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The Blurring Line Between PC and Web 84

Posted by kdawson
from the battle-for-hearts-and-minds dept.
The NYTimes has a feature about software development systems that move the Web offline and desktop applications online, with a focus on Adobe Air, which will be released tomorrow. The article has quotes from the developer behind Microsoft's Silverlight (he was a colleague at Macromedia of Adobe's Air guy), and from the head of the Mozilla Foundation about their online/offline offering, Prism.
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The Blurring Line Between PC and Web

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  • Translation (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    he was a colleague at Macromedia of Adobe's Air guy

    For people who would like that translated into English, he worked at Macromedia with a guy that worked on Adobe Air.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by CarpetShark (865376)

      he was a colleague at Macromedia of Adobe's Air guy


      Funny, I interpreted that as "cleaner with a camera and access to the Air guy's notes" ;)
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Funny, I interpreted that as "cleaner with a camera and access to the Air guy's notes" ;)

        Huh. I interpreted that as "Microsoft employee posing as a janitor with a camera and access to the Air guy's notes" or, alternatively, as "Miguel De Icaza in a janitor's suit."

      • Microsoft... air... just in time for a daily wtf [thedailywtf.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Himring (646324)
      The article is from the NYT and foxnews has told us not to read or trust the NYT, so, it don't matter anyhow....
      • by pha7boy (1242512)
        OK. This is not informative, it's funny. Unless FoxNews has moderating points on Slashdot. In which case is very informative :p
  • Security nightmare? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Corporate Troll (537873) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:09AM (#22544536) Homepage Journal

    It took data stored on the Internet and used it interchangeably with information on a PC's hard drive.

    Am I the only one who frowned and thought about the security issues, when reading that?

    • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:23AM (#22544614)
      Hm, that's funny it never even crossed my mind. I guess Adobe has built up such a reputation of trust over decades of reliable security that I just sort of took it for granted.
      • by jimbojw (1010949)

        I've been following AIR since beta 1, and despite my initial excitement, I can tell you that the last few releases have illustrated Adobe's extraordinary dedication to the principle of CYA. To the point of destroying the platform's flexibility.

        One way to develop an AIR application is to use HTML/CSS/JavaScript. In beta 1, you could use DOM injection to add new <script> elements pointing to outside sources, and they'd execute within the scope of the application. This made it possible (trivial even)

    • by eldepeche (854916) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:24AM (#22544624)
      Yes, in fact you're the first person to be concerned about the security of online data storage.
      • That was not the point: the point is, it accesses both and presumably interchanges. What you thought to be "on your hardisk only" might end up online. That's not something one wants, and from what I understand this will be completely transparent.

        It just doesn't seem like a good idea to me. This is pretty much in the same league as: "Hey, lets make a binary plugin that can do anything a normal binary can do!" That exists, it's called "ActiveX"....

      • by hab136 (30884)
        Some days I believe it!
    • by digitig (1056110) on Monday February 25, 2008 @11:41AM (#22546016)

      Well, it would lock me out of my data. A lot of places I work I have no internet access (not even via mobile -- not allowed to use one in some locations, and I've not found a way to access the net when riding the London tube). I deal with the issues of having data available wherever I am the easy way -- I keep anything I might need on my laptop, and synch to a server when I get back to base. If there's anything I've forgotten, or I need to check email, then I need to find an internet connection. Works anywhere this guy's solution will work, and a lot of other places besides, and I don't need to buy anything new.

      Maybe I'm a luddite, but I don't see the point in moving stuff onto the web that's better placed on one's desk or laptop.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The benefit is that Adobe and Microsoft get to mine your data.
      • I don't see the point in moving stuff onto the web that's better placed on one's desk or laptop

        Sure, if your application is not very "self-contained", and requires constant access to the internet to work, then you have problems in "no-internet-access" zones. Too tightly integrated to work all the time.
        But, as one can get automatic updates to Vista, XP, and browsers such as Firefox, we have the reverse going on, in that updated code is placed on your computer for various, mostly useful purposes. Done all in
      • by lpq (583377)
        While I agree with you (and have used your solution @work for years), imagine the problems if one's notebook/laptop were stolen? I tended toward the paranoid side of things, but all it takes is one slip around one smart thief....not that I would change my "M.O." on this account -- putting private or proprietary data on some website is a recipe for disaster. Companies and governments can't keep their stuff on their servers from being hacked over the internet -- and someone wants me to trust some company li
        • by digitig (1056110)

          While I agree with you (and have used your solution @work for years), imagine the problems if one's notebook/laptop were stolen?

