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Last post Author Topic: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.  (Read 7219 times)

superboyac

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Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« on: August 31, 2010, 06:01:27 PM »
Ugh, once again, another one of my favorite programs is starting to go the "cloud" way, and charging for it.  MyLife Organized.  I love MLO, it's a great program, but I hate paying extra for cloud services.  It's only a buck or two a month, but still.  Also, in their defense, it is optional.

I just don't like all this.  Especially for a program like MLO, if you are going to offer cloud services, I would just be inclined to do it for free like it's an additional feature.  I know, they justify it by saying they have to maintain the server, etc.  It's not like they need a bunch of servers to handle all the gigabytes of information.  If you take all the MLO users and their data, how much do you think there is?  i don't think it's much, and offering free cloud syncing would be great!  We pay for the application, and that's part of it.  FullRecall did it right.  They offered a syncing feature using their servers, but it was free when they added it.

I'm very opposed to paying for an application, and then paying again for a monthly service.  Then what?  It will be more like what Dopus does with some of it's extra features (secured ftp, usb mode) where they charge a few dollars extra for those features.  Then what?  how about we select the features we want a la carte?

You see how silly it is?  It's funny.  These software companies will go a la carte to make more money, and the tv companies will NOT go a la carte to make more money.  Whatever makes more money.  And I get that!  I truly do, I am not opposed to companies trying to make a buck.  I just don't like it as a consumer, and I am becoming increasingly frustrated.  I guess I just want all of us to be aware of it, that's as much as i can do.

Seriously, I'm just going to setup my own file server at home for all these little data files.  I started a thread about having my own dedicated server, but that's not happening any time soon.  But for little things that don't require much bandwidth, I can have my own file server.  I know...you all will say to use Dropbox, but I really want to see if I can just do it myself.  For some reason, I am irrationally opposed to Dropbox.  If I'm going to sync, I want to do it directly to my computer.  no middle man, unless necessary.  And yes, I probably will go to great lengths to try to get it to work, as crazy as I may seem to everyone out there.

tomos

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 11:48:10 PM »
I'm very opposed to paying for an application, and then paying again for a monthly service.  Then what?  It will be more like what Dopus does with some of it's extra features (secured ftp, usb mode) where they charge a few dollars extra for those features.  Then what?  how about we select the features we want a la carte?

You see how silly it is?  It's funny.  These software companies will go a la carte to make more money, and the tv companies will NOT go a la carte to make more money.  Whatever makes more money.  And I get that!  I truly do, I am not opposed to companies trying to make a buck.  I just don't like it as a consumer, and I am becoming increasingly frustrated.  I guess I just want all of us to be aware of it, that's as much as i can do.

There's a fine line there between wanting to make more money and thinking "we'll screw the customers for all we can get". It's probably very subjective but when they go over that line I very much resent it and move on when & where I can
Tom

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 07:15:33 AM »
There's a fine line there between wanting to make more money and thinking "we'll screw the customers for all we can get". It's probably very subjective but when they go over that line I very much resent it and move on when & where I can
I totally agree.  I can't criticize MLO too much for it because it is relatively cheap and optional.  I just don't like the trend in general.  I feel you, though.  There definitely is a line somewhere that's hard to describe.  i guess one of the first things I would ask is, "does this really need to be on someone else's server?  Really?"  Then I move on from there.  The answer is usually no.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 08:00:45 AM »
While I have to admit I've been enjoying this roll you've been on, I've just got to ask... Are you having an I was born in the wrong century/hate technology moment?

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 08:42:24 AM »
While I have to admit I've been enjoying this roll you've been on, I've just got to ask... Are you having an I was born in the wrong century/hate technology moment?
Yeah, i don't know what's happening.  i guess it started when i was thinking about getting an ipad and I started thinking about all of this more seriously.  I've always felt I was born in the wrong century, so to speak.  But i don't hate technology, i love it!  Actually, I do know why this is happening, I just can't talk about it yet....after December....

Stoic Joker

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 09:10:17 AM »
Okay hating technology was a bit broad, maybe it more just the (down the marketing toilet) direction it's going these days. I like computers, and still enjoy working on/with them, but... The whole cell phone/PDA/Epal dependency just irks the hell outa me. Why is it that all of a sudden nobody is allowed to be considered Kewl unless they've got enough electronic gizmos strapped on that they could pass for  :)ing Batman? I-just-don't-get-it...and I'm not sure I want to.

