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I just read an article on The Register about Google Chrome OS introducing a new ActiveX style plug-in (Native Client) that allows the browser based OS to run native code and it just got me thinking. Am I alone in thinking that running *everything* on a browser isn't such a good idea? It seems like all these web 2.0 people are going nuts about cloud this and web application that, but I'm a bit hesitant to buy into all the hype.

From an ease of use standpoint, I can see the benefits of running business apps via the web, but from a security standpoint, doesn't it just add another layer of vulnerability with having the browser as an application with holes and the actual LOB application having different holes? I know the developer should be security minded, but there's no such thing as a 100% secure application. Plus, being a hobbyist game developer, I'm afraid WebGL won't compare to DirectX/OpenGL in terms of performance and graphics capabilities. I could be wrong, though.

Do I actually have a basis for my hesitance, or am I just trying to hold on to client apps with too hard a grip?

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Last Post by Seten
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I saw in my previous work how it could ease the job (only in MS Sharepoint). But sadly the browser needs updates and these updates could creep the performance of the web-application. (many web-browser vendors with different browser core). Everything goes via https, so it is quite safe.
Anyway cloud computing is a nice on paper, but in reality, you need a computer hardware, the bandwidth must be stable and in good ration to employee numbers&workload. Also when the Internet (connection) go down, your employees can take a longer break or even vacation.

It is a nice thing for CIOs and managers to show/present to Shareholders. Also a nice thing, when you need from somewhere to do something ,and, the company can request its employees to work from home and at the same time lower their salary.

But in the end you will be fully dependent on 3rd party. And if the 3rd party raise it's costs, then you will have to say OK. And there is always a reason why to raise the costs.

Edited by Seten: add

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Everything goes via https, so it is quite safe.

That's only effective via the internet for the most part. A lot of internal applications aren't written using HTTPS, and an internal attacker could compromise a web app a lot easier than a client app, at least with available attack information that I can find. I'm not much into security yet, but I do know some basics and so far it seems web application attacks are much easier to perform by savvy disgruntled employees.

By the way, wasn't a bug found recently in most browser implementations that allowed spoofing of certificates? I don't know if it's fixed yet, but that goes to show that HTTPS isn't a cure-all.

I agree, though, that downtime is one of the main killers of using the "cloud" (I hate that word now). For businesses, an internet outage requires the company to act on their disaster recovery plan because they would have zero application access from the business location if there was no connection redundancy.

For your last point, I'd think most CIOs/CTOs would be less worried about costs going up and more worried about no longer "owning" their data. When the data is in the hands of a third party and that third party goes belly up, and has an immediate shut down of services, how long will it be until you have access to the data that was being hosted there? It's a scary thought to not have the info your company needs to run.

Besides all this, I think my dislike of the web generation stems from the fact that I just have a lot more fun developing native applications rather than web ones.

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For your last point, I'd think most CIOs/CTOs would be less worried about costs going up and more worried about no longer "owning" their data. When the data is in the hands of a third party and that third party goes belly up, and has an immediate shut down of services, how long will it be until you have access to the data that was being hosted there? It's a scary thought to not have the info your company needs to run.

This is my main hesitance for embracing the 'cloud'.
Out of sight, out of mind. How many people will honestly back up their data when it is not on their own PC (how many non tech people actually do so at the moment?)

I can see it would lead to alot more problems than it solves.

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All the points on cloud computing are good and I think i'm in agreement with what I see as the two main points: one- you don't own your data, and two- you lose internet and your employees are on vacation.

But i want to make a point on a different aspect of web applications. I am a hobbyist who likes to write applications, particularly games and such, and share them with a wide variety of people, many i only know of through the web. Getting people to download applications is typically harder than getting them to click on links. Also i can update my applications daily even, and they just click on todays link, which has a version number in the url. Also my code is now platform independent for the most part and people on different operating systems use it. Now i'm using java and i could accomplish this in stand alones, but from what i've heard its not as trivial though i could be wrong. A fellow i know distributing java apps said he had to compile it native ( code worked fine but required multiple computers to compile).

For these reasons i think a lot of hobbyist and student programmers, the type often on here, would benefit from applets because its easier to reach an audience and its easier to have a dynamic relationship with updates that dont require new downloads and installations.

Mike

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All the points on cloud computing are good and I think i'm in agreement with what I see as the two main points: one- you don't own your data, and two- you lose internet and your employees are on vacation.

But i want to make a point on a different aspect of web applications. I am a hobbyist who likes to write applications, particularly games and such, and share them with a wide variety of people, many i only know of through the web. Getting people to download applications is typically harder than getting them to click on links. Also i can update my applications daily even, and they just click on todays link, which has a version number in the url. Also my code is now platform independent for the most part and people on different operating systems use it. Now i'm using java and i could accomplish this in stand alones, but from what i've heard its not as trivial though i could be wrong. A fellow i know distributing java apps said he had to compile it native ( code worked fine but required multiple computers to compile).

