Coffeehouse Thread

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Beginning of the end for web browsers

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    , dentaku wrote

    The are so many apps out the which have no reason to have ever been made because before smartphones they would have simply been websites.

    That's like saying there are many websites out there which have no reason to ever have been made because before browsers they would simply have been BBSes. Eventually something better comes along and things adapt to that.

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    @Dr Herbie:

    Many mobile apps, yes, the ones you can download in the store, are little more then a web site with an icon. Some are more, because they use JavaScript APIs that are platform specific, but they don't have to be.

    There is no clear separation between a web app and a mobile app. People think of Objective-C or Java when they think native. But it's nonsense. JavaScript/HTML are first class citizens for writing native mobile applications in Android and iOS. Period.

    I know of two very high profile ones, the Facebook and Wikipedia apps that are written in this manner (although Facebook may be rewriting parts of their app in Obj-C). Regardless, sometimes there is no real way to know, since mobile JavaScript frameworks like PhoneGap skin and animate HTML5 interface to follow the same guidelines as the platform's native widget set.

    Really, I fail to see a reason for using Objective-C or Java for writing mobile apps other than if it was some complex 3D game. But there are many reasons not to (code reuse between platforms!, plus IMO, as bad as people say JS is, I think it's a far more pleasant [esp. using CoffeeScript] language to program in then either Obj-C or Java).

    Also I should mention you can even control devices connected to the phone from JavaScript (in some cases, even from web sites directly, but obviously store JS apps have more capability - even ones that are merely a URL pointing to an HTTP server).

    So maybe the web browser is dead, because it's a "mobile app" accessed from some proprietary store vs a URL, but that's like saying the web browser is dead because someone pinned a web site to their desktop and uses that to access it instead of a URL. I just don't see why the distinction is needed.

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    The TypeScript playground is kind of amazing for being some bits of JavaScript hosted on some site. There aren't a whole lot of apps that couldn't be run in a browser.

    I guess it comes down to ownership.  If your bits are in someone else's cloud, I could see how that might cause concern for people that buy DVDs or have terabytes of stuff that most likely doesn't belong to them in the first place.

    And the browser is a good target for progressive enhancement-- something that hasn't taken off on the native end of software development.


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