          Well, there would be two potential problems. One is data loss, which is why I synch to the company server. The other is data theft. In my case, the chance of the data finding its way to somebody who would know what it was and could use it is slim -- I'm in something of a niche. But anyway, encryption is pretty straightforward, at least to an adequate level to stop the casual thief.

  • by apathy maybe (922212) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:14AM (#22544560) Homepage Journal
    There will always be offline applications and the need for them. There are so many situations where access to the Internet is not available.

    As for having the web offline... The big thing about the web is the links between the various pages. Using a tool such as HTTrack might well enable you to keep the links between pages, thus letting you have the experience of browsing multiple domains using your web browser, even when not connected. But most people just "save as" which gives a different experience depending on if you save the full page or just the HTML, and depending on which browser you use. (Thus guaranteeing that not all the links will work.)

    Anyway, I would love to be able to take all the pages that I have already saved and quickly and easily form them into some sort of net, doesn't anyone have an automatic tool to do this?

    (Oh and I need to both register and have cookies enabled to see the article. Fuck that. Can someone post the full text?)
    • by TuringTest (533084) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:58AM (#22544908) Journal
      There will always be offline applications and the need for them. There are so many situations where access to the Internet is not available.

      True, but the gap between online an offline will blur: desktop apps that query online databases, and web kits that install through the web AJAX-like applications with local caches. The user will no longer be aware of the browser methods to persistently store content found online.

      As for archiving visited pages, the best solutions I've found are through Firefox extensions. I've tried [[Google Notebook]] and [[ScribeFire]] (both take care of online storage and thus multi-PC synchronization), though I've heard wonders of [[Zotero]](1).

      (1) I think we're not in Wikipedia anymore... you'll have to google them.
    • > (Oh and I need to both register and have cookies enabled to see the article. Fuck that. Can someone post the full text?)

      ... like someone who has both registered AND enabled cookies? Fuck that.

    • by vertinox (846076)
      There will always be offline applications and the need for them. There are so many situations where access to the Internet is not available.

      True, but we are getting to the point where offline information is becoming useless in a world where information always changes. Lets take a stock broker for example. Saving last year history of a particular mutual fund in a local file is needed for long term study, but when he needs to know the current offering price during the active trading day he is going to be a ve
  • Laptop anyone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chelsel (1140907) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:19AM (#22544590) Homepage
    "annoyed that he could not get to his PC data when he was traveling"... What about a laptop... the Internet data cloud will not be my primary storage area for many years, if ever... it will be a secondary backup location at best. My primary working data will reside on a fully backed up, as secure as necessary, laptop. First level backup is a self managed RAID NAS (which itself is backed up).
    • My primary storage (for documents, *not* multimedia stuff) is a USB stick half of which is dedicated to a Truecrypt volume. I have it in my pocket at all times. I can pretty much access my data on any computer manufactured in the last few years.

    • by MrMarket (983874)

      "annoyed that he could not get to his PC data when he was traveling"... What about a laptop... the Internet data cloud will not be my primary storage area for many years, if ever... it will be a secondary backup location at best. My primary working data will reside on a fully backed up, as secure as necessary, laptop. First level backup is a self managed RAID NAS (which itself is backed up).

      This isn't for you. It's for people who: 1) Don't want to lug a laptop around; 2) People who do not want to spend money on their own back-up hardware, 3) People who do not want to manage their backup hardware -- the "it just works" crowd, and 4) Social creatures who work with other people on projects, or share their files with other people, and don't want to spend energy on keeping track of the latest versions, who made changes, etc.

      This population is probably very small on /., but I'm sure you know lot's

  • Cloudy thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joshv (13017) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:20AM (#22544594)
    Holy buzzword-itis Batman. I am not exactly sure what that article was about, but Adobe's AIR, though a cool product, is no panacea. As broadband, WiFi, 3G and WiMax become ubiquitous we are still on that 20 year+ quest to develop those magical frameworks that let us easily take our apps that depend on network services "offline". The problem is, there were only ever a few use cases that made sense in an offline mode, and in 5-10 years it will be virtual impossible to go "offline".

