is basically one step away from replacing PDFs — add pagination support (they already have decent font support now.) Doesn’t seem like this is a priority.If they implemented a robust language plug-in API so client side programming could be done in something other than Javascript you’d get a lot of people on the wagon. Also not a priority. Compiling from one interpretted language to another interpretted language is bordering on ridiculous for some applications.If they added a generic "permissions" feature and then exposed a bunch of OS/filesystem/etc. stuff with dialog boxes asking for permission, you could actually program real applications here.If they exposed sockets, you could get decent client-server going. WebSockets is nice but should sit on top of this.If they stopped creating gimped css transforms and added a robust compositor ala OS X with hardware acceleration, other GUI libraries would be toast. This is hard, but its not really on the horizon at all.Basically, the browser refuses to embrace the few things it would take to let it break out of the archaic browser paradigm. Until it does, don’t hold your breath that you’ll get much more than the types of apps computers have had for decades, now with rounded corners and ooh look drag and drop!!!

  14. Sachin, i am just a student,i have huge respect for you and that is why i have written two posts about you on my blog that nobody bothers to read and i love blogging on the platform you have created.I understand most of what you want to convey through this post but i don’t think you are being practical and realistic in all your points.In one way, you are encouraging fragmentation.Moreover,why don’t u get over your Apple(one of my favs too) inclination for the sake of practicality.I live in India ,i have an iPod Touch and i haven’t seen anyone else in my town carry one of these iDevices.Not everyone can afford an iPhone,iPhone,iPad to get themselves an immersive web experience.Most of us want access to the information we need from whatever resources we have.My another problem is why are u talking about the "extinction" of the Web when all the app culture u are basically trying to support with your arguments is primarily based upon the more interactive,immersive and enjoyable methods of access to web data through the (incredible) iDevices.As far as my knowledge of the Web goes,it will never be "extinct", perhaps not even after our extinction(through the intelligent robots, who made our extinction possible!!!)hoping for a convincing replywith regardsNavneet

  15. And talking of apps , i sometimes wish Apple was even more selective of them.Every blog and website wants its app to shine in the app store and i have a serious problem with that.Why would i open apps like Mashable,Engadget,TechCrunch,ReadWriteWeb and a million others when i can simply fire up my favourite app MobileRSS, or simply start digging them with Google Reader web app and get all the information i want with minimum data transfer.Otherwise,there are mobile versions of these blogs and sites already available.And see i am not even talking about all those crappy good-for-nothing apps crowding the app store, which help the number of apps to max out at a staggering 1.8 lacs!

  16. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Cyrus, I really hope the browser doesn’t replace PDFs! I am usually delighted when I hit a PDF on the web, because again, the experience is better than the web app. The typography is beautiful and the document is a joy to read. Browsers can’t even do fonts well.<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  17. Like I said, browsers do support somewhat beautiful typography now. The reason the experience is better is because of pagination, which the browsers could implement as well. In fact, at least Firefox has css columns support now, which is basically pagination but horizontally.

  18. I prefer a website over an app, since I can be in any device, not necessarily my own, and still access the website. I use Chrome the most and I’m very happy with it. Also, I don’t have or plan on buying any Apple products since I mostly only browse and Apple’s devices are overpriced for just browsing.

  19. You/we are all WAY ahead of the average web user — none of them care about browsers, SDKs, etc. — they just want the latest and the greatest "whatever" & they want it to be easy to use and kick ass.

  20. Brilliant, Deep, Simple enough for the rest of less genius than you to understand. Web Browser Intelligence

  21. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Naveen, you are right: most people in the world can’t afford or don’t have an iDevice. But Apple’s app platform isn’t necessarily the one that has to win. Someone else could come out with a richer, more powerful, and free app platform. Maybe Chrome OS?<div><br></div><div>To your point about too many apps for sites: not all sites need an app. A really good RSS reader app is perfect for reading content. And reading flat content is already fine on the web. I think it’s the other, richer sites, that could benefit from native experiences.</div><div><br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

  22. This is a good summary of the current state of affairs.But, I think in the long run the web will rule for large format devices (including netbooks and iPads). The App Store was great for screen resolutions upto iPhone like form factors.The reason is simple. Small-time developers will find it more economical to target a generic platform (for large format) rather than a specific platform.For small platforms the expense factor is trumped by the experience factor, and that’s where the closed platforms will thrive.

