Hi all

What do you guys think of Google Apps? If I'm asked, good stuff, but they restricted direct access to cloud disk store and they charge databases per record. A major drawback.

So there is an opening place for an alternative. I was thinking of php+javascript framework that could be installed on whatever server (maybe through FTP) and that would act like a little operating system inside browser. You know, with start menu and some common controls used by apps and extensions that would run on top of the framework. Apps could be distributed over web, so you could start an app from remote www address which would operate over data stored at the mother site.

Would this idea attract users to open their own server account and install the framework on it (maybe through web installer)? Would there be enough interested programmers which would write apps for the framework? What should be igniting (preprogrammed) set of applications to attract enough users?

Actually I was thinking of a framework with its own server disk access. People would open a standard new web server account, copy a few ?.php and ?.js scripts (framework core) that run inside browser and be able to use different applications written specifically for the framework. Users wouldn't be dependent on specific cloud service. They would be the only ones responsible for their own data on their own server. Like a mini operating system that runs inside browser and gathers data from given server.

Wouldn't it be nice if browser's tab bar, address bar and bookmark link bar could be completely given under controll to arbitrary web page?

That way we would get more freedom in defining user interfaces for navigating through web pages. Extending a bookmark bar would be as easy as creating a new html+javascript code. Tab bar could be given a tree hierarchy (depending from which page a link is opened in a new tab). Even a browser window manager could be done with iframes, providing a simple way to split the central window.

Actually there is an option for this when opening a link in a new window, to get whole window for yourself when specifying target of the link. Perhaps this is achieveable with some command line parameters when opening e.g. Chrome or Firefox for the first time.

well, sooner or later, someone somewhere, maybe even You, reader of this post...

Sounds like an interesting idea. But what is the problem you are trying to solve? Not wanting to pay for disk storage? Building a framework like Google Apps is not a trivial exercise. Getting developers on to the framework is another challenge.

You can use services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, etc for free cloud storage. For apps, you use the same apps you use today - MS Office, LibreOffice, etc which access the free storage in the cloud.

Yes, you can pay to have your own webserver account. Or you can pay to have your personal virtual machine in the cloud. You connect to it via RDP (or similar) and you will get your own Windows desktop or Linux - on the cloud. Access it from anywhere you have Internet access. Amazon AWS has a free 1 year trial.

I was just thinking that having your data and apps (that run inside browser without native plugins installation) on your own server might interest some people. This leads to decentralization and being independent of any big corporation, especially if the core of such an OS would be open sourced.

But to roll on this project, you have to provide some revolutionary designs like a new super-duper programming language, or some cool database approach to storing and browsing your files, data and links to other sites (Web 3.0?).

The idea on its own is just interesting, but if you implement it in a way that is more interesting than with competition, people might like it.

You might have something here. There are lots of great developers who would love the challenge of developing a new idea to offer an alternative to big corporations. You can use GitHub or SourceForge to post your idea, get programmers from around the world to donate their time to collaborate, and maybe it would work.

What's the point? Why should I as a user want to go to the trouble of having my own server but then have everything run through a browser? If I have my own server can't I just use a VPN to access the full OS, apps, and data via a remote desktop?
Or if I'm running everything through a browser from parent websites why bother having my own server? I may as well just use existing cloud services.

I admit, it's an ambitious idea, but think about it further: if you want your apps to be run inside browser (for accessing the same environment from any machine), do you want your data to be dispersed all over the web (for each cloud app), or do you want the data and apps all at the one place, on your own server?

I think that having your own server is a natural thing to follow and I expect someone to ignite it in the future. Google Disk would be fine, but it restricts cloud storage through Google Apps Engine so it is common practice for Google Apps to have its data stored on third party place. Odd an unnatural if I'm asked.

to Agilemind's point, have a look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v2PH5CgCNM

With Remote Desktop (on RDP), you have full access to a complete desktop environment. Access your Windows desktop from anywhere in the world with the Internet and PC/Mac/iPad/Android client.

Or if you want to go with the open source route, the same can be done in Linux. Host the server in the cloud, or at home.