    The future is always on, always networked, and software developers who spend the vast amounts of time and effort required to replicate little portions of their database or webservice in a "local" mode are going to be eaten alive by those who simply depend on the ever increasing reliability, performance, and ubiquity of the Internet.
    • by vurg (639307)
      Yes. Only grandparents won't know the difference between a desktop app and a website. If you show the Google Earth app to normal users, they will figure out right away it's an online app. This "blurring" thing happens when you just dumb yourself down. AIR and Silverlight, give me a break.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by antirelic (1030688)
      I'm not so sure that in 10-20 years anything will be as we predict. Just because we have gone from stand alone systems to the internet, that doesnt mean that we are going to go from an online/offline to always online model. Just like we didnt go from horse and buggy to car to flying cars.

      There are limits to the amount of bandwidth that will be available at all times. As more bandwidth and higher speeds become available, so to will more uses for that bandwidth and speed be dreamed up. Right now 20% (http://w
    • by Gldm (600518) on Monday February 25, 2008 @11:11AM (#22545658)
      Yeah this is great, until you're in a part of the world where Internet access is sporadic, slow, and $10/GB. Then suddenly having to download a few hundred megs of non-differential patches per app and needing a connection to "verify" your software is a bit more than a minor inconvenience. It's extremely annoying when software that'd designed for completely non-networked functionality REQUIRES you to hook the machine it's installed (from CD!) on to prove you haven't pirated it. This just leads to people pirating it and distributing the copies to everyone else in the same situation.

      While I would very much love to live in your future of free high speed connections that are always there, the future is looking like pay per gig to clamp down on bittorrent, recover costs for universal monitoring of traffic (without need for pesky warrants), and milk people for all they're worth. "Oh, too bad your line went down when the phone company screwed up and you didn't notice when your router swapped over to the 3G cellular backup, that'll be $54,000 this month."

      Here's a tip: The US is not the entire world, and companies sell to the rest too. Try telling everyone here in Africa that "in 5-10 years it will be virtual [sic] impossible to go 'offline'", I'm sure it'll be good for a laugh.

      • by blincoln (592401) on Monday February 25, 2008 @01:17PM (#22547422) Homepage Journal
        Here's a tip: The US is not the entire world, and companies sell to the rest too. Try telling everyone here in Africa that "in 5-10 years it will be virtual [sic] impossible to go 'offline'", I'm sure it'll be good for a laugh.

        Even in the US it's laughable. There are huge chunks of the country where there is no cellular service. I know a lot of Slashdot's readership doesn't go camping or drive through the middle of nowhere, but it's important to realize that not everyone lives like that. Using a network to get data is great. Depending on it as the sole source of data for things like navigation (or worse yet, the navigation application itself) is stupid.
    • While network connectivity may be close to ubiquitous in some places, network reliability is anything but. The outage of Amazon S3 [networkworld.com] should be a wakeup call to the "cloud computing" crowd. Networks are flakey. Wireless networks very flakey.

      Occasionally connected apps like Air could provide backup for data in the same way that UPS provides backup for power. I've lost count of the number of times I've gone 20+ form fields into some web app that died. Temporary local storage could fix that.
  • by feenberg (201582) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:21AM (#22544596)
    We already have Javascript, Flash and Java - what do AIR and Silverlight offer that is better than those? Faster? Better languages? If the improvement is that they relax the restrictions on file I/O and access to the Internet, then do they have replacement restrictions that protect the user?
    • what do AIR and Silverlight offer that is better than those?

      Well, they enable lock-in and generate revenue for the companies that own those technologies.

      Oh, wait... You meant for us? Nothing...

    • We already have Javascript, Flash and Java - what do AIR and Silverlight offer that is better than those?

      Mostly more control and better programming. OpenLaszlo [openlaszlo.org], which is briefly mentioned in TFA, is an XML/javacript based programming language which compiles to Flash and/or DHTML. It includes a bunch of APIs for things like layout, data binding and server communication, and is one of the easiest prototyping tools I've ever used.

      The slogan is "write once, run everywhere", which may be familiar to some older Slashdotters, but it's not too far off the truth. I'm using it now to develop auditing apps for the Nokia N800/810 internet tablets, and it's impressively simple.

      If you're interested, I'd suggest you download it and try it, or check out the tutorial [openlaszlo.org]. It's very easy to get started, and the tutorial compiles and runs your code online.

