Web Applications (and buzzword-free zones)…

These days I seem to be spending far too much of my time reading geeky blogs, which of course is a good thing. The problem is that I’m spending so much time reading about what’s happening on the web that I have little time to contribute to it.

But then again some things are well worth reading, particularly this article about “Weblications”. While I am starting to bite back against the predominance of buzzwords washing around the web recently (in fact I’m currently rewriting my personal site with, hopefully, a buzzword-count of 0) there are some new things that really get me excited. “Weblications” might not be the snappiest of buzzwords, but what it means is pretty amazing. As I hinted at in this blog entry, web applications are becoming my consuming passion. A web application is a Website That Does Something. Rather than just a brochure online, anything that has a dynamic element or some interaction to it is, in essence, a web application. Even a simple feedback form is a web application. The interface I use to manage this blog is a web application.

Google is a web application. So is GMail (which is very nice, by the way). So are all the intranet systems I’ve been writing and rewriting for the last 4 years here at Egton. While proper programmers might look down on the humble browser as a platform – and with some reason, it has some pretty glaring constrictions – they should ignore it or write it off at their peril. With more and more people realising the power of the internet, the ease and simplicity with which powerful applications can be created, and the lack of installation needed for those applications, the faster this field will develop. I full expect in a years time to see dozens of Salesforce.com type applications available for commercial use. There are already dozens of extremely useful open-source applications, and I heard about this one today). Because the bottom line is that web applications can be just as powerful, just as quick, more easily scalable, more easily installed, more easily upgraded and deployed for a fraction of the cost of their desktop counterparts.

And, hopefully, I’ll have a couple of my web applications to give as examples in a few weeks time. Watch this space.