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Google Is Building a Chrome App-Based IDE

timothy posted about a year ago | from the never-close-your-browser dept.

Chrome 209

An anonymous reader writes "Google's Chromium team never ceases to amaze. Its latest project is a Chrome app-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) codenamed Spark. For those who don't know, Chrome packaged apps are written in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, but launch outside the browser, work offline by default, and access certain APIs not available to Web apps. In other words, they're Google's way of pushing the limits of the Web as a platform."

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do you understand those words? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497267)

If they work offline, then it's not the "Web".

Do you understand those words? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497487)

You can still use HTML, CSS, JavaScript and web-local storage when you're offline, then sync data when you're online.

Re:Do you understand those words? (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45497515)

If "can sync data when you're online" => "web app" then thanks to rsync I've just wep-appified EVERYTHING, fuck yeah!

Re:do you understand those words? (2)

digitalchinky (650880) | about a year ago | (#45497499)

The FileSystem API along with FileReader kind of blur this point already.

Oh, you anit-loopback bigots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497703)

So smarmy with your definitions of "web" and "offline".
It's all 1s and 0s, OK?

Embrace and extend (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#45498175)

Do you remember those words. That was how Microsoft set the web back 20 years by killing standards compliance. Now google is the evil.

interesting (1, Funny)

keithwoodie (952189) | about a year ago | (#45497283)

Will be looking for the beta!

Re:interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497329)

Got you covered: Beta [amazon.com]

A browser is not an iPod (5, Insightful)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | about a year ago | (#45497299)

and the way Google does this is by moving processing to the client but maintaining control of the APIs. Which raises the question, in my mind, exactly what value is Google providing that you can't get from existing open APIs and platforms? Seems like the only thing they are "providing" is an expectation in your clients that you support Chrome only, and an API that is guaranteed to break and need maintenance in the near future.

Re:A browser is not an iPod (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45497941)

the only thing they are "providing" is an expectation in your clients that you support Chrome only, and an API that is guaranteed to break and need maintenance in the near future

You're forgetting; A browser is supposed to be a sandbox app. That is, its job is to render data and present an interactive interface to the user -- but not allow automated access to resources on the host system. Their APIs break that. Badly. One need only look to the recent example of Java and it's failed sandbox to recognize the problem here.

Re:A browser is not an iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498801)

POTD

And I'm not usually a git (poster) fan

Re:A browser is not an iPod (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498097)

what value are they getting? control. and, more people that use their shit, the more people see their name, make apps in their store (which generates lots of user data for google to mine), use their browser, use their tracking / analytics bullshit, use their mail, and when google makes an 'offline' client-side framework, think of all the data they can collect off local devices....

Re:A browser is not an iPod (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about a year ago | (#45498663)

I believe the GP was asking: What value is Google providing to the user?

spam wonderful spam (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45497313)

An "anonymous reader" wrote:

Google's Chromium team never ceases to amaze... ...Google's way of pushing the limits of the Web as a platform.

There's nothing amazing about making everything into a fucking HTML+Javascript app with a lowest common denominator of UI features requiring a PC built in the last 3 years and being sufficiently crippled that you'll want to store everything on the "cloud", i.e. on Google's servers.

No, fuck off, Google. I've done dumb terminals, and then terminals with a bit of intelligence+local storage to make things just bearable enough that you're still conned into giving yourself over to someone n thousand miles away who cares as much about your data as he worries about losing the $0/month you're paying him for service.

Re:spam wonderful spam (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497891)

For those who don't know, Chrome packaged apps are written in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, but launch outside the browser, work offline by default, and access certain APIs not available to Web apps

s/don't know/aren't on the Spark development or product team/

Re:spam wonderful spam (0, Troll)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year ago | (#45497929)

you're still conned into giving yourself over

and you're a narcissist that thinks the boring facts of your daily existence are something to be guarded. unless you are the president of a large company or a politician, nobody cares about you ... and if you were, they wouldn't have to break into google to steal your data.

Re:spam wonderful spam (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about a year ago | (#45498673)

But are the boring facts of my daily existence worth posting online in the first place?

Re:spam wonderful spam (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#45498745)

unless you are the president of a large company or a politician, nobody cares about you ...