    • AIR provides a graphics layer inside a web browser that is 2nd to none. Firefox 3 SVG is coming along, but it's not there yet. Check out what we were able to do with AIR & Webkit: http://about.stompernet.com/scrutinizer [stompernet.com] It's a simulation of human vision dropped on top of a browser. Wish we could have done it in FF3, but it's not quite up to the task yet.
    • I can't comment on air because I do MS development, but the goal behind silverlight is to bring a rich content experience to the browser. It seems to be succeeding too. Check out the jumper (movie) silverlight application on the microsoft website.

      The real point is that mixing flash, javascript, etc isn't the easiest thing in the world to do what with all the quirks between different browsers and how they handle scripting. Silverlight is like a 1.8mb plugin that allows you to develop all your stuff in .NE
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        This commercial was brought to you by Microsoft, the power in web browser quirks.

        Now back to our normal program...

      • Silverlight is like a 1.8mb plugin that allows you to develop all your stuff in .NET and it does the legwork of standardizing the code across supported browsers so that you can spend time focusing on the important stuff.
        But which browsers on, say, set-top boxes or mobile devices are supported browsers?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here's another article: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_apps_serious_threat_to_microsoft_office.php [readwriteweb.com]

    Mainstream applications are moving onto the browser. Everything is changing as a result. I, for one, am having a hard time predicting the future. Does this development, for instance, presage the death of the corporate IT department?

    The other day I was having a chat with our school's senior management. I observed that many apps were moving onto the browser and that this would make it easier for
    • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Monday February 25, 2008 @10:09AM (#22545018) Journal

      I, for one, am having a hard time predicting the future.

      I realize that you posted as AC to hide your shame. But don't let this condition stop you from leading a normal life.

      Every year, millions of people just like you and me discover that they have lost the ability to predict the future.

      Science is working on a cure. With the generous help of people whose lives have been touched by this tragic condition, we hope that one day Future Blindness will be a thing of the past.

      But we can't say when that might be.

      Until then, you can post on /. and predict all the arrant nonsense you want without being answerable for any of it.

    • And another interesting article here -- "Adobe Introduces Windows Killer" [whydoeseve...ngsuck.com]:

      "if you are writing with Flex and AIR or HTML/Javascript and AIR you are not writing to Windows, or for that matter Mac OS X. The strategic import of this cannot be understated. Having MS-DOS and then Windows as the world's most important software development platform has been Microsoft's single most significant advantage in its history as a software company. That advantage is gone."

      "Adobe's strategy is a death stroke to Windows

  • Speaking of which... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Barts_706 (992266)
    ...I would like to recommend keeping an eye on this interesting project, called Aviary :

    http://a.viary.com/ [viary.com]
  • by Bombula (670389) on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:23AM (#22544618)
    How much of these applications run client-side? The thought of using a sluggish word-processor turns my stomach - and not the typing, but the menu interaction and so on. It reminds me of my recent cell phones. New and flashy and fully-featured as they are, it drives me out of my gourd that there is a 1/4-second delay when pressing every button. I can't stand that. I have an ancient Nokia - monochrome amber and all - and it responds instantly navigating through the address book, settings, or texting. If these online applications are anything like using a newer cell phone, count me out.
    • by Shados (741919)
      A well designed web app using ExtJS is faster than an average desktop app sometimes... Using Adobe Air, its much, MUCH faster than the same app running in IE or Firefox... so performance should be acceptable.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Do you usually spout such nonsense?

        A downloaded script will never be faster than a local compiled application of the same functionality.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2008 @09:27AM (#22544654)

    The problem with AIR is that it requires "porting". A website won't just work in AIR, and once it's been ported, it will no longer work as a regular real website, as it'll have dependencies on Adobe AIR. This effectively means that if you as a developer want the best of both worlds, you'll need to maintain two version of your application.

    The approach Mozilla is taking with Prism on the other hand (which is also being taken with Bubbles and Fluid, with standardization between these in the early stages of being talked about), is to make available small features which allows a real website to gain some properties on the level of a desktop application when run from Prism, without stopping to work as a website. This is the progressive enhancement approach, which helps keep the web open (any browser can continue to run the application). It's very important for developers to realize this distinction, less the web gets locked into a proprietary realm. (both Microsoft and Adobe would love nothing better than to be the sole gatekeeper to this realm.)

    • by chong (67651) on Monday February 25, 2008 @11:48AM (#22546086) Homepage
      AIR isn't a host for a "website". Its a desktop host for the flash engine that executes SWF files - that is, packaged flash.

