Linked by David Adams on Wed 18th May 2011 03:10 UTC, submitted by sawboss
General Development The name Fabrice Bellard may not be recognizable to a lot of people, but the work he carries out as a programmer and computer scientist is. . . . He is a very talented programmer, and his latest project demonstrates once again just how talented he is. Using the super-fast JavaScript engines that now come as standard in popular web browsers, he has managed to create a PC emulator that runs in a browser. As a demonstration he has posted a link to a version of the Linux kernel running in such a scenario.
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RE[2]: Purpose?
by twitterfire on Thu 19th May 2011 01:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Purpose?"
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

The purpose of the PC emulator in JS is just fun for the developer. Just like running linux on a console.

However there is a purpose in using JS for "desktop" applications, particularly in the enterprise. I don't care for Google or MS having control of all my documents but if your server is within your own datacenter, a web app has several advantages over a desktop app:

- No distribution: PCs come with a browser, just put a link to your web app on your intranet and all of your employees can use it, regardless of what computer they're on. Heck they might even be able to use it from home.

- Easy to back up data: assuming it's an app that saves files, those are now saved in a central location on a server which can be backed up regularly and more easily than a bunch of PCs.

- Multiplatform: your web app will run on Windows, Mac or Linux and maybe even on mobile devices if done well. And again you don't need management software to handle all of those platforms.

Javascript is quite a pain to use for large projects though that's why Google came up with GWT. I personally like to use Script# but that's not for everyone. What would be awesome is something like Silverlight has but standard across browsers: a bytecode VM so that developers could use their language of choice. But that's just me dreaming.


-No distribution: that's what Web apps are for. And I think that some JSP/Java or ASP.NET/Silverlight solutions are more powerful

-cross platform does really not matter

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Purpose?
by Alfman on Thu 19th May 2011 02:25 in reply to "RE[2]: Purpose?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

twitterfire,

"-No distribution: that's what Web apps are for. And I think that some JSP/Java or ASP.NET/Silverlight solutions are more powerful"

You say "no distribution" is what web apps are for, but to be fair you should be comparing it to state of the art operating systems (a collection which windows is notably absent from).

"No distribution" was achieved many many years ago by sun workstations. My school's CS labs were sun workstations. I could walk up to any computer in any lab and log in with all my customized applications ready to go. What I did under my account wouldn't affect the next user, my files were secured.

Javascript running in a browser looks terribly weak in comparison.


"-cross platform does really not matter"

Hmm, I don't know how you can say that, particularly in the browser space. The whole reason for HTML standardizing efforts is to improve portability between browsers. Why doesn't it really matter?


Maybe I'm just being grumpy, but I don't understand the hype behind web apps. This "new technology" is several thousand times slower than the old technology doing the same thing.

I guess this has merit on account of being able to run on a walled garden device. But our heading is taking us down a path of net loss compared to just a couple years ago.

Edited 2011-05-19 02:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Purpose?
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 20th May 2011 13:23 in reply to "RE[3]: Purpose?"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

You say "no distribution" is what web apps are for, but to be fair you should be comparing it to state of the art operating systems (a collection which windows is notably absent from).

"No distribution" was achieved many many years ago by sun workstations. My school's CS labs were sun workstations. I could walk up to any computer in any lab and log in with all my customized applications ready to go. What I did under my account wouldn't affect the next user, my files were secured.


Mounting the /home dir via NFS is different then no distribution. You still had to put the apps there and update them as necessary.

There is not an operating system that does the no distribution thing for applications. I can't install an application on one device and have everyone assigned to it launch it immediately from a link. You can do this with Citrix, and probably some other VDI stuff, but there is nothing capable of the same thing out of the box.

Maybe I'm just being grumpy, but I don't understand the hype behind web apps. This "new technology" is several thousand times slower than the old technology doing the same thing.


Then you don't run several different applications across several different platforms. It really sucks trying to sync data across different devices.

The hype is not having to setup a server yourself and deal with the telcos being stingy with the upstream bandwidth. Bandwidth really is crux of the issue. Upstream speeds are so limited it makes serving stuff from your house unattractive. (Unless you can get FiOS from Verizon.)

Reply Parent Score: 1