We were thinking you could fire 500,000, from one of the smaller companies?

Fire one million.

and if you were, they wouldn't have to break into google to steal your data.

Nobody has to break into Google to get your data, Google will hand it over to the government on request. Is it Evil to comply with an Evil order?

Re:spam wonderful spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497943)

There's nothing amazing about making everything into a fucking HTML+Javascript app

That's right!

https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/XUL

Re:spam wonderful spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498639)

This is exactly it. It's just a different API and language set for the client. We already have robust tools for client apps, now we're doing it all over again on the browser platform on the client, but with five layers of abstraction on top of it and performance that matches hardware of five years ago. Not to mention jscript isn't the language to be building all your apps in - much better client-side languages and environments exist.

This is all just Google trying to steal the OS market away from Linux and Windows by making OS a commodity to run the browser.

What the hell is the point? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497319)

I really don't get the point, other than keeping computer people employed through layers and layers and layers and layers. As computers get more powerful, it seems software only gets more needlessly complicated and accomplishes the same thing at the same speed as it used to using old hardware and far less code and layers.

Re:What the hell is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497477)

agreed
been saying the same thing since 1995. reinventing the wheel.... over and over...

Re:What the hell is the point? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#45497527)

I like the idea of Firefox OS phones though, in that environment you don't have that many layers, just the web crap and javascript host that you needed anyway to look up web pages. It has the uglyness and inefficiency you complain about but at the same time the OS is kept small, gets security updates and you would be able to download those security updates easily enough through 3G/4G or wifi. The execution speed problem is dealt with by throwing brute force at it (low power, 1GHz ARM). If security/privacy features are adequate that's the first smartphone/phablet thing I can consider owning. (domain blocker, NoScript equivalent, fine grained permissions along with global rules like "any application that uses GPS can't use networking")

Re:What the hell is the point? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year ago | (#45497949)

I like the idea of Firefox OS phones though, in that environment you don't have that many layers, just the web crap and javascript host that you needed anyway to look up web pages. It has the uglyness and inefficiency you complain about but at the same time the OS is kept small, gets security updates and you would be able to download those security updates easily enough through 3G/4G or wifi. The execution speed problem is dealt with by throwing brute force at it (low power, 1GHz ARM). If security/privacy features are adequate that's the first smartphone/phablet thing I can consider owning. (domain blocker, NoScript equivalent, fine grained permissions along with global rules like "any application that uses GPS can't use networking")

exactly, the *idea* of FFOS. how do you know carriers don't add tracking / spying software into the phones running FirefoxOS? i don't think FirefoxOS is in some commanding market position where they can demand carriers don't touch the software of devices running on their network.

How would GPS and net be mutually exclusive? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45498523)

global rules like "any application that uses GPS can't use networking"

How should a navigation application that doesn't use networking obtain maps of the area around the device? Or how should a navigation application that doesn't use GPS know where the device is located?

Re:How would GPS and net be mutually exclusive? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#45498671)

I can zoom the map myself to know where I am, and as for the GPS data it can be used to record trips on local storage without sending the data to Google or another 3rd party.

Re:How would GPS and net be mutually exclusive? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45498859)

I can zoom the map myself to know where I am

But how would you know on which point to zoom if the application cannot use GPS to display your current location as an icon on the map?

and as for the GPS data it can be used to record trips on local storage

Perhaps I don't know how people use GPS-enabled devices in the real world, but I was under the impression that far fewer people have a need to "record trips" than to see where the stopped vehicle is located with respect to the map around it right freaking now.

Re:How would GPS and net be mutually exclusive? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#45498741)

Disclaimer, the settings/options I talk of are a wishlist rather than something I know is existing, I don't know how stuff work on current - still early - Firefox OS. Never seen a phone with it yet.

Re:What the hell is the point? (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#45497925)

Basically everyone recognizes Eclipse is a load of crap.

Some would say this is because it's a poorly designed mismatch of "integrated modules" written by developers who had half of a good idea, implemented half of it, and then gave up, leaving the rest of us to put up with things like autocompletion systems that physically get in the way, bizarre default file associations, and "features" like network access that are rendered virtually unusable by being buried by several layers of confusing "user friendly" GUIs.

