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Web Applications vs Desktop Applications

I know, I know everyone is getting tired of this debate, but I think this site sheds some light on why Web Applications are better than Desktop Applications: http://tinyurl.com/33zpu

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

i wish people wouldn't use tinyurl's. i want to know what site i'm going to before i click on the link.

josheli
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The url was so big I thought it might get broken up if I posted it.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Are we saying that google hits on a search determine which is better?

Somehow I don't think that is 100% accurate.

Anyway, does the common person really understand the difference between a web app and a desktop app? I am not sure if they do.

Experience:
Last month we had an IT manager ask why a Web App has to refresh to get updated values & why the interface isn't the same as our other windows applications. We tried to explain to him about HTTP being stateless and HTML being different from a Windows GUI but he simply scratched his head. Then we mentioned  Active X  & Applets and how they can provide better state and better UI but how our IT organization has banned them (although products they have bought use them and that is OK - but anything we build is not allowed to use such technologies).

Finnally at the end of the conversation he said "I heard that web applications are better than windows applications and that Java is better than microsoft C++ & VB."

Any thoughts?

Gen'xer
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Better can only be determined relative to requirements.
And wild-eyed pure emotional gut feel prejudice.

son of parnas
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Matthew:

Maybe you can do something like this:

http://tinyurl.com/33zpu [googlefight.com]

Joe Grossberg
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I frequently have the same problem - in fact, our salesmen seem to love selling solutions that have us trying to tie web applications to desktop applications, and don't seem to get this fundamental difference.

I try to explain it to them with an example of trying to pay money into a bank. You can do it by going to the bank, where you can request a pay in slip, fill it in, make the payment and get a new balance, and it's all nice and quick. The only problem is, you've got to have a bank right there.

Or you could do it by post - but then you have to write to the bank for a paying in slip, which they post back, you complete and send with your cheque - well, you see where it's going.

Then you highlight the points where you're not sure what is happening - is the cheque lost, has it been paid in, etc., and contrast with having a cashier in front of you. But, for all these disadvantages, you have the plus of being able to bank anywhere in the world.

I've used this to explain it to a few people, and they seemed to understand.

Andy
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Can a long URL get "broken up" when it's just an anchor on a web page?  Hmmm....

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=reply&ixPostParent=157813&sHeadline=Web+Applications+vs+Desktop+Applications


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Nope.

 
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"Better can only be determined relative to requirements."

Amen to that.

Blanket statements to the effect that "x is better than y" are irritating.  Everything has a context.

Norrick
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"Last month we had an IT manager ask why a Web App has to refresh to get updated values & why the interface isn't the same as our other windows applications. "

He is an IT Manager and doesn't know the difference between a web & desktop app?  Doesn't the title 'IT Manager' pressupose you know something about 'IT' in order to 'manage' it? Aye Caramba!

steve-o
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Very insightful Mathew, very insightful.

This forum is decaying
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Go here instead:

http://makeashorterlink.com

It shows you the link and gives you a few seconds to decide if you really want to go there.

E.g.:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?T126250B8

Kyralessa
Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Almost as good as

http://www.pleasemakeashortlinkfromalongerone.com

TomA
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

> He is an IT Manager and doesn't know the difference between a web & desktop app?

Where have you been? The average IT manager these days is an accountant or even an office manager promoted several times into upper management. Why do you think there's so much enthusiasm for offshoring?

Management material
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

http://www.torps.com/ZaphDilbert.jpg

This describes 90% of the IT Managers I have worked for in the past 8 years.

Gen'xer
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Gen'xer:

The proper solution to an IT manager like that involves sharp knives in the dead of night, and something being slipped under the waters of a remote swamp.

Clay Dowling
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Andy, you can easily build you a hybrid solution that gives you the best of both worlds.

Just look at the MSHTML, or Embedded Mozilla.

Wayne
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Stop obsessing over the size of the URL. It's not the size of the URL that's important, it's the content that it points to.

It's all about the content, boyz
Thursday, July 01, 2004

hugeurl.com is pretty cool

Matthew Lock
Thursday, July 01, 2004

Oh! Well.

The URL of this thread into hugeurl into tiny url into hugeurl into tiny url into hugeurl into tinyurl. Click it.

http://tinyurl.com/33gk5

.
Thursday, July 01, 2004

How 1337!

Matthew Lock
Thursday, July 01, 2004

>> Anyway, does the common person really understand the difference between a web app and a desktop app? I am not sure if they do.

Experience:
Last month we had an IT manager ask why a Web App has to refresh to get updated values & why the interface isn't the same as our other windows applications. We tried to explain to him about HTTP being stateless and HTML being different from a Windows GUI but he simply scratched his head <<

This shows the point.  The user doesn't and shouldn't have to care what technology the app uses.  Usually, developers are following their own agenda when they choose to create a web application.  Some legitimate reasons for web apps are:

1) even though deployment can be far less of a headache than it used to be, there is no time to create an installation

2) the users are numerous and anonymous

3) the users want to be able to access application from anywhere

4) performance and functionality are less important

Some legitimate reasons to not use a web application are:

1) The application actually does some work so that scalability requires utilizing a distributed processing

2) A central point of failure isn't desired

3) users are known, ie non anonymous

4) user interface requires state (as soon as a web app tries to maintain state, scalability tanks)

5) richness and functionality of UI is desired

Outlook and OWA is an example of the best of both worlds.  OWA functions as an alternate way to access the same info, but will never displace Outlook.

Gunnar Skogsholm
Thursday, July 01, 2004

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