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On 17/11/2010 21:45, Mirek M. wrote:
2010/11/17 Harold Fuchs<>

On 17/11/2010 18:54, Harold Fuchs wrote:

On 17/11/2010 18:22, jonathon wrote:

Hash: SHA1

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

I agree -- security is definitely an issue. But it's always going to be an
issue, with everything that's online. There's always going to be a host that
has access to everything you upload.

However, with an open-source web app, you get the options of:
a) hosting the web app yourself, so that no third party has control over
your files
b) downloading the web app and running it offline

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

Companies use web apps to share stuff. They've trusted and used e-mail for
quite a while now, which is just as risky as any other web application.

If you're writing something personal that you're not going to share with
anyone, then you shouldn't be doing it on the web. And if you're writing
something to share with others, there are always going to be security
issues, no matter if you use a web application from the start or just upload
your files to one.

As I said, the benefit of an open source office suite is that a company (or
even an individual) can host and secure the suite itself.

  Call me a Luddite if you like but ...

Sorry to reply to my own post but there's something I forgot:

What guarantees do I get that a document I prepare today will be properly
processable by the web app provider's software tomorrow? Do I have any
control over the version of the software I use?

It should be possible to make this web app run offline. Ideally, you should
be able to download the web app and run it in a browser from your own
computer. No security issues there, because nothing's being sent online.

Harold Fuchs
London, England

Your argument in rebuttal of mine seems to depend almost entirely on the user running the web app on his/her own computer. Then what's the point of a web app? We run LibO or MS Office on our own computers today. What's the difference? If the only way to provide adequate security/back-up/etc is to host the software locally then you've just killed the web app and you are on my team :-)

Harold Fuchs
London, England

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