Others, such as Google, however, believe the problem with Eclipse is that it's written in Java. If only it were written in something logical like CSS, maybe coupled with something readable like HTML, perhaps held together with something stable and feature complete like Javascript, which can control the other elements using something intelligently designed, standardized, and completely quirkless like the Document Object Model, you'd have an IDE that would truly shine.

Re:What the hell is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498729)

Others, such as Google, however, believe the problem with Eclipse is that it's written in Java. If only it were written in something logical like CSS, maybe coupled with something readable like HTML, perhaps held together with something stable and feature complete like Javascript, which can control the other elements using something intelligently designed, standardized, and completely quirkless like the Document Object Model, you'd have an IDE that would truly shine.

I suspect there may be a dash of sarcasm in that paragraph, but this being the Internet, it's hard to be sure.

The love affair with JavaScript reminds me of a Microsoftie once complaining (this was about 10 years ago) that many of his coworkers seemed to think that almost any problem could be solved by throwing more XSLT at it.

Re:What the hell is the point? (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#45498225)

I really don't get the point

Hardware and OS independence?

When the public can develop only web apps (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45498543)

Often a device manufacturer is willing to expose a web browser but not a compiler to the unwashed masses of amateur developers. For example, the first Wii homebrew games appeared in early 2007 as Flash objects and JavaScript programs running inside the "Internet Channel" browser by Opera.

Collaboration (1)

willy_me (212994) | about a year ago | (#45498925)

This browser based app must bring something new to the table to be relevant. My guess is that it will greatly simplify multiple people collaborating on the same project. Solutions already exist but they are not nearly as seamless as they could be. I still remember seeing Smultron [peterborgapps.com] for the first time and being very impressed. As far as text editors go, it's nothing special but the ability for several people to edit the same file at the same time was (and still is) impressive.

No one knows exactly how this project will turn out but you can bet Google has their reasons for funding it. I'll take a wait and see approach before passing judgement. It is probably not for me (or you) but will be perfect for others. And if it requires all of these layers to accomplish it's goals then it is not a waste.

But... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497323)

...if it's offline rather than online and will only work on Chrome, what's the point of using HTML, CSS and Javascript with all the limitations that entail rather than a normal language with a normal runtime? The whole point of web programming is that it works anywhere. If it doesn't, you're just writing desktop programs using a silly API.

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#45497385)

Because the Chromebook. They already have a desktop web OS, which competes with Windows and Apple laptops, and it sure makes sense being able to develop web apps or Chrome apps from that environment.

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45497417)

Imagine if Microsoft had released an MS-branded laptop which only allowed you to use HTML+Javascript and Silverlight apps, and then released a development environment which ran under Silverlight.

That'd be as retarded as this is.

Re:But... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497537)

But this is Google! Goooooooooooogle!

Intriguing ... (4, Interesting)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45497663)

"They already have a desktop web OS [Chomebook], which competes with Windows and Apple laptops"

I guess Chromebooks are selling well --- but I haven't seen one in a store (I avoid "un-Best Buy") --- or one in real life.

Yet ...

I'll have to keep an eye out ...

Re:Intriguing ... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#45497887)

I've looked at them ... not for me, but for the sort of person that I sometimes eed to suppport. Like setting them up with a Linux laptop it takes the vast majority of the support issues away while not really removing any capabilities normally required by this sort of person. Not a bad deal, although it would be nice of they started pushing the higher res screens at better prices.

Local webapp (5, Interesting)

paugq (443696) | about a year ago | (#45497325)

First we tried to replace desktop apps with webapps and that's why we stood the awkwardness and immaturity of JavaScript, CSS and HTML. At least, we could justify it by saying "you'll be able to access the application from everywhere" (not true: new versions of browsers broke apps everytime)

Now, we are using those same immature and awkward technologies (JS, CSS, HTML) to develop local apps, which could be developed in C#, C++ or even Delphi in a fraction of time, integrate better with the platform and have more direct access to local APIs. I'm sorry but I don't understand this.

And yes, JavaScript, CSS, etc are way immature if you compare with what you can do in C# (WinForms, WPF), C++ (Qt, Boost) or even Delphi. The debugging process in itself is a nightmare.

