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I just don't get the "WebOS"

Emre Sokullu over on Read/WriteWeb has a post about GravityZoo, what he describes as a "very early stage WebOS." Emre has a previous post which covers some of the applications he describes as WebOS. Every time I try to figure out what a WebOS is I come away disappointed because I think the idea runs contrary to Rich Internet Applications.
Written by Ryan Stewart, Contributor

Emre Sokullu over on Read/WriteWeb has a post about GravityZoo, what he describes as a "very early stage WebOS." Emre has a previous post which covers some of the applications he describes as WebOS. Every time I try to figure out what a WebOS is I come away disappointed because I think the idea runs contrary to Rich Internet Applications.

I enjoyed Jason Kolb's response and think he hits it pretty close to the mark when he says "A service-oriented architecture does not equal a Web operating system." I think in the rush to the web we seem to have obfuscated some of the meaning behind core technologies. As a mere web application developer I am not in a position to talk deeply about the OS, but it seems silly to me to spin these new kinds of applications as some kind of Web OS.

Maybe I'm behind the times or not seeing far enough into the future, but the why are we trying to shoehorn an OS into the delivery mechanisms of the web? The web is a fantastic medium for delivering content and applications that can make use of that content are vital. What is happening now is that people are expecting more from their web applications. With the advent of broadband and rich media, people don't want static HTML. RIA technologies give developers and designers the means by which to create rich desktop-like experiences that can be delivered in the same format as a web application.

The missing link in all of this has been the fact that the web still isn't "always on". Someday it will be, but when that day comes, issues of security and privacy are going to be raised and the "offline problem" has a new face. RIAs wrap web content in a great experience. The next generation of RIAs are going to provide users the ability to take their data offline and give them the ability to sync seamlessly with "the cloud". Having the data when and where you want it is the most important thing for users. And to access that data they will use best of breed applications that have been built on the fundamentals of the web - a tried and true model. Adding an extra layer to that seems like a whole lot of work for not a lot of gain. But maybe I'm missing the point.

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