      Websites can continue to have their needs well served by HTML and JS.

      Web applications that need to offer rich client experiences without succumbing to browser compatibility issues can choose to use Flex (which yields SWFs as well). Those same apps can run in the browser and with minimal rework be re-deployed as desktops via the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR).

      The AIR instances will the have the benefit of using connected and disconnected modes (in addition to having desktop icons, file I/O, systray access, etc...).

      AIR is an alternate to the browser-hosted flash engine. Its the desktop container for the flash engine.
    • by Sancho (17056)
      Prism is an interesting idea, but I doubt that it will ever be more than a toy. I am curious, though: what happens when someone clicks on an off-site hyperlink in their Prismed Gmail? Does it take them to the link? Does it open a "real" instance of Firefox? How does Prism differentiate between legitimate portions of an application which are off-site?

      One of the main web-safety concerns I have these days is with XSS and cookie stealing. It'd be pretty nice if I could keep instances of my browser complet
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not completely true, check out uvlayer ( www.uvlayer.com ) they are launching a web version using the flash portion of their AIR application reusing 90-95% of their AIR effort.
    • The problem with AIR is that it requires "porting". A website won't just work in AIR, and once it's been ported, it will no longer work as a regular real website, as it'll have dependencies on Adobe AIR. This effectively means that if you as a developer want the best of both worlds, you'll need to maintain two version of your application.

      Three versions... don't forget Silverfi^H^Hlight.
  • At least it will give a lot of excuses: I could not do the project because
    • Application XYZ currently is buggy/does not work.
    • My IP filters application XYZ traffic.
    • The online service XYZ went bankupt. All book project is gone.
    • Due to EULA changes, my documents now belong to XYZ.
    • My project was deleted due to claims of copyright violation.
    • My software project I compile online has been tagged as colliding with patent XYZ and was deleted.
    • My text has just appeared in an other
  • I have long been able to download LAMP distros in many flavors that will install with minimal fuss on widows - apparently it is even easier to get this working on other OS such as linux, mac, etc.

    With such a set up it is would be very easy to set up some kind of SYNC type system between the locally (client) hosted lamp set up and online services. I am sure some kind of framework / web app could be quickly created that would allow an online and offline mirror of the site to operate.

    This system is basically r
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jellybob (597204)
      There's the begining of this sort of thing in development now - Google have Gears, which provides a Javascript interface to a locally stored SQLite database. Try using Google Reader in offline mode sometime, it's the same application, and will synchronise any changes you make when you take it back online.

      Joyent have also developed Slingshot [joyent.com], built on top of Rails, which allows you to provide your web app as an offline desktop application. Again, this all synchs up with the servers once you get back into ran
      • On the WinXP side, I've been using local web hosting with XAMPP for development for around a year. Works well from a USB drive.

        Lately I've also been looking at personal wikis as a kind of outliner on steroids tool. At least one launches its own micro web server and uses your choice of browser as the interface, with the scripting done server-side (but on your machine). It can run from a USB drive. I've forgotten the name of this guy, because I've been focusing on another one:

        TiddlyWiki uses client-side Jav

  • "Adobe Blurs Line Between PC and Web"

    It's not this is revolutionary. It's part of the evolution -- not sudden at all. Let's look at some examples...

    Consider how long we've all been able to browse content offline after seeing it online. Or, how we've been able to start and stop uploading (FTP) when connections go up and down. The "blur" between local and network has been happening for a while.

    Oh, and another example: Microsoft Sharepoint. I'm not a huge fan, but non-geeks can't really tell if they are local
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      It may not be everyone's favorite software, but Lotus Notes has done this for a decade or more.
    • Sharepoint cheats ... everything is online, but some is online on a local server and some is online on a distant server and everything is synched whenever possible ...?

      It is also the most locked in system from Microsoft yet ... try running a non-Microsoft service with sharepoint ... and then look at the effort they have gone to to duplicate well known systems inside the sharepoint system
  • This is just in time to fill the void left by the end of the Blue Ray vs HD-DVD format war. Now consumers will be dragged into a Flash vs Silverlight battle. I look forward to the numerous flame-wars over which technology is the least worst.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Well... probably most end users will just end up installing both.

      I mean, it's not a money decision on the scale of buying your choice of player and a ton of movies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vexorian (959249)
      And hopefully, both will die a terrible death.