Re:Local webapp (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497415)

Most people spend most of their time in web applications. Youtube, Facebook, gmail, Netflix, etc. Show them a traditional fat client and they think it's weird and awkward. When they're not doing that they're playing games, which are flash/actionscript for the most part.

Stick-in-the-mud fuddy-duddies haven't noticed that.

Re:Local webapp (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45497445)

Show them a traditional fat client and they think it's weird and awkward.

You're just making shit up. "Apps" are the Big New Thing. Never before have there been so many "traditional fat clients". The thing is they're only being released for mobile platforms, while the PC platform desperately tries to get rid of them. And why? Because two or three huge companies hate Microsoft, and think this is the way to wrest control of the APIs.

It's working.

But it's not for the user's benefit - at all.

Re:Local webapp (0)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#45497897)

Why would these huge companies hate Microsoft? What did Microsoft ever do to them? /s

Enjoy the irony of somebody complaining about poor little bullied Microsoft.

Re:Local webapp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498655)

Google is in your living room drinking your beer and sleeping with your wife. But you're outside bitching at the neighbors about Microsoft, the guy way down the street who wants everyone to have the same manicured lawn.

Re:Local webapp (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45498749)

but the point of these is that they're as if they were traditional fat client apps.

they're just trying to grab the share that phonegap etc are already having.

while also making a base for removing access to the underlying operating system in chromeOS.

Re:Local webapp (1)

Salgat (1098063) | about a year ago | (#45497431)

Try looking into alternatives to Javascript, such as CoffeeScript or Dart. They make programming a lot easier. Dartlang in particular feels a lot like programming in C (syntax wise) but with the object orientation of Python.

Re:Local webapp (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#45497575)

Because the way to stop the issues with bloated web code is to add more layers!

Re:Local webapp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497963)

Paid Native Applications are past! Where Low Cost Web Apps is the future!

Re:Local webapp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497831)

Frankly, Dart and Coffeescript and such are solutions looking for a problem. Why not just code in your own language of choice and use LLVM to compile down to Javascript? If Google had any sense they would take the slower and more effective route too, rather than trying to replace every part of the web with their own version. If Google adopts asm.js with the new NaCl runtime, then things will be all the sweeter for performance-centric apps. But I doubt Google will do that, they have their own tech to push in their transparent attempts to rewrite the Internet stack their own way.

Re:Local webapp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497451)

Because the user doesn't have to download and install the app through an installation wizard. The browser does it for him/her.

Hmmm, I seem to remember something like that before... called Java Web Start (or IcedTea-Web) with the advantage of almost the entire Java API libraries behind it. Microsoft also has ClickOnce.

Re:Local webapp (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#45497631)

I've seen the 'entire Java API libraries' aspect described as a giant attack surface. That's one easy to understand explanation for the security problems with Java, and client-side execution of arbitrary java code downloaded from the internet is now pretty much dead.

Re:Local webapp (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#45497465)

I think that, what they do well is go cross platform easy. moving C++/C# From windows, to mac to linux is hard, takes time. But webapps generally work anywhere. I agree that JS, CSS and HTML are a pain in the ass... I'd love to see something new that compared to C# in ease of coding and power, but had the interoperability of JS. I myself will stick with the more robust languages. I still learning and not a great coder yet so all the wishy washynes of JS, etc... drive me nuts.

Re:Local webapp (-1, Troll)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#45497585)

moving C++/C# From windows, to mac to linux is hard, takes time.

Only if you're incompetent and wrote shit code from the get go.

Re:Local webapp (1)

jon3k (691256) | about a year ago | (#45498121)

Spoken like someone who's never worked on any large or complex piece of software.

Re:Local webapp (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45498577)

It takes time to port an application from Windows to OS X, even if only time to earn the money to replace your current computer with a Mac on which to test the OS X port of your application.

Re:Local webapp (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45497687)

Seconded. Programming languages --- you can have any 2 of: easy, universal, powerful --- but never ALL 3. Drives me crazy sometimes.