Why the hell do we suddenly seem to need to be entertained/directed/informed/connected every second of every waking minute? Are we that afraid of being lonely? Boredom wasn't really fatal...last time I checked.

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 09:25:56 AM »
Okay hating technology was a bit broad, maybe it more just the (down the marketing toilet) direction it's going these days. I like computers, and still enjoy working on/with them, but... The whole cell phone/PDA/Epal dependency just irks the hell outa me. Why is it that all of a sudden nobody is allowed to be considered Kewl unless they've got enough electronic gizmos strapped on that they could pass for  :)ing Batman? I-just-don't-get-it...and I'm not sure I want to.

Why the hell do we suddenly seem to need to be entertained/directed/informed/connected every second of every waking minute? Are we that afraid of being lonely? Boredom wasn't really fatal...last time I checked.
Haha, yes, I agree.  I'm actually trying to go as minimalist as possible.  Except (a big exception) for my home computer, that thing is a beast and does everything.  But as far as cell phones and all those gadgets, I like them, I think they're fun and all, I just don't have a need for them which is why I've never purchased them yet.  I hate to be one of those "good ol days" curmudgeons, but seriously, I think people are comically afraid of peacefulness...what you're calling boredom I'm calling peaceful times.  People just have a hard time not doing anything and just thinking or relaxing.  Just chill people!  I went to a great jazz show the other day and one of my friends was constantly texting the whole time.  Just couldn't keep his thumb off that iphone.  I find a lot of people my age and younger are a little....spazzy.  They always are looking to have fun.  The irony is that they never find it even when they think they do.  All I want is some peacefulness.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 10:18:37 AM »
I hate to be one of those "good ol days" curmudgeons, but seriously, I think people are comically afraid of peacefulness...what you're calling boredom I'm calling peaceful times.  People just have a hard time not doing anything and just thinking or relaxing.
Actually I used the term boredom to be sarcastic, so we are indeed on the same page there. And at 45 I've already resigned myself to becoming a curmudgeon as the inevitability has become rather clear. I'm Okay with it. :)

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 11:02:07 AM »
I hate to be one of those "good ol days" curmudgeons, but seriously, I think people are comically afraid of peacefulness...what you're calling boredom I'm calling peaceful times.  People just have a hard time not doing anything and just thinking or relaxing.
Actually I used the term boredom to be sarcastic, so we are indeed on the same page there. And at 45 I've already resigned myself to becoming a curmudgeon as the inevitability has become rather clear. I'm Okay with it. :)
I know exactly what you mean.  My nickname at my previous job was "funkiller".

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 11:26:10 AM »
OK, i'm going to start using dropbox.  I've heard nothing but good things about it.
[edit]
although...I'd love to figure out how to set up my home computer to work like dropbox without actually using dropbox.  In other words, I don't want to use their servers.  Can I do a setup on XP using mapped drives or something like that?  I'd need it to work over the internet somehow, but it needs to act like a regular folder, not an ftp site or anything like that.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 11:32:02 AM by superboyac »

jaden

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 03:16:20 PM »
That sounds like SparkleShare's goal, but it's still in its early stages.

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2010, 03:19:34 PM »
That sounds like SparkleShare's goal, but it's still in its early stages.
That looks like an amazing thing and I'm really itching to try it.  Thanks!

jaden

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2010, 06:06:00 PM »
You're welcome.  I first heard about them in June and they haven't made much progress since then, but the idea has a ton of potential.  I'm curious to see what happens with it.

zridling

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2010, 06:33:46 PM »
Beyond one mere app, look for more companies to bundle services to guarantee themselves more money. For example, at home, you've seen your cable or phone company expand to phone/data/tv services, hoping you'll take the easy way and just buy "the package" from one source each month. And once they make that experience difficult enough, it's inconvenient enough to not want to repeat the experience anytime soon.

On the software side, Microsoft has long done this between OS and office suite; Apple with its OS and gadgets; and Google with its "services," notably Gmail. If you're using one, why not all, instead of using a better online (office) app from Microsoft?
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PS: Ever notice that with tiered cable TV packages, all the original-content channels are hoisted onto the most expensive tier? Reminds me of Al Pacino's speech in The Devil's Advocate: "While you're hopping from one foot to the other, they're laughing their asses off!"

