9 responses to “User Interface and Cloud Computing – Part 1”

  1. Eran Kampf

    I’m not expecting too much of HTML5.
    The W3C is long defunct – updating its standard maybe twice a decade while no one actually 100% complies with it.

    It’s Silverlight, Flex and such who are the future of the web. Besides who said the future involves a browser?
    its AIR and Silverlight offline support (if we’ll get that) that offer the real interesting change…

    Regards,
    Eran Kampf

  2. Krishnan Subramanian

    Eran, I see AIR as something Adobe is promoting to make hay while people trying to get comfortable doing everything with browser. I see no future as such unless I hear a compelling argument why it will matter in the cloud based system. Saying that people want an user experience similar to their desktop doesn’t cut because more and more people are buying into Google’s approach to user experience than Microsoft’s. Similarly, offline support also doesn’t make much sense because internet is getting ubiquitous and we have offline support for browsers which are maturing real fast. Is there any other compelling reason to think that AIR will matter in the next gen computing based in clouds?

    Silverlight is a non starter because of their obsession with Windows platform. Well, you can argue there is moonlight for linux but it doesn’t help much in the form of better user experience. I wouldn’t bother much about Silverlight as long as Microsoft has this obsession with just supporting their own Windows platform.

  3. Shankar

    Krishnan,

    Silverlight is a cross-platform, cross-browser VM. It took some time for Java VM to appear on all platforms when it was introduced. From Silverlight FAQ at(http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/overview/faq.aspx):


    Which platforms and browsers will Silverlight 2 support?
    Silverlight will support all major browsers on both Mac OS X and on Windows. Particular care is being taken to account for differences in platform and browser capabilities to ensure a consistent experience including experiences on Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Microsoft will extend the support for Silverlight on Linux through a partnership with Novell.

    Shankar

  4. Eran Kampf

    Not to forget that both Flash and Silverlight are starting to target mobile devices too…

    Krishnan,
    JavaScript and HTML are technologies from decades ago. Sure they’ve been hacked to do some amazing things but still its currently used for purposes it wasn’t planned to.
    Developing a decent application takes a lot of time and effort, its hell to debug, its not standardized across all browsers, and performance is no where it should be.

    Ofcourse you can try optimize things like Chrome does but you’ll always have the louzy foundations.

    The advantage of Silverlight and Flash are first and foremost – a standard. I dont have to test my code on IE, FireFox, Safari, Opera and Chrome (and do lots of hacking to be cross platform in my code) to make sure my code runs.

    Developers get an advanced OO language that gets compiled which means developers get compile time errors, they can debug easily, they can even do unit testing.
    In Silverlight’s case the fact it runs .NET runtime means you don’t need to hire people with special skill set to develope your web app. You can even share code (and devs) between a web based version and a richer client version (S+S anyone?)

    Silverlight and Flash offer the web a technology thats in current state of the art (not last decade), standard, and continuously updated.

    W3C has been working on updating its specs for how long now?

  5. Krishnan Subramanian

    I do agree with you and Shankar if we assume that users need rich user interface with all bells and whistles. Then, I have no objections with your arguments. I will agree with it wholeheartedly. I think my fundamental disagreement comes from my belief that Google has finally changed the users expectation about UI with its minimalistic design. It is just a matter of time before users wanting a “light” UI with “rich” functionality. I think this idea of Software + Service will be vibrant in that intermediate period when users become completely comfortable with the Google inspired ideas of light design and working the clouds with just browser. Only time will tell which philosophy is going to be right.

  6. Shankar

    Just so I understand this, are you saying that use of Silverlight (or any other rich UI) equals Software + Services? If so, how?

  7. Krishnan Subramanian

    Shankar,

    That was my response to Eran.

  8. Shane Montgomery

    Any specific reason why you did not mention FLEX?

  9. piotr.dziubecki

    This could be somehow outdated already, but I agree with Shane. Flex is worth mentioning here, in fact it’s totally capable of being a base of user interface in such applications ( distributed computing, cloud/grid environments ). We have some strong experience here with our HPC-oriented framework (Vine Toolkit) and after many evaluations we’ve successfully adopted Flex/BlazeDs as our presentation layer. It’s the optimal solution for advanced data processing/presentation purposes along with a great
    usability feature set.

    Regards,
    Piotr