  23. You make a good point but I don’t think it is practical. You expect people to choose browsers they want to target for their apps with each browser exposing their own capabilities. Do you really think this will work for an app developer or a company running a web service. First you are drastically reducing the number of people an app developer can target and second you expect people to have run different browsers for different apps. Non standardizing browsers is like having different sized electrical sockets in your home and having to fix devices you want to use in each socket. Standardization is done for convenience of both producers and consumers. How about a runtime like Adobe AIR which can be whatever you want it to be, even a browser or an app. Apple’s iP** is a favorite example in this case but do you know how bad Apple is fleecing consumers? Not everyone can be fleeced and be made to feel happy about it. 😉

  24. Hey, Sachin i must agree with you on your point regarding the possibility of a powerful,a richer and app free platform(chrome/evolved android) that will drive innovation and will penetrate significantly into markets of the developing,and maybe poor countries,too.I have been more concerned about the state of education in these countries and i think if the future platforms supported by large companies( like Google with both-party benefiting business model,AdSense etc) could come with much cheaper but yet enjoyable platforms then it wud be great for all of us.And i am cent percent satisfied with your take on my AOS(Apps Overdose Syndrome).For reacher experiences native apps are indeed very much needed.Last but not the last,as someone who considers you as an idol,i want you to kindly remember my name.It’s Navneet(means Makhan(butter) in Sanskrit!) and not Naveen.

  25. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Navneet: very sorry about the name mixup. Thanks for adding to the discussion!<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  26. I think you need to disassociate ‘search’ and ‘web’ as they aren’t exactly the same thing. Search will always be big, whether you’re searching for a website, an app, or whatever else. FYI, Alan Kay has been ranting about this topic for a while and agrees that the future isn’t the web as we know it today, it isn’t (shouldn’t) be contained in a ‘browser’ at all.

  27. right or wrong what you wrote, main problems are: browsers give you access to a lot of content, with one, or only a few, programs (also thanks of standards); you wrote this article to "geek" people, who are often not the people we work with. Basic user just opens up a browser (if he/she knows what a browser is) and does his simple tasks, and he wants this to work.

  28. The biggest issue i see with this whole "do what you will" attitude is that as others have mentioned, it leads us back to the early pre-standards web – which most/all web developers are still having to deal with…not good at all.What’s really needed are tools, IDE’s, etc. that allow for the creation of the fantastic apps that are available in the ‘walled garden’ but built on commonly supported technologies HTML5 (coming on fast), CSS (decent across the board support) and jQuery (god like in it’s awesomeness).Recently I jumped on the smart phone bandwagon (android) and after having checked out a lot of the web-based ‘touch’ tool kits and i find that the experience while perhaps not as "perfect" as what one would obtain from a platform native application is more than acceptable for daily usage.

  29. Hate to say it, but this looks like an Apple sponsored post. The web is just fine and it will evolve gradually, Facebook is a great example and Youtube also, no need to rush things 🙂

  30. Tattoo Jow: the web is evolving TOO slowly. <br/> <br/>And the real reason why I wanted to respond to your post: <br/>Facebook on the iPhone and youtube on the iPhone/iPad are BETTER than the websites

  31. In my opinion this entire article is worthless. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Apps are purpose built programs… the web isn’t. The internet was not originally designed to be what it is today. Basically the internet is an old Yugo trying to keep up with a Ferrari. The framework of the internet is what needs to be upgraded.. only then can the browsers follow. It’s not really fair to compare mobile apps and websites.As far as standards go… they are there for a reason. Sachin… I don’t know what you do… but I’m pretty sure it’s not a developer/designer. Without standards we would have a bunch of IE6’s out there doing different things on every site we visit. We NEED a common structure in our browsers.

  32. I think you have basic misunderstanding of that technology.Comparing apps to browsers makes it all that obvious, apps cannot be compared to browsers experience because apps, art programs developed much like a desktop program. So that comparison is totally out of place. essentially what you’re saying is why a desktop program is superior to a website, and when presented like that the answer is quite obvious.Other suggestions to making the article, takes us back to the past which anarchy "standards" control the web, Which until this moment we haven’t recovered from.suggesting it as a better alternative, it is simply to ignore the history of the Web and sending us back to repeat old errors.

