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Desktop vs. Web Debate

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


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. :)

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.

So, from my viewpoint, it maybe okay for non-sensitive, non-critical material.[/list]
-cranioscopical (November 23, 2010, 08:29 AM)
--- End quote ---

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.

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

Oops. Sorry. Try here:

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.
--- End quote ---

That's my story. And I'm sticking to it! :P

Ok, I suppose them's not really fightin' words, but I tried.
--- End quote ---
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 :P.

(Edited for conceptual typos.)


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