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On 17/11/2010 18:22, jonathon wrote:
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On 11/17/2010 04:25 PM, Mirek M. wrote:

I'd say that a web app should have higher priority here,

This should be an independent project.

In an ideal world, the code would be modular and clearly commented, so
that any developer could pick up  various pieces, either to port it to a
new platform/OS, or to refine them a specialized function.

web apps work on all platforms with a modern browser

The Internet is not always available.  And where it is available, it is
not always cheap.
[ The data plan for my smartphone costs double that of my cable
connection, but only offers 1/10,000 of the data transfer that my cable
connection offers. Data transfer surcharges can reach US$1.00 per
kilobyte.  (Data transfer, not data speed.) ]

an open-source web app has many more possible uses than a desktop app;

The number of potential users is meaningless. What counts is the number
of people that can, and will use it.

the mobile OS market is still pretty unstable: there's no clear
platform to develop for.

If you are waiting for a clear platform to develop for, you will wait

At best, there will be three dominant platforms for mobile devices, and
three dominant platforms for desktop devices, and three dominant
platforms for gaming consoles, for a total of ten different platforms to
code for.

The worst case scenario is that there will be five dominant mobile
device platforms, with another five dominant desktop platforms with
another five dominant gaming consoles, for a total of sixteen different
platforms to code for.

In either instance, you are looking at between twenty and thirty
different platforms, in order to support user-expectations, in terms of
cross-platform availability.

all the other mobile operating systems haven't yet reached the level of
marketshare that iOS and Android have.

2010 2Q Marketshare
Symbian: 41.2%
RIM: 18.2%
Android: 17.2%
iOS: 14.2%
WinMO: 5%
Linux: 2.4%
Other: 1.8%

Source: (August 2010)

To call Android and iOS marketshare leaders, when they are more than
twenty percentage points behind the OS with the highest market
penetration reveals a lack of knowledge of mobile device marketshare.

Compared to 2009 2Q the marketshare is not there either:
Symbian: 51.0%
RIM: 19.0%
iOS: 13.0%
WinMo: 9.3%
Linux: 4.6%
Android: 1.8%
Other: 1.2%

* Symbian will probably retain first position, but it won't have the
thirty percentage point advantage in marketshare that it used to have;
* Due to manufacturing issues, iOS won't get above 20% --- if it can
even get that high;
* Android will flatten out at between 20% and 25%.
* Assuming RIM can satisfy the voyeurism that afflicts government
agencies, it should hold steady at between 15% and 20%.
* The other platforms will be holding their breath, wondering if their
oxygen supply will extinguish them;


I think there's another consideration here: security.

What guarantees do cloud service operators give about the security of any document I may store on its server? What prevents the operator's employees or ex-employees accessing my documents? What prevents drive-by hackers accessing my documents? What prevents someone targetting me accessing my documents? What prevents someone targetting the service provider accessing my documents? Can I set passwords on my documents? I suppose I could encrypt my document but most people probably don't have this technology readily available (see below).

What guarantees do cloud service operators give about the backing-up and subsequent recovery of any document I may store on its server?

What guarantees do cloud service operators give about the availability of any document I may store on its server?

A large part of the point of a portable app is that I can put the whole kit and caboodle on an encrypted device if I want. Even without going to such lengths, the security, availability and back-up/recovery is up to me, not up to some unknown company whose procedures I cannot trust (based on fairly recent history in many cases) whatever its policies may say.

In several cases, storing documents on a server outside the owner's country (or geographic region) could well be illegal.

I'm not at all convinced that people and, more particularly, corporations, have really analysed the implications of web apps and cloud computing. When they do I don't think web apps will prove all that popular.

Call me a Luddite if you like but ...

Harold Fuchs
London, England

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