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Mozilla Chrome Firefox Programming Software News

Chromeless Supplants Mozilla's Prism Project 111

Posted by timothy
from the lookie-here-it-ain't-got-no-server-attached dept.
mikejuk writes "Mozilla Labs has dumped its Prism project, that was intended to bring web applications to the desktop, in favor of a revamped and repurposed Chromeless, a way of building experimental web browsers, to provide yet another way to create a desktop app using web technologies."
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Chromeless Supplants Mozilla's Prism Project

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  • by dakameleon (1126377) on Friday February 04, 2011 @01:05AM (#35101016)

    The issue is not that desktop applications can't access a network service - indeed, an increasing majority of desktop programs appear to be doing so - but that web "apps" provide a certain advantage from a development perspective. It's the thick-client-vs-thin-client for the GUI world - a web "app" gives you all the following basically for free:
    - cross-platform - get the browser independence right, and you don't have to account for the vagaries of Windows, Mac and Linux.
    - globally accessible - log in anywhere with a "terminal" in the form of a browser window (see: e-mail)
    - lightweight versioning and updating - no need to roll out updates to each and every user, just update the pages served (see: Facebook)
    - familiarity - everyone understands the language of hyperlinks, or can be taught to very quickly.

    Some apps will not migrate to the web for some time yet - games, system and basic utilities like text editors, and heavyweight programs that need serious access to hardware. "Productivity" stuff can move over pretty damn easily.

  • by Rinnon (1474161) on Friday February 04, 2011 @01:54AM (#35101184)

    That's the way someone who understands computers thinks. We are not the majority of people who use computers anymore. The majority of people do NOT understand the way computers work, they just happily sign on to Facebook or their Email when they want to. The idea of being able to go to their friends house and access all their stuff there seems like something out of Sci-Fi to them. It's super cool, and nothing but convenient. I mean, why WOULDN'T you want to be able to do that?

    Things like privacy issues aren't really a concern to them either. You ever tried to tell someone about the way Facebook operates, and had them say they don't care about any of that? Happens to me all the time. Also, as a general rule, a lot of people (especially in North America) see what is happening in Egypt, and say to themselves "But that could never happen here."

    Finally, in closing, a lot of people do not WANT things in their immediate control. Having all your data on your computer means that it could break, or could get a virus, and then it's in danger of being lost unless Geek Squad can fix it. Many would rather trust it to Google than to themselves. Having worked previously in Geek Squad many moons ago, I have to say, for some of them, trusting their data to anyone but themselves was the wise thing to do.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday February 04, 2011 @02:30AM (#35101330) Journal

    If they are without JavaScript, you are stuck within the "power of expression" of HTML.

    If they are without JavaScript, they're probably not the target market anyway. But suggesting that this limits you to HTML... really? I guess server side code doesn't exist?

    If they are "powered" by JavaScript, the cross-browser compatibility and debugging/tracing on "what the hell is wrong" becomes quickly a nightmare...

    Having done web development, frankly, no it doesn't, not if you know what you're doing.

    everything is Runtime and interpreted, no strong typing,

    Which means the application itself was much, much quicker to develop and easier to maintain. Also, I have to say, I've never once been saved by the type system that I can remember -- the kinds of bugs I run into, even if they're runtime, never arise because I was using an object of the wrong type. Not once.

    a very loose "Object Oriented" programming paradigm,

    Erm... What's "loose" about prototypal inheritance? What makes classical inheritance better?

    No offense, but are you sure you actually understand the JavaScript object model? It may be that you understand it and dislike it, and prefer other models instead -- but most people who hate JavaScript for not being "OO enough", in my experience, don't really understand JavaScript at all.

    managing the "context/status of the application" may - and will - create troubles due to the lack of concurrent programming,

    Also means we don't need locking. That's right, web apps don't deadlock.

    almost everything is asynchronous,

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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