Re:Local webapp (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497709)

> I'd love to see something new that compared to C# in ease of coding and power, but had the interoperability of JS
It's called Java Standard Edition

Re:Local webapp (5, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | about a year ago | (#45497481)

Adding my rant, particularly about how this is far from an isolated incident...

Some notable examples....

Palm's WebOS bragged on how developers *got* to use javascript and css to develop local applications.... Despite some decent UI design elements, the thing was a beast to develop for in that model.

Gnome 3 in it's infinite wisdom has gone to javascript and css for their shell...

iPhone in its original vision figured web browser would suffice before realizing pretty quickly that a decent framework would be called for...

Of course we also have the peculiar entity of Node.js, because web developers had to deal with languages that were just too reasonable in the webapp server space (yes, I know the I/O semantics natively act in a reasonable manner, but things like eventlet bring that sort of model to python).

It's related to the phenomenon where so many vocal developers believe if you do *anything* over a network it better be http. I've even seen scenarios where developers have advocated for http over TCP as IPC for multiple processes that are related by common fork() ancestory, meaning they couldn't possibly run on distinct servers (ignoring the massive security exposure it represented on top of the weirdness).

Now there are decent and reasonable things in the space (e.g. network apis that reasonably *can* map to REST semantics can be explored decently) among the abominations (e.g. SOAP which of course has been plaguing the world for a long time, but still it's the best example of a widespread moronic standard over http for no good reason on top of being a mess in and of itself). Of course everyone jumping on the 'REST' bandwagon means a great deal of interfaces claim to be that way without really usefully being in that camp, and even in apis where it's done mostly correctly, developers think they suddenly have no obligation to write client libraries or utilities or even so much as document it. It's the latter that seems to be most prolific sadly...

Makes some sense even to use HTTP for IPC... (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#45498419)

I've even seen scenarios where developers have advocated for http over TCP as IPC for multiple processes that are related by common fork() ancestry

Although I admit it sounds a bit odd on the face of it you get to use whatever frameworks help you deal with REST communications, plus also later you could more easily actually move those operations to separate servers.

SOAP which of course has been plaguing the world for a long time

It has been but it's really a paper tiger at this point, few people use SOAP anymore, most everyone has moved to JSON over REST because of the many advantages.

Even the most imperfect of REST implementations is still lots nicer to deal with than the best SOAP implementation.

Re:Local webapp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497583)

There's this amazing technology called Java that's particularly apt for desktop applications, but anymore people just get it confused with JavaScript and webapp configuration files (that's actually Java, wrapped in XML).

Web People vs. Desktop People (5, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year ago | (#45497691)

Here's my memory of what happened. Maybe it's falsely implanted by the NSA. Feel free to mod down -1 Heretical.

When the web first was popular, the web folks told us that web apps would replace desktop apps. And the desktop people said "what about dynamic and interactive GUI's that fat client apps provide?" And the web people told the desktop people "users won't really miss that. HTML by itself is good enough." And when no one was looking, the web folks snuck JavaScript and DHTML through the back door to cover up the insufficiency they denied existed with web apps

Then later on, the web folks told us that web apps would replace desktop apps. And the desktop people said "what about asynchronous network communication that fat client apps provide?" And the web people told the desktop people "users won't really miss that. HTML + DHTML + JavaScript by itself is good enough." And when no one was looking, the web folks snuck Ajax through the back door to cover up the insufficiency they denied existed with web apps.

Then later on still, the web folks told us that web apps would replace desktop apps. And the desktop people said "what about the offline storage that doesn't require network communication that fat client apps provide?" And the web people told the desktop people "users won't really miss that. HTML + DHTML + JavaScript + Ajax is good enough." And when no one was looking, the web folks snuck HTML5 offline storage through the door to cover up the insufficiency they denied existed with web apps.

From my point of view I see an endless cycle of web zealots who keep saying that fat clients are irrelevant, yet who seem to be adding one layer of kludge after another just to keep up with basic fat client functionality that they keep denying is unimportant to users. After all I've seen, I really can't take web people very seriously.

Re:Web People vs. Desktop People (2, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45497697)

Beautifully put.

