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waldorf
October 11th, 2006, 06:40 PM
With google pushing hard on web-based applications (See http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=355 (http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=355)) are we looking at a future where most people just use the browser on their computer and all the apps and data live on a server farm somewhere?

What does this mean for linux on the desktop?

cunawarit
October 11th, 2006, 06:44 PM
What does this mean for linux on the desktop?

A new begining... It won't really matter to most people what OS they are running because they will interact solely with Web apps. And Linux is free so it has an advantage over Windows/MacOS.

And yes, I do believe that eventually most people will be using online apps almost exclusively. And a new form of personal computer will be born, tiny little things that come with just a browser and not much more.

PS: In a world like that Microsoft will probably aim to retain its domination of the corporate market. Linux might shockingly rule the home. And Apple may be a hardware and record company... The server market might change too, as MS and Apple fight harder against *nix for a share of the pie.

aysiu
October 11th, 2006, 06:46 PM
I believe we are moving in that direction, and it will bode well for desktop Linux, as one of the main barriers to migration (apart from the biggie--preinstallation) is people "needing" Windows-only applications.

Of course, if the online applications start requiring Adobe Shockwave...

henriquemaia
October 11th, 2006, 06:49 PM
I don't think one world will substitute the other - but this is my view. I prefer locally based apps, as I have better control over every aspect (workings, data, etc). And I think I'm not alone in this.

cunawarit
October 11th, 2006, 06:50 PM
Of course, if the online applications start requiring Adobe Shockwave...

True, but someone like Dell will start distributing Linux toguether with non-free software.

gvgerman
October 11th, 2006, 06:53 PM
Web apps have their place. For instance, they're quite useful for easy colaboration. But I worry about privacy!

cunawarit
October 11th, 2006, 06:55 PM
I don't think one world will substitute the other - but this is my view. I prefer locally based apps, as I have better control over every aspect (workings, data, etc). And I think I'm not alone in this.

I agree, the thing is that today the mass market are being given computers that are far too complex for the average Joe. Most people want to browse the Web, write documents, use a spreadsheet, and play games. They don't care about the masses of features that modern OSs and apps have.

So you won't be replacing one with the other, the market will simply separate. Corporates, universities, and enthusiasts will still maintain their own fully featured OSs, and the rest will use online apps.

waldorf
October 11th, 2006, 07:00 PM
Web apps have their place. For instance, they're quite useful for easy colaboration. But I worry about privacy!
The privacy thing I think will be big, particularly in the US. How comfortable will people really feel trusting all this information in someone else's hands. I know of course that there is lots of personal information out there, but this is something people have a tangible choice about.


Of course, if the online applications start requiring Adobe Shockwave..

I hadn't thought of that. Isn't that pretty significant from an open/free perspective?

prizrak
October 11th, 2006, 07:10 PM
Linux already rules the embedded market. With web appliances that you are talking about Linux would be the biggest thing as it will allow for extremely streamlined systems. Privacy concerns can be addressed quite easily with local storage. You might be usin an app online but have an option to save the files it generates locally.

It is highly unlikely that online apps would use Shockwave as the framework. It is way too slow and it would be quite a bit easier to use a fast scripting language for just about anything you can think off save for multimedia. Also with Linux rulling the embedded market and therefore having a good position to enter the web appliance market Flash will be developed for it quite quickly. It is also likely the there will be a uniformed API for those appliances to make sure that if a user gets a Vaio they can still acccess what they did with a Dell. Basically in this case it will be a one unified Linux distro that works exclusively on those appliances.

Desktop applications aren't going anywhere, there are plenty of reasons to keep them around no matter how fast and available the web gets.

man-man
October 11th, 2006, 07:58 PM
I know I wouldnt want all my applications to be web based - what if your internet connection goes down for some reason, youre left without any way of using the computer, or of reading the documents you've created

Or theres the possibility the app providers decided that only certain file types are going to work, or that the copyright guys will be able to look through your files without your knowledge (they dont have the best track record for checking the facts of what a file actually is before sueing)

And the privacy issues too, although things can be very secure, that doesnt make it invulnerable, or secure from the company thats storing them, for example, would you entrust all the files on your hard drive to google? Before you know it theyll be putting adverts into your typed documents, based on what youre writing about

too much stuff to worry about for me, I'll be hanging on to my desktop applications for a while yet :)

prizrak
October 11th, 2006, 08:28 PM
I know I wouldnt want all my applications to be web based - what if your internet connection goes down for some reason, youre left without any way of using the computer, or of reading the documents you've created

Or theres the possibility the app providers decided that only certain file types are going to work, or that the copyright guys will be able to look through your files without your knowledge (they dont have the best track record for checking the facts of what a file actually is before sueing)

And the privacy issues too, although things can be very secure, that doesnt make it invulnerable, or secure from the company thats storing them, for example, would you entrust all the files on your hard drive to google? Before you know it theyll be putting adverts into your typed documents, based on what youre writing about

too much stuff to worry about for me, I'll be hanging on to my desktop applications for a while yet :)
Nothing is invulnerable and your system can be accessed just as well as online storage. As far as Google or whoever being able to access your files, if there are options to locally save file it becomes much less of a problem. All companies are required to have a full disclosure of the terms of service. If I remember correctly according to the MS Office EULA any work produced with it CAN be read by MS for any reason.

aysiu
October 11th, 2006, 08:34 PM
Most people trust some company to host their emails. I don't see how files introduce any additional privacy issues.