Deozaan

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2010, 03:18:59 PM »
That sounds like SparkleShare's goal, but it's still in its early stages.
That looks like an amazing thing and I'm really itching to try it.  Thanks!

I can't remember where I saw it, but when I first heard about SparkleShare on another site, there were comments made about other programs that do the same thing that were already out. I just can't remember what they were or where that site was. :-/

EDIT: Found it!

http://www.downloads...open-source-dropbox/


tranglos

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2010, 07:04:38 AM »
I just don't like all this.

Another great rant! And really, cloud? I wonder what the real market is for all the remote access/share/sync services that have been popping up like crazy. The real market, i.e. the real need, as opposed to "let's just add this cool-sounding feature because we can charge more from subscription users". I mean, not everybody is traveling all the time, not everybody needs a mobile office, and it would seem to me that the number of those who do is rather small compared to those who don't.

With the proliferation of in-browser-only apps, which all charge annual or monthly subscriptions, I suppose the makers of plain desktop apps don't want to feel left out. If you can add an online service (probably spending much less time developing it than you do on the desktop side), you probably will, just to stay on the more profitable leading edge.

I don't have a data plan for my mobile phone, either, and in the last year there was exactly 1 (one) occasion when net access away from home was highly useful to me, though hardly critical. I was asked at the last minute to moderate a debate, and needed to double-check one fact to refresh my memory, so finally I found a use for the WiFi in my cell. Without a subscription, the brief connection to Wikipedia must have cost me 2 or 3 dollars, but that's nothing compared to what I'd have paid for an annual WiFi subscription. Thing is, I can't quite bring myself to believe that most working people in the world need this sort of service at all times - which is what the proliferation of cloud services and such seems to imply.

I should say I don't use MLO, because the properties pane on the right is quite unfriendly to keyboard-only use (and sliders must be the singularly worst UI for setting priority - I'll take a color-coded drop-down list every time). So I use "Swift To-Do List" from Dextronet instead, where I feel more comfortable with the separation of tasks and categories, and have RTF notes with attachments. Dextronet put the development on hold for more than a year though, as they launched their online service by the same name. Why would I want to put my to-do list on someone else's server? Google I can at least trust not to go away (although I wouldn't trust them in any other sense, and they too have been known to discontinue services), but a small company might disappear overnight. Just recently they've released a new version of the desktop app, with some nice additions, but rewritten from scratch in .Net (used to be plain Win32 Delphi) - now it takes 15 seconds to start and flickers like heck... A different topic, this, and a different rant, but the principle of staying buzzword-compatible at the cost of user satisfaction is similar, I think.


tranglos

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2010, 07:19:28 AM »
I know exactly what you mean.  My nickname at my previous job was "funkiller".

Wish there were any fun to it though :) I love technology (well, mostly) and it is indeed fascinating to see all the new inventions and occasionally great UIs and all... except that I have no use for all the clouds and all the sharing craze, and I seriously wonder how many do. At the same time, in the rush to put everything online, I'm seeing a horrible neglect of usability. Any app moved to a browser immediately incurs a huge loss in usability and reliability: no or little keyboard access, slow response, non-standard, poorly implemented UI widgets with less functionality, can lose data if the server hiccups on clicking Submit... and that's just for starters, before you consider availability, privacy and cost.

It's not at all about hating technology. As always, it's about hating sucky technology.


Darwin

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2010, 08:43:48 AM »
Actually, I do know why this is happening, I just can't talk about it yet....after December....

Tease...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2010, 08:54:04 AM »
I know exactly what you mean.  My nickname at my previous job was "funkiller".

Wish there were any fun to it though :) I love technology (well, mostly) and it is indeed fascinating to see all the new inventions and occasionally great UIs and all... except that I have no use for all the clouds and all the sharing craze, and I seriously wonder how many do. At the same time, in the rush to put everything online, I'm seeing a horrible neglect of usability. Any app moved to a browser immediately incurs a huge loss in usability and reliability: no or little keyboard access, slow response, non-standard, poorly implemented UI widgets with less functionality, can lose data if the server hiccups on clicking Submit... and that's just for starters, before you consider availability, privacy and cost.

