Universal Desktop Daily, Monday, September 11, 2006

Universal Desktop Daily, Monday, September 11, 2006

Summary: It is amazing how ingrained a date can become in your mind. It is hard for me to believe that it was five long years ago that the world as we know it changed forever.

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TOPICS: Apps
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universal_desktop_daily.jpgIt is amazing how ingrained a date can become in your mind. It is hard for me to believe that it was five long years ago that the world as we know it changed forever. Since that time, unfortunately, the country that once seemed so united has polarized. This is not a political blog, and I don't want to turn it into one, but I simply couldn't type September 11 without marking the somber anniversary. It is a day that will mark my generation forever, and one that continues to leave a profound effect. I hope the world is a more peaceful place another five years from now.

  • The big news over the weekend on the Windows Presentation Foundation side was the release of an upgraded Microsoft MAX. I covered it here on Saturday, and there has since been a slew of coverage.
  • On Friday, Richard MacManus ran a poll asking his users to chose between "webified destkop apps" and "browser-based apps". I wrote earlier that Rich Internet Applications are both but the responses are interesting: 62% prefer browser based apps and 38% prefer webified desktop apps. The results show a very high regard for the ease and ubiquity of the web. RIAs can take advantage of that ubiquity and still provide a rich, desktop like experience.
  • Another WPF item. Rob Relyea is planning to post summaries of interesting WPF links he finds. I think this could be a very valuable resource. It's one worth bookmarking.
  • Also on Friday, Business 2.0 ran an article about Windows Vista adoption rates. While the .NET 3.0 Framework will be available for Windows XP, it is going to be a significant download. With Vista, WPF will just work, so postulating on the Vista adoption rates is a good thought exercise. The game of reach and penetration percentages is very much on.
  • Finally, Ajit over at OpenGardens posted on wireless statistics for the world. Mark my words, this is going to be an astronomical market for Rich Internet Applications. For many people, the cell phone is how they connect to the world. Good, lightweight application design that puts content in users control is going to make a big splash - mobile RIAs will be huge.

 
Everyone have a good Monday. For those of you on the other side of the world - I'm jealous that you're halfway through your day just when I'm having my first cup of tea.

Topic: Apps

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7 comments
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  • Poll not very scientific

    I think it is important to point out that the poll conducted by Richard MacManus is not scientific. I don?t think Richard MacManus claimed his poll was a scientific poll either. I believe most people use Outlook Express, Outlook, or other rich clients to access their email ? and this gives a more reliable indication of how "webified destkop apps" will be accepted over "browser-based apps". Also, hardly anyone plans to switch from Office to browser-based Office apps ? particularly when Office will soon become ?webified? with collaboration and other online features. Also you are going to inevitably have the situation where RIAs have several times more features than their web app counterparts, and are faster to work with, and are overall more productive.

    A lot of people bring up the argument that most people only use a fraction of the features in desktop apps like Word. However it is important to realize that different people use different subsets of the features in Word. Therefore an engineer or engineering student may use many of the basic features in Word, along with tables and the equation editor. An Office assistant may use the basic features in Word, along with more advanced document preparing features, as well as Word?s label and envelope printing features. In addition, with the new emphasis on using designers and UI specialists to design applications, apps will increasingly be designed to make users inclined to use more features in applications, that now seem buried away.
    P. Douglas
    • Overstating the case

      [i]I believe most people use Outlook Express, Outlook, or other rich clients to access their email ? and this gives a more reliable indication of how "webified destkop apps" will be accepted over "browser-based apps".[/i]

      Do they use those tools to access GMail, Yahoo Mail, or other WWW-based mail services? I rather doubt it. They (and I) do use MUAs to access IMAP and POP3 mail for the simple reason [i]that those aren't browser protocols.[/i] Mail has, after all, been a standalone protocol and application much longer than HTTP has been around.

      It also has the advantage of being (mostly) standards-based. You can use any of hundreds of clients -- the exact opposite of the "RIA," which locks the data away unless you use the precise client required to access it.

      The fact that the Press has rhetorically reduced the Internet to "the world-wide web" doesn't mean that that's all there is any more.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Aren't email clients RIAs?

        [i]It also has the advantage of being (mostly) standards-based. You can use any of hundreds of clients -- the exact opposite of the "RIA," which locks the data away unless you use the precise client required to access it.[/i]

        Are you saying that email clients are not RIAs? Aren?t RIAs rich client apps that allow you to access services on the Internet? If that is the case, how can you contend that email clients are not RIAs?
        P. Douglas
        • Only if you want them to be

          [i]Are you saying that email clients are not RIAs? Aren?t RIAs rich client apps that allow you to access services on the Internet?[/i]

          Well, if you want to define "RIA" that way go right ahead. In which case, "RIAs" aren't the Next Big Thing, they're the Last Big Thing Twice Removed.

          Off the top, that means that Network Time services, Usenet, e-mail, ftp, telnet, and rather a long list of other applications from the dawn of TCP/IP are all "RIAs."

          Like, yawn!
          Yagotta B. Kidding
          • Good

            [i]Well, if you want to define "RIA" that way go right ahead. In which case, "RIAs" aren't the Next Big Thing, they're the Last Big Thing Twice Removed.

            Off the top, that means that Network Time services, Usenet, e-mail, ftp, telnet, and rather a long list of other applications from the dawn of TCP/IP are all "RIAs."[/i]

            RIAs are essentially about adapting desktop apps to the Internet / web, so that you get the best of both worlds. As far as I am concerned, they can be considered to range from desktop apps with Internet extensions, to apps that are housed in the browser and don?t require installation. They bring far more functionality to the Internet than web apps can.
            P. Douglas
          • So in other words

            [i]RIAs are essentially about adapting desktop apps to the Internet / web, so that you get the best of both worlds. As far as I am concerned, they can be considered to range from desktop apps with Internet extensions, to apps that are housed in the browser and don?t require installation.[/i]

            I see where the disconnect happened -- the Unix side of the world has been doing network-aware and network-transparent applications since just about forever. As Sun's slogan used to go, "the network is the computer."

            A browser is just a convenient UI. In fact, [b]my[/b] browser is itself, per your definition, a "rich internet application." It doesn't matter where it is running -- the session I'm typing on could, for instance, actually be running on the workstation instead of this notebook. Or, for that matter, it could be running on one of my home systems. No matter.

            Bottom line: if by "rich internet application" you mean "network-aware desktop client," then you're talking [b]really[/b] old-hat stuff that browsers largely replaced because they let the user concentrate on content as distinct from delivery.
            Yagotta B. Kidding
          • In a sense we are going around in circles

            The browser is more of the client side portion of a range of thin client applications. So in a sense, the industry went from thin clients to fat client desktop apps; then from fat client desktop apps to thin client browsers; and now we are moving back to fat client desktop apps ? but with Internet extensions (not merely network connectivity).
            P. Douglas