[Baypiggies] native GUI vs. web browser

Jason Lai jason.lai at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 04:44:12 CET 2009

On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 7:20 PM, Alan Westbrook <voidref at gmail.com> wrote:

> I would hazard a guess that native GUI development has at least 10 years
> left in it.
> Until we get pervasive big pipes to the interwebs, it's going to be hard to
> do any content manipulation 'in the cloud'.
> 10 years ago, I had 1.5 mbits, now, I have, uhh, 3mbit? Not exactly good
> advancement on that front.
> I know this is only 2 datapoints, and *some* people can get a lot more
> bandwidth, but I am talking about pervasive connection speeds.
> At the same time, our content creation is getting as big as our HDDs can
> hold, my camera holds 8 gigs of data, and it was nearly full after the 120
> minute standard def movie, if I had filmed at 720p, I probably wouldn't have
> been able to capture the whole talk, and cameras are all almost 1080p these
> days.
> Imagine having to upload 100 Gigs of data at even 10mbit just to edit your
> movies on the
> web interface.
> There are a lot of good things coming down the pipe for web-only
> interfaces, it just seems that the desktop will have a place for a while
> yet.
> Alan

Browser-based doesn't always mean "in the cloud" any more. Google Gears and
HTML5 databases provide a means to store data locally. Maybe in the future
they'll allow users to load files from their desktop without uploading it
and manipulate the data using Javascript, which I think Flash can already

The canvas element lets you do image manipulation locally in the browser,
which wasn't feasible before. Some browsers are working on WebGL support. So
now the browser is becoming one giant application framework.

It also means that the code is loaded from a remote server instead of
installed, and works across multiple platforms. You could also just download
the Javascript and run it locally, offline. Performance is still an issue
(but getting better), which is why native development will be around for a
long time (for the same reason that people are still writing in C, which is
bordering on 40 years) but it depends on the application.

 - Jason
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