It's not at all about hating technology. As always, it's about hating sucky technology.
Egg-zactly!  Compared to locally installed software interfaces, the web interfaces suck.  How can a web app compete with a local software?  It can't.  A local software takes advantage of all the hardware that is directly connected to it.  A web interface has to rely on just the data feed coming in...how can it compete?  We already know how slow it is for things like flash pages or videos to load...now we want to run real software on the web?  No thanks.  Take keynote, for example...if I run that on my pc right now, it will be blazing fast.  Each click, every type registers nearly instantly.  The same application in a web browser would be soooooo much slower.  The sluggishness would be obvious.  heck, a lot of companies have a hard enough time making their apps run speedy even when they're locally installed.

Quote
Just recently they've released a new version of the desktop app, with some nice additions, but rewritten from scratch in .Net (used to be plain Win32 Delphi) - now it takes 15 seconds to start and flickers like heck...
You know, I've often wondered about this.  I'm not a programmer nor do I know much about it.  But I've noticed that when programs are written in java or .net, they seem slow and sluggish to me.  You can tell by the responsiveness of clicking and the pauses in between actions...like how long it takes to open up a preferences dialog.  We're talking fractions of a second, but you can tell.  When I see things written in C++ or  other such languages, they are always faster.  It seems like the programs have to "think" less about things.

Why is this?  What is going on?  If those other programs are slower, why do people keep using it?  I've asked this question before, and the response I've gotten is something like, "Well, it depends on the programmer.  Java and .net can be just as fast as C++ if it's done right."  Now I'm willing to believe that, but why do I usually see otherwise?

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2010, 09:01:28 AM »
Beyond one mere app, look for more companies to bundle services to guarantee themselves more money. For example, at home, you've seen your cable or phone company expand to phone/data/tv services, hoping you'll take the easy way and just buy "the package" from one source each month. And once they make that experience difficult enough, it's inconvenient enough to not want to repeat the experience anytime soon.

On the software side, Microsoft has long done this between OS and office suite; Apple with its OS and gadgets; and Google with its "services," notably Gmail. If you're using one, why not all, instead of using a better online (office) app from Microsoft?
__________________
PS: Ever notice that with tiered cable TV packages, all the original-content channels are hoisted onto the most expensive tier? Reminds me of Al Pacino's speech in The Devil's Advocate: "While you're hopping from one foot to the other, they're laughing their asses off!"
Yeah.  All this bundling is annoying.  Since I'm super picky about all my software, this bundling drives me nuts.  I mean, I have about 5 different softwares just to play back videos.  Why?  Hey, I have my reasons.  Each one has a particular strength.  So if I'm that picky about merely playing back videos, what makes companies think I want them bundling all video related functions in one big software?

The answer is...sadly...I'm the weird one.  99.9% of people don't care as much about every little thing in their software.  However, even though I'm in the minority, I still contend that if software (in general) is designed to please people like me, it actually makes the software better for the majority as well.  It's not like it will only appeal to the weirdos.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2010, 10:10:32 AM »
Why is this?  What is going on?  If those other programs are slower, why do people keep using it?  I've asked this question before, and the response I've gotten is something like, "Well, it depends on the programmer.  Java and .net can be just as fast as C++ if it's done right."  Now I'm willing to believe that, but why do I usually see otherwise?
Speed of development and $$$ - Sure Pure Win32 (which I work in) is fast at runtime, but the development time is much longer. With .NET (MFC and the other RAD/OOP tricks) very little time is spent coding the UI because everything is basically drop-in. With C++, you gotta manually code every single line of the UI code yourself. If the objective it to rush something to market ($$$) Pure Win32/API C++ is a no-no.

I'm not really sure on the Java front. Only reason (that I know of) to use it for an app is to make something cross platform quickly. I'd guess being that Java runs virtualized it's doomed to lag a bit behind native code for execution speed.

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2010, 11:51:30 AM »
Why is this?  What is going on?  If those other programs are slower, why do people keep using it?  I've asked this question before, and the response I've gotten is something like, "Well, it depends on the programmer.  Java and .net can be just as fast as C++ if it's done right."  Now I'm willing to believe that, but why do I usually see otherwise?
Speed of development and $$$ - Sure Pure Win32 (which I work in) is fast at runtime, but the development time is much longer. With .NET (MFC and the other RAD/OOP tricks) very little time is spent coding the UI because everything is basically drop-in. With C++, you gotta manually code every single line of the UI code yourself. If the objective it to rush something to market ($$$) Pure Win32/API C++ is a no-no.

