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Author Topic: Desktop vs. Web Debate  (Read 1897 times)
Renegade
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Tell me something you don't know...

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« on: November 22, 2010, 09:03:21 PM »

Hey, let's start a fight and open some wounds~! tongue

 onfire    

In the past I've been averse to moving things to the web, but I think I'm softening quite a bit.

While the desktop is still king over a lot of things, I feel like it is slowly losing ground.

The entire "boot from the web" stuff is still nonsense at the moment, and I think it will remain nonsense for a long time to come. Mostly because of Internet infrastructure requirements just aren't there.

But I keep seeing things that really make sense on the web.

While Flash is still the defacto video method, Silverlight video is far better, and we have yet to see what HTML5 will afford us.

It just seems like there is a lot more that's viable on the web than there was 5 years ago.

Ok, I suppose them's not really fightin' words, but I tried. smiley
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2010, 08:29:25 AM »

The problems seem to come if one puts oneself in the situation of relying on what's on the web.

I'm slowly (very slowly) beginning to see some merit in this but also I have real concerns.
  • I see reports of people left high and dry when their material suddenly becomes inaccessible. In some critical situations, once would be enough to cause real and lasting harm.
  • Official bodies regularly lose data, or disseminate what they should not, so I have to assume that this is fairly widespread across all of the web. I trust nobody with material that matters to me.
  • Viability is compromised for those of us cast adrift in the dinghy of slow or intermittent web access.

    So, from my viewpoint, it maybe okay for non-sensitive, non-critical material.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 08:32:20 AM by cranioscopical » Logged

Chris
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2010, 10:37:14 AM »

    So, from my viewpoint, it maybe okay for non-sensitive, non-critical material.[/list]

    Agreed.  Theres NO way in hell that I would trust anybody else, with something i deem to be highly critical data, no matter what it is.  I will always look for a desktop option, and if there isnt one, I won't do what I need to do.

    This, I suppose, is mainly because you can never fully guarantee that if you upload a file, to have something done to it, whether or not the web developer stores these files for any reason.
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    40hz
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    « Reply #3 on: November 23, 2010, 10:54:11 AM »

    I'm already on record on this topic over here:

    http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=23205.0

    Oops. Sorry. Try here:

    http://www.donationcoder....22377.msg201397#msg201397

    Quote
    The thing that motivated me to post this in the first place was an article by Michale Lankton on the Connected Internet site.

    I'm one of those people that doesn't really like the idea of doing all my important things up on the web. I could write an essay on why, but most people here are savvy enough to see the obvious risks (security, accessibility, service downtime, etc.) that there's little point in writing about what's already well understood.



    One line in Lankton's article, however, triggered what amounted to an epiphany (of sorts) for me. In answer to why he finally embraced Google Apps he said:

    Because my need for synchronization finally outweighed my need to be a software connoisseur.

    And the truth found in that simple statement forced me to reevaluate my entire way of thinking about web-based technologies. Lankton chose to use the word "synchronization." But what I think he was really getting at was the need for something I prefer to call ubiquitous access.

    Ubiquitous access is the unrestricted ability to get at "your stuff" without regard to access platform or the technology employed to store your data. Think of it as "Anything-Anytime-Anywhere" and you've got it down.

    We used to be told that it wasn't necessary to know everything so long as you knew where to go to find the information you needed. Ubiquitous access has a lot in common with that philiosophy.


    That's my story. And I'm sticking to it! tongue
    « Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 11:46:22 AM by 40hz » Logged

    Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
    barney
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    « Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 02:50:31 AM »

    Quote
    Ok, I suppose them's not really fightin' words, but I tried.
    And a mighty try it was/is.
    Until such time as we can guarantee Web/Internet access w/o intervention from any government, the cloud is a pipe dream.  And I doubt that online applications will ever totally replace the desktop.  Reliability is one criterion, security another.  If I happen to be in the wilds of Zambizi, I know that I can move photos from camera to laptop so long as there's a portable generator around.  It's unlikely that I'd be able to find the connectivity to move them to the web.

    Yeah, I know, there are ways - satellite comes to mind - but not as reliable as would be necessary for a total migration.

    Another aspect, one that I find particularly troublesome, is security.  As things stand, and likely for the near future, we'll never know who - or what - is protecting our data.

    Hm-m-m ... whilst I typed, several others chimed it.  I still stand by my statements.

    With a desktop unit - read any standalone PC - I'm still functional, albeit perhaps not communicative.

    One last thing - oh, there are many more - is functionality.  If I need more computing power for some particular purpose, I can achieve or acquire that for the desktop ... that's not necessarily true for the Web-based apps ... they'll be powered for average usage, which will be determined by the population of users for that particular application.

    I know, there are holes in my argument(s) that you could drive a truck through.  But, then, the truck would be a local application, wouldn't it tongue.

    (Edited for conceptual typos.)
    « Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 02:54:08 AM by barney » Logged

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    barney
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    « Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 03:06:50 AM »

    Quote
    We used to be told that it wasn't necessary to know everything so long as you knew where to go to find the information you needed. Ubiquitous access has a lot in common with that philiosophy.

    I'm an advocate of that concept.  If you'll pardon a totally mangled quote, "Genius is not in finding the answer, but in knowing how to find the answer."

    This topic, Renegade's initial post, is under strong discussion amongst some of my students.  While there's been no resort to violence - yet! - the arguments have gotten pretty strident.

    What we've kinda/sorta decided - still up for grabs - is that the current need is a tripod of security, reliability, availability.  Future need will be established after the initial tripod is achieved.
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    Make a good day ... barn
    barney
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    « Reply #6 on: November 24, 2010, 03:21:54 AM »

    Oh, yeah,

    One other thing:  this thread.  Wonder what else might be affected?  And whether the cloud is worth it?
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    Renegade
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    Tell me something you don't know...

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    « Reply #7 on: November 24, 2010, 03:35:23 AM »

    +1 for barney

    Security. Reliability. Availability. Well put.

    We're not there yet, and never will be. Well, at some point, but we're nowhere near right now. However, for casual software, I think we're there. For non-casual software...

    Starting at the last there - Availability. This will always be a problem in remote areas. Satellite is the leveler here at the moment. Many parts of the world have serious issues here. Even electricity is a problem in many places. Even in some big cities. (My wife told me that they had another power outage in Ho Chi Minh the other day. Very common.) An onsite generator solves this. Again though, you're back out of the cloud.

    Reliability. This is actually pretty good, but for many applications this will never be satisfied in the cloud. e.g. Mission critical applications, hospitals, etc. You can't have outages when lives are on the line. C4 systems are at the cutting edge here.

    Security. It will never happen. Not because 2048 bits isn't enough, but because governments will not allow it. If they can grab your private parts, what makes anyone think they won't grab your data or spy on you? (And yes. THEY ARE out to get you~! tongue )

    It really all depends on the application itself. For casual software, I think the web is the way to go. There are no more barriers anymore.

    To be blunt, those that don't have it available to them don't matter because they don't have any money, and that's all that people care about (collectively). (If we actually cared (collectively), we wouldn't allow the 16,000 kids that died of diarrhea today to die like that. That they died shows that we really don't care.)

    For those that don't have reliable access, again, they just need to deal with it for casual usage.

    For security, too many people don't care and are willing to sacrifice here. And for most casual software, security isn't really all that important. Really. Oh, so your game got hacked and you lost your 35th level whatever. Boo hoo. It's not really all that important. Banking on the other hand is totally different.

    Blah... I have to go pack! I'm just procrastinating now.


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    Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

    Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
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