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WebOS Market Review 173

ReadWriteWeb writes "A number of small startups are trying their luck building a WebOS, which is a software platform that interacts with the user through a web browser and does not depend on any particular local operating system. Current WebOS contenders include XIN, YouOS, EyeOS, Orca, Goowy and Fold. There's also a bit of crossover with Ajax homepages like Netvibes, Pageflakes, Microsoft's and Google's start page. The key difference from Ajax homepages is that a WebOS is a full-on development platform. Indeed for developers, a big benefit is that a WebOS theoretically makes it easier to develop apps that work cross-platform. DHTML and Javascript are the main tools to do that, but not all developers think they are suitable."
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WebOS Market Review

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  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:26AM (#15189072)
    Oh the humanity, a submitted link that links to a blog! This couldn't be a thinly veiled attempt to drive up page hits, could it? Lets see, a user called 'ReadWriteWeb', and its linking to a blog about 'WebOS' (stupid term, misnomer, buzzword-compliant). What's next a Roland Piquipaille story?
  • Don't Get It. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WebHostingGuy ( 825421 ) * on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:28AM (#15189082) Homepage Journal
    I don't get it. It seems the article points several times to this:

    "applications will be written for the WebOS and won't be specific to Windows, OS X, or Linux."

    Someone enlighten me because I thought that is what all the languages used on the web do right now. PHP, Perl, Javascript, etc. It doesn't seem to me that a WebOS will provide any greater benefit that coding in Perl (or pick one). They are completely platform independant.

    The article then quotes a couple users who says that Java and DHTML + Javascript is a mess. Well, yeah, but what language isn't? All programming languages have problems that why there are so many of them. What am I missing?

  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:33AM (#15189102)
    ...but I can't find the story. Anyway, I like JS/UIX []. Wish I could be talented enough to do that.
  • Re:WHY? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Troposphere ( 900433 ) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:34AM (#15189108)
    Absolutely agree. Only people who have never used javascript and DHTML would even dream such madness. Or possibly fanatical Javascript zealots, if they exist in some cave somewhere. This is too painful to even begin thinking about. Perhaps a Web OS might have worked if the conceptual infrastructure had been put in place for it at the beginning, but instead we now have a crippled monster that has been built up by feature accretion and bastardization, all dictated by a heady mixture of spineless toady bureaucrats and greedy corporate raiders. We need a disruptive technology to fix this mess now, I'm afraid. We are not going to get there by evolution.
  • People dont care what lies under that cool app as long as it works and makes things easier and better. Most people would love to just use their computer and stop being their own sysadmin.

    The only thing that has held network applications back is bandwidth and price. Now thats not a problem anymore.
  • Back in 1997 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 24, 2006 @09:45AM (#15189448)
    I took some time off from college and went to work for a company called Inergy Online. They made something called IOS 2000, (for Internet Operating System...sorry Cisco). It was a complete web-based suite of applications complete with Email, Word Processing (Yes, we did in 1997 with Fast CGI what in many ways was far beyond anything I've seen today), a home page builder (I was the one responsible for the perl scripts to manage the thousands of user directories of a special html-markup of html...regex hell), a calendar, file manager, etc.

    We had a deal where every purchase of WebTV from either Sony or Philips came with a free year of Inergy's WebDesk (which ran on IOS 2000). There were no ads and the system could be completely private-labeled for companies (hence the reason why Hotmail got purchased and we didn't, even though we had many more users at the time, and definitely a better product even though it was all integrated)

    Here's what I learned both from this experience, and from following the progress of many, many companies who came after trying to do the same thing. In order to succeed with this type of idea, you ABSOLUTELY UNEQUIVOCALLY *MUST* create the analog of the PC "hard drive" in order for something like this to fly. The only reason why Microsoft is vulnerable at all to something like this, is that they are going in the opposite direction from the personal computer, where they are the big mainframe in the sky (Viruses...Spyware....Hailstorm....Microsoft Passport...what irony to the US gov't that MS issued their own passport system around the same time as the DOJ trial). Google is the same, just trying to suck you in like a moth to the flame.

    As I heard the CEO of Inergy spout about how we are all going back to the mainframe era, I thought to myself, NO FRIGGING THANKS!!!! I like my personal computer, thank you very much. I like my own space that I can control where I reign supreme. It might just be an illusion, but it's the closest thing we have by far to personal empowerment from technology. Linux is the natural successor to the PC, and will beat MS for the same reason MS beat the Mac. It is simply more open. The Mac has always been prettier, easier to use, and more polished. People suffered through win.ini the same way they suffer today through /etc, but the writing is clearly on the wall that Linux will overtake MS for exactly the same reason it beat out the Mac platform.

    So my conclusion is that in order for this WebOS idea to fly, it would have to offer the same (or better) level of truly personal space. A good enough encryption algorithm *might* cut it, but even then it wouldn't be the same as having it close to your person. The best thing I've found so far is a "dedicated server". Google that term and see how many companies are doing that. Compare the # of hits for that, compared to shared hosting on a "virtual private server". It just shows that most people's natural inclination is to have something private.

    Ideally, you could create your own personal grid composed of a few dedicated servers at once, with automatic backup, clustering, failover, with 100% encrypted traffic. That way, I could federate all my devices against this personal cluster. It would be neat to be able to explore synergies between all of my personal data, so that even voice mails could be delivered to my own personal server.

    Sure, there are ways to approximate this for the very technical, but nothing delivers on it with a polished, end-user focused experience. Just my 2 cents. All web applications and ASP-style applications are going very hard against the grain when it comes to control and storage of data.
  • Re:WHY? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Negatyfus ( 602326 ) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:39AM (#15189759) Journal
    Aw, come on. You gotta admit that this UN*X-like OS in JavaScript [] thing is pretty cool. :)

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky