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Unhosted web applications: a new approach to freeing SaaS

Unhosted web applications: a new approach to freeing SaaS

Posted Feb 4, 2011 8:58 UTC (Fri) by oldtomas (guest, #72579)
Parent article: Unhosted web applications: a new approach to freeing SaaS

I find many ideas in this proposal intriguing and good.

Still, I'm very concerned about the recent trend to funnel everything through HTTP, Json/XML and the browser[1]. I think t's the wrong direction.

There are quite successful models of signed, content-addressable storage around (peer-to-peer networks, Git). There are many other protocols on top of TCP/IP worth considering. And there is a working key distribution model around (pgp, web of trust). Wy re-invent everything?

Peersonally, I am not thrilled by the prospect of having the fat, bloated Web browser as my "second-layer" operating system.

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[1] Of course, Google *likes* this trend :-)


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Unhosted web applications: a new approach to freeing SaaS

Posted Feb 7, 2011 23:54 UTC (Mon) by mich-unhosted (guest, #72652) [Link]

You have quite a valid point there. Because of the restrictions of current in-browser programming, we should use installable software whenever possible. An unhosted calendar app should never be an alternative to an installed calendar app; only to a /hosted/ calendar app.

The (sad?) truth is that end users seem to like web apps. The functional restrictions on in-browser apps make them more distributable ("installation" without root access), and that is apparently what end users value. See also http://rww.to/idBbxI about this trade-off.

Programming for the browser limits us to using JavaScript, doing communication over http, having a window (or tab) open for each app that runs, etc. This is far from ideal, you're absolutely right.

But I'm not saying this undesirable situation cannot be fixed in the long run. We hope the unhosted web will be a temporal hack, a stone in the road back to more software freedom. We try to overhaul the concepts of "website", "web app" and "SaaS". If we succeed, then the next step will be overhauling the concept of "browser".

Unhosted web applications: a new approach to freeing SaaS

Posted Feb 8, 2011 11:00 UTC (Tue) by quotemstr (subscriber, #45331) [Link]

> See also http://rww.to/idBbxI about this trade-off.

Short URLs are a scourge. Please don't them when a normal URL would work fine, such as on LWN.


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