> It's can't really replace a desktop application, but you can come decently close in some cases
Wait for a few more years, you would need ot change that statement. Everything looks impossible till its realized... :-)
I don't think so. A web service can't exactly replicate a local application unless we drastically change our web programming technologies. Quick example: editing a local document. For a web app, you have to upload it, then edit it, then download it again. There isn't a way to modifly local files (aside from caches and cookies) through a web based application. And granting that permission opens the door to a ton of malicious uses...
The convenience of global availability of files is one think that a desktop can't provide however. That is one of the reasons why web apps are so popular. If my Thunderbird profile was instantly available on any other computer, I'd probably not want to put up with gmail. Sure it looks nice, has lot of features, but it's slower than a desktop app. How could it be otherwise?
I never said that web apps would someday replace desktop apps. Each of them has a different place in fulfilling our day to day business requirement. And why would someone use a web app to edit local files?
Want to edit an uploded file, use AJAX based web application and you are good to go. On the other hand, modifying remote or uploaded files using desktop apps would have the same problems like ones you mentioned.
> A web service can't exactly replicate a local application unless we drastically change our web programming technologies.
There you go, you have the answer right with you... ;-)
I think you misunderstood, the thing which I wanted to quote was "unless we drastically change our web programming technologies". The point I was trying to put across is that considering the recent advances in web development and research, a drastic change isn't a distant dream.
PS: I hope you are happy with the kind of recent topics being discussed in the Geek's Lounge or do you want it to get more tech gory... ;-)
Re: PS - yes, the topics of late have been a great improvement :)
But still I am pretty optimistic about the way things are turning around. Think of it this way -- a few years back, things like WYSIWYG editors would have been though of as nearly impossible.
After all, who could imagine a text editor like thing embedded inside your browser window, unless you use Active X plugins. Look at Servlets, JSP's and EJB's. Brining the power of a programming langauge like Java to the internet, was the best thing. Who would have thought of spawning threads to service client requests as compared to a seperate process(as used by CGI)?
Like I said before, things are changing and what the future beholds for us can't be determined -- the imagination is the limit.
... However, I sincerely doubt that such a connection will be available for residences in the US for a long time. It would take an enormous backbone network to support several million people using 100Mbps networks from their homes.
A long time has come and gone! In Utah, we are building an enormous backbone! The UTOPIA network is building a public/private infrastructure to support 100 Mbps connections to every subscriber home and gigabit connections to businesses.