Re:Web People vs. Desktop People (3, Insightful)

LoztInSpace (593234) | about a year ago | (#45498241)

Very nice. Don't forget also that once introduced, each iteration is then actually hailed as something revolutionary rather than something missing and that was solved/commonplace years ago.

Re:Web People vs. Desktop People (2)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#45498257)

So, what's the next insufficiency? At some point the web folks will say that web apps can replace desktop apps, and there won't be anything left that isn't covered. I think we're actually getting very close to that point.

Graphics (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#45498437)

So, what's the next insufficiency?

Note that web apps still underpowered in terms of graphical capability.

At some point the web folks will say that web apps can replace desktop apps

Just like at some point it's inevitable we'll have flying cars?

Re:Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498587)

So, what's the next insufficiency?

Note that web apps still underpowered in terms of graphical capability.

Or more generally, anything that needs number crunching performance...in realtime. Updating a big spreadsheet comes to mind, Google Docs spreadsheets suck once they get beyond a few screen fulls.

Re:Graphics (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#45498713)

So, what's the next insufficiency?

Note that web apps still underpowered in terms of graphical capability.

Or more generally, anything that needs number crunching performance...in realtime. Updating a big spreadsheet comes to mind, Google Docs spreadsheets suck once they get beyond a few screen fulls.

That's why NaCl is under development. Though, in general, I think the direction of the future for number crunching performance is to do that part in the cloud.

Re: Web People vs. Desktop People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498509)

The point is to make human resources useful.

Gamepad, webcam, graphics, printing, memory mgmt (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45498627)

So, what's the next insufficiency? At some point the web folks will say that web apps can replace desktop apps, and there won't be anything left that isn't covered.

Good luck getting robust gamepad, webcam, 3D graphics, audio/video codec (WebM vs. MP4 format war), and shipping label printer support working across more than 90 percent of desktop and mobile browsers. For example, Apple has implemented WebGL in iOS but allows it only in iAds because WebGL in regular web apps would compete with the $99 per developer per year plus 30% of sales it gets from the App Store.

Good luck getting robust multitasking and memory management in a mobile web application. In Chrome for Android and Firefox for Android, if I have a complex web application open, and I switch to another tab and switch back, the browser will often purge the page from memory and reload it from the network, causing me to lose what I have entered into the web application. This happens when the browser runs out of memory.

Re:Gamepad, webcam, graphics, printing, memory mgm (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#45498863)

Good luck getting robust gamepad

Lack of standardization may be an issue there, true. But games of significant complexity in general are going to be platform-specific. Of course, the bar for games that can work as web apps keeps rising.

webcam

That problem is already pretty well-solved. Google video hangouts work well across a wide variety of systems, for example.

3D graphics

There's no real reason that should be hard. We've had solid 3D graphics standards for decades, and while fragmentation due to rapid progress has been an issue (plus some deliberate MS-induced fragmentation), at this point 3D is pretty commoditized. Which isn't to say that this is a solved problem, but just that it's not a technical problem.

audio/video codec (WebM vs. MP4 format war)

Meh. That's just a matter of getting people to stop fighting.

shipping label printer support

If you don't mind needing to be online when you print, that's not an issue either. Drivers in the cloud.

Re:Local webapp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497981)

Did you just mention C#? How portable of you

Re:Local webapp (1)

jon3k (691256) | about a year ago | (#45498091)

I think you make a good point, but I also think the ability to deliver apps easily and provide broad cross-platform compatibility with web apps (html+css+javascript) offers some advantages as well. It also allows us to use the same set of tools to develop local applications as web based applications, which is more accessible to a broader set of developers.

Scroogled! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497341)

Now they can STEAL your personal information that much faster.

Worlds collide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497409)

On one side: the long forgotten idea of adding network functionality to native apps where it makes sense. The native apps are fast and generally written in one language. Not all such code is clean, but it can be when you have the right team.

On the other side: stripping out network dependency from apps that were originally written to be cross-platform and network oriented. The ntework apps are slow and generally written as mongrels. Most such code is dirty, and even if you have the right team it tends to be kind of a train wreck.

So. They finally brought the speed, elegance and maintainability of web apps to the desktop. Woohoo! (in angry Homer Simpson voice) I. Said. Woo. Hoo.