Even when I have my own domain, I don't host my server at my actual apartment--maybe some people do--but most people I would think have their emails sent to a university, Gmail, Hotmail, or some other off-site storage.

Even if you use POP3, the messages still go to the off-site server before you download them to your local computer.

Pichu0102
October 11th, 2006, 08:38 PM
I doubt it heavily, for previously stated reasons, and for another reason: Web based apps are not ever going to have the same functionality that modern Apps (Openoffice, for example) provide. While some things like Writely are convenient for things like working on papers at school, there are some things you just need a desktop app for.

IYY
October 11th, 2006, 09:19 PM
I don't use those fancy new Google apps (except for GMail), but even before they became popular I've been using SSH to write LaTeX documents on my University's server, and then grab the PDF through HTTP. Command-line apps are much easier accessed online.

bastiegast
October 11th, 2006, 09:42 PM
Ok, how many years is it gonna take before internet connections are fast enough to play games like Half Life 2, Doom 3, Quake wars over an network.

What kind of CRAZY server you need to run a few thousand games simultaniously on full speed. Really I dont believe this is gonna happen anytime soon.
I wont give up my trusty, tweakable desktop/laptop for some crappy device running embedded linux and a webbrowser.

The gaming market is huge and growing and with it are people who are skilled more than average with the computer. Those people dont use their computer just for surfing and typing. Again, i think this "web 2.0" is a fable, a marketing thing, or at least far away

Also, Microsoft invested millions in their Windows Vista, you might think windows vista sucks, but microsofts does know what it is doing and theyve been doing research for sure, they wont invest tons in a dead case.

BWF89
October 11th, 2006, 11:11 PM
I don't like the idea of my entire computer being completely dependent some server out there.

I don't think web based apps are going to be very useful. For one thing most of the world that has computers is still useing dial up. It's only the US, the richer parts of Europe, and Austrailia where people have good access to broadband to run the web apps. Even with cable internet when I tried out the online version of ThinkFree Office it was incredibaly slow.

Cyraxzz
October 12th, 2006, 12:02 AM
Well that sounds like a thin client. I don't like the idea of a personal system being completely dependent on some remote entity.

AndyCooll
October 12th, 2006, 03:21 AM
As you say, we might very well be moving towards a web based environment ...eventually. For the moment though I'm happier with my desktop stuff.

Having said that, ten years ago access to the Internet for most folk was still a novelty ...and today it's becoming almost a necessity. And whatever direction we end up taking I think the Lnux community is well placed to meet all challenges. Linux itself has grown strong in no small part thanks to the Internet.

:cool:

prizrak
October 12th, 2006, 05:12 AM
Ok, how many years is it gonna take before internet connections are fast enough to play games like Half Life 2, Doom 3, Quake wars over an network.

What kind of CRAZY server you need to run a few thousand games simultaniously on full speed. Really I dont believe this is gonna happen anytime soon.
I wont give up my trusty, tweakable desktop/laptop for some crappy device running embedded linux and a webbrowser.

The gaming market is huge and growing and with it are people who are skilled more than average with the computer. Those people dont use their computer just for surfing and typing. Again, i think this "web 2.0" is a fable, a marketing thing, or at least far away

Also, Microsoft invested millions in their Windows Vista, you might think windows vista sucks, but microsofts does know what it is doing and theyve been doing research for sure, they wont invest tons in a dead case.
We are not talking next month. There is a thread here about Linux disappearing in 2018 due to thing moving in the direction of web appliances. I already have 20mbit down and if I want to pay extra it's 30. Verizon FiOS is pretty widely available, and in the case of US and South Korea for instance there is a fiberoptic infrastructure that spans the entire country. There is also Internet2 that routinely went @ 2-3MB/s for me back when I was in college and on it. There is also IPv6 that offers speed increases over regular v4 in addition to increased address space. Speed is not all in the wires, there is a software component to it. I mean look at cellphones, in the US, which is behind both Japan and Europe in that area, get internet access at DSL speed (about 1mbps according to Verizon).

It is quite feasible that in 5 years or so the first world countries will be up to 100mbit over some sort of broadband. The other countries that are now mostly on dialup will be up to the speeds that we get on broadband nowadays. The other countries will likely be up to either fast dial up or slow broadband. If you take Russia for example (while not really a 3rd world country but without much network infrastructure) in Moscow every new building is wired up with fiberoptics, alot of older ones are getting it as well. I'm talking residential not business. Sure Moscow is a huge city and is more advanced that most others but still.

It doesn't even really matter, all the big companies only care about the people who can afford their products.