For these reasons i think a lot of hobbyist and student programmers, the type often on here, would benefit from applets because its easier to reach an audience and its easier to have a dynamic relationship with updates that dont require new downloads and installations.

Mike

I agree that there's great benefit in being able to update on the fly without having any downtime or needed to download & install patches, but for me at least, I'd rather have all my apps locally so I don't have to be 'connected' at all times. I'm mainly a gamer outside of my work PC use, and casual (web based) games aren't really my thing. Plus, I hate netbooks. They're not powerful enough and my hands are too big =)

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I'm mainly a gamer outside of my work PC use, and casual (web based) games aren't really my thing. Plus, I hate netbooks. They're not powerful enough and my hands are too big =)

The so called cloud computing is not directly for general home users. It is primary for corporate(company) employeers. More like to do the outsource as much as possible. The goal was to have one computer as terminal and few users with it's own LCD, keyboard and mouse would connect to the one computer.

As you wrote you need a powerful computer for games, but a standard "office rat" needs only office suite and some custom-made applications which can be used on a slower computer.

Update on the fly is a nice option, but just think, that for example after holidays every employee starts a computer at the same time and run the "update" process. Your server or network could have problem with it. Also if a employee is longer ill and he comes to work, he should download all the partial updates or the whole version? How would you educate such employee if he skips few mayor version?

Not an AD, but Microsoft (Internet Explorer) did with the ActiveX a nice thing. The ActiveX, when called from a website, load the local libraries and allow them to be used for the website to edit/send content or access to local enviromnet. But this is used very rarelly mostly on MS products like Sharepoint family, update and few others.

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I don't like the idea of everything being in the cloud, but it does have some appeal.

A couple nice things:
(i) you don't have to install software, and
(ii) I assumed the service provider took measures to back up documents, etc. So I don't have to worry about my hard drive crashing, house burning down, laptop being stolen, etc. The online service has back ups.

Aspects of cloud computing I don't like:
(i) you give up control of your work because you really don't know for sure what kind of security is in place to restrict access to your work, or simply whether the provider will exist next year or go bankrupt, etc.
(ii) your documents might be deleted for no reason, or access to the service abruptly restricted. Or a free service might later require a payment. etc.

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A couple nice things:
(ii) I assumed the service provider took measures to back up documents, etc. So I don't have to worry about my hard drive crashing, house burning down, laptop being stolen, etc. The online service has back ups.

(ii) Should have multiple backups and disaster plans.

Aspects of cloud computing I don't like:

(iii) If you forget to/cannot pay or protest, there is a high probability that you will lost everything.
(iv) Still there must be some IT guys to do user maintenance (Word is not working..., Emails are not sent, ....)
(v) Offline holidays :)

Edited by Seten: n/a

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Am I alone in thinking that running *everything* on a browser isn't such a good idea? It seems like all these web 2.0 people are going nuts about cloud this and web application that, but I'm a bit hesitant to buy into all the hype. ?

Agree with you 100% and scared just to the idea that files and data like .doc or .xls will be managed online in a web base way like google dictatorship want.

This is the point... it is not matter of only few applications and games... they want have controll all over.

Edited by ArtphotoasiA: n/a

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Well, with the advent of Google Apps for Business, and Microsoft's attempt at Google Docs (Office Online), it looks like all the big players are making a move to cloud hosted services. Even as far as jobs at a client go, desktop support techs will take a hit seeing as how a network administrator can easily re-ghost a computer. There's nothing really to support if all major applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc...) become web-based & cloud hosted. All that would be left is IE, which is impossible to support anyway, so why hire someone specifically to do it?

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... Even as far as jobs at a client go, desktop support techs will take a hit seeing as how a network administrator can easily re-ghost a computer. There's nothing really to support if all major applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc...) become web-based & cloud hosted. All that would be left is IE, which is impossible to support anyway, so why hire someone specifically to do it?

There is still the reason to have an IT guy at office. First he has to manage all the computers, change, provide new devices to newcomers. Also there are still people, that need some kind of problem to solve. And if you don't have a free support from "cloud vendor" then you have to hire/pay someone to do it.
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If the "cloud vendor" doesn't add recent updates because of his reasons, then you have to work with old "unsecure" version.
IE is quite easy to manage if you restrict users only for work related browsing. Let them use their instance of "Firefox" with no support for any personal and non-secure browse. There are many ways to secure IE, but most company ignore them, because then the employee will be unhappy and also the custom made big paid applications could not work properly.

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