Dumb (1, Interesting)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#45497497)

Just the latest step in the "anything but C" parade.

The only reason this bullshit continues is because developers are too fucking lazy to learn to write in a real programming language.

When Google writes Chrome itself in HTML 5, then real programmers will listen. Until then, it's just another inflatable doll for lazy people to hump and say they got laid.

yay slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497505)

Lookit how amazing! beta-alpha-maybesomeday $product! By google! Says some AC, who is totally not employed by google, obviously, because google has a real name policy!

NO IE6 support?! (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45497511)

What kind of terrible crackpots are these guys. Any PHB will tell you if it wont look right in IE 6 then something MUST be wrong with the developers.

After all they create things with FrontPage 2000 all the time. How hard can it be?!

Re:NO IE6 support?! (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45497571)

Anything on the web which requires more than IE6 is excessively complicated or needless eye-candy.

The web is first rate for delivering information, and third rate for delivering software.

Re:NO IE6 support?! (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45497707)

I hate IE6 -- being a normal sensible human being --- but your statement is so true about the kludge of the level of reliability and consistency of "online software".

(Which is sadly why a lot of it is made in Flash and avoiding browser kludge --- ugh!)

One example: My Android phone's default web browser cannot use the Gmail.com site correctly!

FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497605)

A Google Marketing team member writes...

Nothing new. GIB has been a browser IDE for years. (5, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | about a year ago | (#45497683)

What's all the excitement? The General Interface Builder [generalinterface.org] is basically full-blown bsd licensed browser-based offline IDE of Eclipse proportions. It's quite amazing, certainly speeds up development of non-trivial GeneralInterface Ajax Applications quite a bit and is very well matured.

I'm not holding my breath for Google to catch up on GI anytime soon.

My 2 cents.

Re:Nothing new. GIB has been a browser IDE for yea (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | about a year ago | (#45497767)

GIB looks interesting, but the last release was more than two years ago.

I can't understand software anymore (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497719)

What's next? An IDE that lets me browse the Web? A word processor that lets me drive CNC machinery?

Re:I can't understand software anymore (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#45497807)

EMACS was released in 1976 and I'm pretty sure can do both of those things.

Re:I can't understand software anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498617)

EMACS was released in 1976 and I'm pretty sure can do both of those things.

Back at the MIT AI Lab, EMACS had an escape sequence (maybe it was Alt-meta-e ??) that would call the elevator to the 9th floor. Very slow elevator, very convenient to call it when leaving your terminal, saved a lot of time waiting in the elevator lobby.

Re:I can't understand software anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498685)

No No no sir, come over here and use emacs.com! It's 100% jscript and HTML5! It does things you can't imagine! And it does them all, inside the browser and in the cloud! This is what you need, not that all that old legacy emacs.exe.

Google is actually crippling JavaScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497803)

In other words, they're Google's way of pushing the limits of the Web as a platform.

If Google was actually interested in pushing the limits of the Web as a platform, they'd find a way to provide local file access from JavaScript.

But local file access is Kryptonite to Google. I found that out the hard way when I bought a Nexus 10 and was horrified to learn that it had no out-of-the-box capability to access local files of any kind -- it can't even display something as simple and universal as a PDF file on a USB flash drive. At that moment, I finally understood what Google's master plan is for the world -- to take away the convenience of local file access so that we're forced into the cloud. Once you understand that, everything Google does makes sense, and the magnitude of Google's evil becomes crystal clear.

I've been waiting patiently for years to see full local file access added to JavaScript, so that I can start using HTML/JavaScript for general app development. But now I understand why JavaScript will never have this -- Google's goal is to cripple JavaScript and to make sure it can only be used to created cloud-tethered applications, and they have the power to make it so.

JS file APIs, MTP, and Rhmsoft File Manager (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45498721)

If Google was actually interested in pushing the limits of the Web as a platform, they'd find a way to provide local file access from JavaScript.

Google could even call it something like chrome.fileSystem [chrome.com] or File API [w3.org] .

