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Native Apps Are Dead, Long Live Native Apps 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the netcraft-confirms-it-then-denies-it dept.
cardoni writes "Dan Yoder, CTO at Border Stylo, offers insights on the current state of simultaneous iPhone / Android development using PhoneGap and his thoughts on the debate over native apps versus Web apps. Quoting: 'One problem with the debate is that it’s a false dichotomy, since you can embed a Web browser within a native application. And, conversely, you can extend an embedded Web browser to provide access to native APIs. The two alternatives have not been mutually exclusive for years now. And, focusing on the strengths of native applications ignores the benefits of Web applications. For example, there’s the appeal of writing code that will run on a variety of different devices, ranging from mobile phones, to tablets, to laptops, even to gaming consoles. Virtually every major device platform now sports a Web browser, and it can often be discreetly embedded within a native application. To boot, much of this code can be tested using a Web browser, which enables more easily automated testing. It’s also easier to find Web developers than it is to find native developers.'"
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Native Apps Are Dead, Long Live Native Apps

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  • by zbobet2012 (1025836) on Monday June 27, 2011 @06:28PM (#36590262)
    "It’s also easier to find Web developers than it is to find native developers." A good programmer shouldn't really care what level he is working in, best practices etc. are fundamentally the same. Every decent programmer I know has dabbled in everything from assembler to javascript, at the very least. The good ones have written large applications in both or more. Making this a useless dichotomy, because whatever the application a poor programmer can drag an entire team or application down on his own.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 27, 2011 @06:32PM (#36590312)

    If you're a native application developer, I suspect that you'd be absolutely miserable if you ever had to work on web apps full-time.

    Web app development is challenging for all of the wrong reasons. Whether it's having to use horrid languages like JavaScript or PHP, or dealing with broken browsers like IE6, or dealing with shitty MySQL databases "designed" by people who didn't understand even basic relational theory, you won't find much enjoyable about it.

    At least native applications are often built using real programming languages like C and C++. Even semi-native languages like Java, C# and, dare I say it, VB.NET, are much, much, much more enjoyable to use than JavaScript or PHP, or dealing with broken HTML, or fighting with stylesheets.

    I'm glad I was able to retire without having to do too much web development. Everything about it was decades behind where native applications were at the time, and things still haven't changed.

  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <flyingguy@g m a i l . com> on Monday June 27, 2011 @06:40PM (#36590420)

    and the reason is that with all the utility of HTML / CSS / JavaScript it is still brittle

    DOM is getting even more bloated, inefficient and slow. CSS is out of control and when put to the extreme it is like reading RegEx that you didn't write that has 400 expressions in one string. That coupled with differences in even handling the box model between IE and everyone else is enough to drive a sane person over the edge, especialy with the kludges in CSS that were glued on to handle those problems.

    JavaScript is supposed to be the language used to manipulate the Document Object but it was so poorly implemented that jQuery was required to make it reasonably useful.

    For those reasons people keep writing native apps that work correctly the first time out of the gate.

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Monday June 27, 2011 @07:10PM (#36590738)

    "It’s also easier to find Web developers than it is to find native developers." A good programmer shouldn't really care what level he is working in, best practices etc. are fundamentally the same. Every decent programmer I know has dabbled in everything from assembler to javascript, at the very least.

    Let's face it - it's easier to find a web developer because web development is easier. I'm sure a lot more primarily C++ programmers have used Javascript than vice-versa. A significant number of "web developers" come from an artistic/graphic design background and have probably never even used a compiler. And that's not a knock on web developers any more than you'd knock a pediatrician for not being a pediatric surgeon...

  • by Ruke (857276) on Monday June 27, 2011 @07:22PM (#36590874)
    While that's fine in theory, there's still the matter of experience on a platform to take into account. While a good programmer will be able to implement HeapSort in both Javascript and C, there's still the matter of whether he's familiar with Interface Builder's delegation system, or if he's got the DOM box model down pat. A good programmer should be able to pick up these skills in (relatively) short order, but some times you just want someone who's already an expert.

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