I'm not really sure on the Java front. Only reason (that I know of) to use it for an app is to make something cross platform quickly. I'd guess being that Java runs virtualized it's doomed to lag a bit behind native code for execution speed.
Ah, I see.  Thanks for that explanation.  That makes sense.  I want to say it's laziness, but I also understand the dilemma from the developer's perspective.  As a software user, I prefer developer's to use the code that will make it snappy, even if it means a little more time spent developing it.  And I'll pay for it, but we need more than me encouraging this.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2010, 06:28:06 AM »
To be honest, I'm on the edge of caving myself. The IMS I did for our production department is lightning fast and less than 300Kb ... However, it took me a bloody year to write the damn thing.

tranglos

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2010, 01:11:22 PM »
Speed of development and $$$ - Sure Pure Win32 (which I work in) is fast at runtime, but the development time is much longer. With .NET (MFC and the other RAD/OOP tricks) very little time is spent coding the UI because everything is basically drop-in. With C++, you gotta manually code every single line of the UI code yourself. If the objective it to rush something to market ($$$) Pure Win32/API C++ is a no-no.

This is true, and at the same time it shows how badly Borland - then Inprise, then CodeGear, then Embarcadero - dropped the ball. They had a fantastic product in Delphi / C++ Builder due to the Visual Component Library. It was all native Win32 code, but no, you did not have to stitch UI code by hand. The built-in components were good enough for most purposes (and mostly based on native Windows controls), and if they weren't sufficient, there was (still is) a large marketplace for free and commercial components. But Borland never managed to market Delphi out of its niche. Even today, there are major coding-related sites which don't even have a section for Delphi, or bundle it with plain old Pascal, which is quite a misunderstanding.

It can be argued that most of the advantages of .Net had been built right into Delphi since forever. For one thing, facilities like XML and database access, rich data structures and yes, all the visual controls we love to click - still listed today by MS as .Net selling points - Delphi had them since version 1. Sure, it did not have everything: you had to wait until this year to get regular expression support directly in Delphi library - but these blanks were filled in by third party vendors.  And because components are objects, they can be extended and built on without limitations.

Another big selling point of .Net is supposed to be the safety of managed code. No direct memory access means no more buffer overruns, hence no more security holes for a class of exploits. Great, except the problems which .Net guards absent-minded programmers against have never been a problem in Delphi in the first place, unless you really tried to screw up. For users OTOH, the net result is zero: you used to see apps crash with "Invalid pointer operation", now they crash on "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" - pretty much the same programmer error, now wrapped in a protective coat of verbiage.

Third, when Borland (known as Inprise at the time, IIRC) adopted .Net, they pretty much set themselves up for a failure, because they would be forever playing catch-up with Microsoft. There's no way another company could do .Net better (or as fast as) than MS. So when a new version of Visual Studio comes out with support for the latest release of .Net, Delphi lags two or one and a half version back. *And* they're more expensive than VS to boot. That's not a way to win big corporate customers, which is all Borland was trying to do, after all.

It was sad really - reviewers gushing praise on Visual Studio, listing all the "innovative new features", libraries and RAD facilities they were seeing for the first time in their lives, while Delphi had always had them, but they never knew that.

Now they don't even call it Delphi anymore, it's "RAD Studio" - maybe the clearest token of the failure of marketing and forethought. Delphi was a RAD environment when it first came out. Delphi practically invented RAD... but they have so little name recognition that now they have to call it "RAD" on the box, otherwise you'd never know.

I mean, please.... :)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 01:16:37 PM by tranglos »

superboyac

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Re: Yet another application tapping into the "cloud" market.
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2010, 02:38:06 PM »
Tranglos!  Thanks for that history lesson.  Even though i don't get all the details and terms, I find it fascinating.  To me, it sounds very similar to other trends we see in software: bloat and trying to bundle too much together.  Just because .net bundled a lot of things in one package doesn't necessarily make it better.  In fact, it probably makes it worse.  I like the idea of getting a main programming languages and using third-party addons to add additional features and components to it.  It's the same reason why I prefer Windows over Mac.  I can use tons of little third party utilities to make my computing experience awesome.  You don't have those options on a Mac, at least not nearly as much.

I prefer programmers to use languages that result in a speedy program.  If I had a little more time, I'd research the programming languages of my fastest programs to see which languages tended to be used for those.  Is there a way to see the programming language without having to ask the authors themselves?  Is there some way to just analyze the files to see what they are written in?  It sounds like Delphi and C++ are usually pretty zippy.