I bought a Nexus 10 and was horrified to learn that it had no out-of-the-box capability to access local files of any kind

Then you didn't try plugging your into a Windows PC to copy files on and off it using MTP. (On Linux, recent versions of gvfs have added MTP support, and it should land in Ubuntu LTS next year.) The other way is to go to Google Play Store and download Rhmsoft File Manager. I use it on my first-generation Nexus 7 tablet to browse SMB shares over Wi-Fi, copy files to the device's internal memory, and launch them on the device.

it can't even display something as simple and universal as a PDF file on a USB flash drive.

I'm over 98 percent sure that the USB flash drive came formatted in a file system on which Microsoft owns one or more United States patents. Google and ASUS don't want to pay more royalties to Microsoft than they have to, which is why a lot of devices have been dropping support for microSD cards and USB flash drives. Use MTP over USB or SMB over Wi-Fi to copy local files onto your device.

Yes, Javascript definitely is the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497833)

A weakly typed language with often indeterminate behaviour as a result (can multiply a number by a string if it contains "2" but not "banana", possibly might work with "two") is a really solid future for application development, especially as it contains none of the benefits of strongly typed OO languages........

Add to that the fact that all the Javascript I've had the misfortune to have to work with commercially has been completely undocumented (as "the end users might see the documentation if they view the source in their browsers") and this looke like a surefire turkey once the marketing hype wears off.

So Amazing!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497899)

Everything Google does is so amazing! Amazing while selling you to its customers the advertisers!!

Haven't we heard this before? (3, Informative)

Karlt1 (231423) | about a year ago | (#45498263)

2007 Apple - you don't need native apps. You can build great web apps. Developers complain. Apple released a native SDK.

2009 Palm. You can build great apps using the web technologies you already know. Developers complain. Palm releases native SDK.

2011 RIM announces that you can build great apps using the technology you know. Developers complain. RIM releases native SDK.

Re:Haven't we heard this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498525)

Why is it that so many corporations who hire lots of programmers try to push HTML + Javascript for everything? Is it because web programmers generally are cheap, and they think they will be able to replace expensive programmers with cheap programmers and still get the same result? Don't they realise that the reason that web programmers in general are cheaper is not because of any technical property of web programming as such, but because for the last two decades the vast majority of coders have started out writing web pages, and some never bothered to learn anything else?

Developer licensing (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45498755)

Why is it that so many corporations who hire lots of programmers try to push HTML + Javascript for everything?

Perhaps some of it is that startups want to get their apps onto a device without having to sign up for an expensive developer license. License agreements to develop native applications for game consoles and BREW phones have historically required overhead that startup companies could not afford.

i'm minh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498511)

I'm not holding my breath for Google to catch up on GI anytime soon.

  vietnam motorbike tours [vietnammot...etours.org]

motorbike tours in vietnam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498533)

the only thing they are "providing" is an expectation in your clients that you support Chrome only, and an API that is guaranteed to break and need maintenance in the near future You're forgetting

  motorbike tours in vietnam [vietnammot...etours.org]

Re:motorbike tours in vietnam (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45498665)

Interesting, a spam message which actually tries to tap something from the context of the discussion.

C++ Make the world a better place, again. (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about a year ago | (#45498613)

Honestly, why cant they just teach kids C++ at school, instead of Java/HTML/"My language is better than yours but the same, Java 2.0"?
- Teach them the "hardest" language first C++ (Minus machine code).
- The language that encourages you to write with performance in mind, and, gives you a reward for doing so.
- A language that isnt forced full of external functions which allow you to write shit code, and, bog down compiled performance.

- Wait 10 years

- Take note as every application in the world is done professionally, with a C++ writer behind the wheel.
- Take note as webpages actually run on a current system without bogging down.
- Take note as games/applications no longer kill battery life on your phone.

Whether they are using Java/HTML etc etc, their C++ background will help them understand "true" world performance when creating an application.

Well theres my "Wishful thinking post of the week" lol :)

Visual Studio Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498631)

Microsoft just released a full fledged Visual Studio IDE that ties in with server side languages as well as Azure.

http://visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/2013/11/13/microsoft-announces-visual-studio-online.aspx

Komodo, anyone? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498765)

So, basically Google is taking it on itself to do for Chrome what ActiveState did for Mozilla years ago -- which led to the excellent and constantly improving Komodo IDE (build on the Mozilla framework)?

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