      Seriously, why do we need any of them to triumph? Let's forget the proprietary lock-in aspect of these technologies, let's consider that they make your page much less accessible and platform dependent (platform dependency on a web page sounds so awkward or bizare to me, really, who would want such a thing?) The fact that they screw people with disabilities, is another problem, but let's forget of all those, and remember that such pages would be slugish, please.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Reverend528 (585549) *

        platform dependency on a web page sounds so awkward or bizare to me, really, who would want such a thing?
        I think that when a site strays from the w3c's standards, it can no longer be referred to as a "web site".
  • Sure, they may find some niche markets, but honestly it won't work (at least in the US) with the outdated infrastructure most of us are used to dealing with. Anyone on bandwidth restriction, or dealing with ISPs that do packet shaping of one kind or another, or still on dialup (many areas in the US can not get broadband [dslreports.com] thanks to various factors).

    So what to do, what to do? I personally would love to have FIOS or some other level of service that would allow me to migrate partially online, but honestly at
    • I personally would love to have FIOS or some other level of service that would allow me to migrate partially online, but honestly at the rate things are going I don't expect this stuff to gain any momentum anytime soon, at least not in the US.

      It's not going to get momentum elsewhere any time soon, either, for the same reason that those ISPs you mentioned are starting to get scared and adopt packet shaping, and that your chances of getting a cell phone line at 12:05am on 1 January are pretty slim: there is this little thing called bandwidth, and it needs to become a great big thing (at a cost of billions of dollars of infrastructure) before the idea of everyone migrating to these on-line apps is even technically credible. And that's just for fi

  • i'm reading this on a citrix thin client, you insensitive clod.
  • One of the strengths of personal computers is that they can act autonomously. Decentralization means reliability. It means that no one can control your data, no one can deny you from it. It means that no terrorist, no hardware or software failure can take out a single company leaving all the others dead in the water.

    What a needless waste of bandwidth running large applications, such as office applications on the internet would be. If every application ran from the internet, there would be little bandwidth l
    • by mdfst13 (664665)

      What a needless waste of bandwidth running large applications, such as office applications on the internet would be. If every application ran from the internet, there would be little bandwidth left for anyone.

      Sure, but if no application used the internet, you wouldn't have posted this. There are many applications where it makes sense to have some sort of centralized storage: blogs, email, newsgroups, etc. There are others where the internet is at least needed as a communication medium: email (again), Instant Messaging, bittorrent, etc. There are advantages to interconnectedness.

      It's also worth noting that in many cases what they want to do with the technology is to extend the experience that currently only

  • Why couldn't he have access to all his information, like movie schedules ...

    Umm. How long do "movie schedules" actually stay relavent when offline?

    It took data stored on the Internet and used it interchangeably with information on a PC's hard drive.

    Wow, dude invents "caching", film @ 11.

  • by supersnail (106701) on Monday February 25, 2008 @12:57PM (#22547108)
    .. or does this sound like java applets circa 1998?

    s/SUN/ADOBE/g
  • Although I too get apprehensive when cloud computing's considered for the workplace, wouldn't using encrypted file systems address this problem? The client keeps the keys and therefore the sanctity of the corporate data, at least in theory, is protected. Certainly lots of details need adressing concerning key transport but that ground's already been covered, hasn't it?
  • http://wiki.mozilla.org/Prism/ [mozilla.org] says this about Prism:

    Prism is a simple XULRunner based browser that hosts web applications without the normal web browser user interface. Prism is based on a concept called Site Specific Browsers (SSB). An SSB is an application with an embedded browser designed to work exclusively with a single web application. It doesn't have the menus, toolbars and accoutrements of a normal web browser. Some people have called it a "distraction free browser" because none of the typical browser chrome is used. An SSB also has a tighter integration with the OS and desktop than a typical web application running through a web browser.

    In other words it's a web browser without the chrome.

    Thus it's nothing like the AIR and Silverlight frameworks. Would someone like to explain why people keep lumping Prism and AIR/Silverlight together? Is it because they don't want Mozilla to feel left out?

  • Reply to this thread if you've got some good apps to check out. I've been searching the web a little bit and it seems there's a lot of "samples" and a few alpha quality apps that have not been updated in a year. Ebay Desktop (desktop.ebay.com [ebay.com]) was rather cool, but there's no seller's interface so it's only 50% complete in my view.

As long as we're going to reinvent the wheel again, we might as well try making it round this time. - Mike Dennison

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