  33. I think you are too general and that’s why i should ask Do you come from Apple?Web is quite a lot of things, applications, information, experiences, and that is growing and is good.New ways are welcome, ipad, iphone are great really, but the web is not like apple vs google, or linux vs microsoft or….Its a place to share and contribute, if you have something new and great, just find the way to contribute instead of asking people to choose one strategy and to leave another. It seems you are asking this.Of course i think also you are negative, you are fighting against something, it is much better to find the way to share your knowledge helping THE WEB to grow.I suscribe that if you are not a solution you are a part of the problem.Of course its my opinion

  34. The web was meant to be a tool of maximum accessibility, browsers then are simply the tool for viewing content from what ever website you wish to see. Proprietary technology on the Browser Vendor’s part only limits ease of access, ie; Internet Explorer and their horrid Web Outlook. It offered great functionality ONLY in Internet Explorer which for a period of time wasn’t available to Mac or Linux or BSD systems. As Developers we generally owe our clients and ourselves work which will be available to the largest amount of people either for business purposes or simply for reasons of altruism ( Such as a free JS snippet or Library or what have you ). If one were to look at proposed standards, were they implemented the web would be far closer to a desktop experience but adoption is slow amongst vendors ( Google, yes, is taking the lead is this department followed closely by Mozilla, Safari & Opera and IE trailing – though not as much as usual pleasant surprise )I find one of the main issue though that "Apps" receive far more attention development wise than your usual website where somethings can just be "good enough" and "so long as it works". There is a slew of horrible developers for web development, possibly due in part to the "just get it work" philosophy and the low learning curve of popular web-scripting languages. All in all, the web definitely has it’s faults but it grows every year and evolves , 5-10 years ago websites were plain textual affairs and today we have some "Web Operating Systems" like WebOS available. While mostly serving as a proof of concept – it’s still a major leap in what was available only a short while ago.

  35. <html><body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(26, 26, 26, 0.289062); -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(175, 192, 227, 0.222656); -webkit-composition-frame-color: rgba(77, 128, 180, 0.222656); "><span>Yaron:</span><br><span>"apps cannot be compared to browsers" – why not? they are both just different platforms for building and distributing end user applications. They absolutely should be compared. To say they cannot be compared is just an excuse for a bad platform</span><br><span></span><br><span>Ike, I think you basically proved my point:</span><br><span>"The internet was not originally designed to be what it is today" – then it should be redesigned</span><br><span>"the internet is an old Yugo trying to keep up with a Ferrari" – then it needs a new engine. or i’m going to use the ferrari</span><br><span>"The framework of the internet is what needs to be upgraded" – that’s what i’m proposing. maybe upgrades in browsers</span><br><span></span><br><span></span><br><span>Both of you guys agree that native apps and desktop apps are better than websites. But you both have the basic argument that browsers and native apps can’t be compared. That’s totally false. Maybe it’s *because* people don’t compare them, that browsers have lagged so much</span></span><br><br>Sent from my iPad</div><div><br></div></body></html>

  36. Sachin, totally off topic, and I hope you don’t mind…but how long did it take you to type that on your iPad? 😉

  37. <html><body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><div>Not bad at all. And I’m on a bumpy train (bart) going to fremont. I love this thing :)<br><br>Sent from my iPad</div><div><br></div></body></html>

  38. I think you praise apple and all apple things a little too much. I think you are way off base. I am not sure why Apple lovers go gaga so much and lose their sense of rationale. There is more to the world than ipads, iphones and ipods. Thumbs down on this post.

  39. Wow, I’ve never thought of the web that way. I’ve always considered it totally different from normal desktop applications, however I can see your point that its really not different at all. Therefore, I agree. The web needs to catch up with everything else.

  40. Apps huh … so far, they’ve done nothing for me. Why? Because they aren’t available on any platform I own (excluding Windows widgets which are all ugh). So that’s web 1 – apps 0 as far as I’m concerned.

  41. I don’t agree with almost every point in this post, but this one is giving me an aneurysm."Web applications don’t have threading, GPU acceleration, drag and drop, copy and paste of rich media, true offline access, or persistence. Are you kidding me? Gmail only recently added inline images (and it’s super buggy)."What are you talking about? Threading… in what sense? On the server or on the desktop? Big webapps are certainly threaded on the servers they run on. And since tabbed browsing, essentially, a tab is a thread. How is GPU acceleration a browser issue? Or a web developer issue? That’s a pretty low-level hardware problem. Either your device has it, or it doesn’t. It’s not like I am going to write some HTML to give that to you, or download a browser that does that. True offline access, wtf does that even mean? You want access without a connection? So, should I just cache Wikipedia on my iPhone? Copy and paste of media, good luck getting that past the DMCA. Not to mention, why do you want to do that anyways? If I copy and paste a video into an email to a friend, how is that more convenient than a link to YouTube?Either you didn’t think this through or you don’t know how it all works.

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