As far as gaming goes.
1) Gamers are not technically more proficient than the rest of the computer folk. Not Windows gamers in any case. I happen to know a good number of gamers and the ones that started with DOS usually are more technically apt than the common person. The ones who came in during the DirectX era know very little about computers and how they work.

2) PC gaming has actually been on the decline since PS2 and Xbox came to the scene. There are of course games that would suck on consoles, such as MMORPG's and RTS games but the rest work mostly with consoles. Also there are plans for episode based gaming on the 360 and likely the PS3. You download an episode and play it when you are done you download the next one, of course you pay for each but less than for the whole game. There is your web based gaming.

The thing that most people3 don't seem to understand is that just because things are moving to be web based, doesn't mean that there is no local storage or OS. If you ever used a networked application you know that while it doesn't physically reside on your computer you can save files to it as opposed to the server. Or sharing drives where you can open a file on the remote machine and save it on the local disk. The web 2.0 appliances of the future don't have to be thin clients with no storage capabilities they can combine having an HDD (hell even console do nowadays) for saving content locally and a rudimentary OS that will allow certain things to be executed and accessed (such as the aforementioned games or a file browser).


What kind of CRAZY server you need to run a few thousand games simultaniously on full speed.
This deserves it's own reply. And the reply is:
World of Warcraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, Final Fantasy XI, Star Wars (forget the name), and a huge number of other MMORPG games. Also: Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike, Grand Turismo, Need for Speed, Halo and a huge number of other games that can be played over the web with other people. They all have servers that can support huge numbers of players at the same time. Even now there is more than enough hardware power that can support completely online games (forget the name of the game but there is one that runs 100% online with the 360) through clustering and distributed computing. Computing power is increasing and prices are dropping.

punkinside
October 12th, 2006, 05:18 AM
Of course, if the online applications start requiring Adobe Shockwave...

why use flash when you have AJAX? there are already AjaxOS's in production (or so I read somewhere). AJAX web-apps are incredibly light-weight so they go easy on slower connections and almost as versatile as any "local" language.

In a world with web-based apps, linux (ubuntu) just has to offer better corporate support and windows will go the way of the buffalo...

robinl
October 12th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Well shockwave is different to Flash, there are things such as 3D which you cannot do with Ajax or Flash (<canvas> look promising, although support is far from complete, another one maybe ruby on rails?)

Kimm
October 12th, 2006, 02:11 PM
When I read about webb-apps I start thinking about faschism...
Sure it might be very simple and convenient... but what your doing is basicly giving away your freedom...

prizrak
October 12th, 2006, 02:14 PM
When I read about webb-apps I start thinking about faschism...
Sure it might be very simple and convenient... but what your doing is basicly giving away your freedom...

That is the most random and unlikely association I have ever heard. How is using web apps anything like an idea of Arian supremacy? Also you are using a web app right now, have you given away your freedom?

argie
October 12th, 2006, 03:13 PM
I don't see this happening in the near future. Where I live, broadband (by international standards) isn't very common and dialup is prevalent. Running something like OO.org like that would kill me.

Kimm
October 14th, 2006, 02:20 PM
That is the most random and unlikely association I have ever heard. How is using web apps anything like an idea of Arian supremacy? Also you are using a web app right now, have you given away your freedom?

This is different. But if I would use an Online text editor (like writely) for all my text-editing, I have effectively given away control of my documents.
I can only do whith it what someone else allows me to do.

crane
October 14th, 2006, 04:35 PM
This is different. But if I would use an Online text editor (like writely) for all my text-editing, I have effectively given away control of my documents.
I can only do whith it what someone else allows me to do.

Yes but like you stated.. YOU gave up your documents. They were not taken from you.
I don't see this being an issue yet. Large corps are not going to jump on web based apps that are hosted by google or anyone else. If you made a spread sheet or document with valuable info on it would you do it on an internet app? What if you needed it and you had no internet connecting?
But this open a whole new world for servers. If a company had a server built inside there network to do this, that could be extremely productive.

Naralas
October 14th, 2006, 06:17 PM
I recently had this discussion with a friend. I cannot say that desktop applications are doomed, but look at stuff like the Hundred Dollar laptop project. If something like that was implemented here, a computer in every home, making its own mesh-network as proposed by the people who made the 100 dollar laptop (charity thing for african countries, google it) then web based applications could dominate. Write a version of Linux with only Firefox running. Its already tabbed based, just tweak it so that there is no "open in new window" option... make Firefox a DE in itself... then your off to the races...

Education for everyone. Linux for all! ^_^

picpak
October 14th, 2006, 06:19 PM
Of course, if the online applications start requiring Adobe Shockwave...

*sigh* I can't believe that's the ONE thing I miss from Windows. I wanna play my Miniclip!

Klaidas
October 14th, 2006, 08:44 PM
*sigh* I can't believe that's the ONE thing I miss from Windows. I wanna play my Miniclip!

Dual boot?

picpak
October 14th, 2006, 10:36 PM
For one thing? I'm not THAT desperate.