Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th Sep 2013 15:22 UTC
Google

The new apps look and behave much like the native apps you find on Windows and OS X. They're built using web technologies, but also with Chrome-specific code that means they won't be able to run on other web browsers - they're truly Chrome apps. They can exist outside of your browser window as distinct apps, work offline, and sync across devices and operating systems. They can also access your computer's GPU, storage, camera, ports, and Bluetooth connection. Chrome Apps are, for now, only available through Chrome on Windows or Chrome OS on a Chromebook. Mac users will have to wait another six weeks before their version of Chrome will be updated.

This is very important for Chrome OS - since this means it can now have applications outside of the browser. Google's plans for Chrome OS suddenly became a whole lot clearer.

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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 6th Sep 2013 19:58 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

I honestly can't find fault with this, besides my own general distaste for the absolute mockery of a developer environment that is HTML5/JS.

What Google is doing is creating a platform that runs in parallel to the "web" and using familiar technologies.

Microsoft has done the same with HTML5 apps on Windows 8, they call into Windows only WinRT APIs.

So while HTML, CSS, and JS is reused, there is still vendor stuff down below.

I don't think either approach is bad, only that it underscores the slow pace of innovation at the W3C. Obviously the web standards are moving at a glacial pace, so Google needs to fill in the cracks.

It seems to be, to me, an implicit acknowledgment that web technologies as they stand are still a poor fit for the scenarios that native applications require.

I find it hard to join in the chorus of vendor lock in when this isn't being pushed as a web technology. Google isn't advocating for people to write websites with Chrome only behavior, they're advertising a platform you develop with familiar technologies.

To me, the only person being 100% faultless here is Mozilla. They seem to have contributed everything they've had to invent on top of web standards back to the standards bodies as open specifications -- and that's an extremely good thing.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by Nelson
by WorknMan on Fri 6th Sep 2013 20:11 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

What Google is doing is creating a platform that runs in parallel to the "web" and using familiar technologies.


Yeah, didn't Flash start out this same way? It was this thing you could use when regular HTML just wouldn't do.

And then people started writing entire web sites with it, so instead of being this parallel thing, it ended up being a rather grotesque form of lock-in.

If HTML/JS isn't up to the task of doing real app dev work, then let people write REAL native apps that don't require a fucking web browser to be present. How much sense does that make? If you're just going to write apps that work the same on every OS, then you might as well have only one OS.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 6th Sep 2013 20:20 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Yeah, didn't Flash start out this same way? It was this thing you could use when regular HTML just wouldn't do.


Yes, but Flash became an independent app runtime after the fact. Not before. Flash always was a way to enhance existing website deployments and was from the start marketed as such. Rich Internet Applications as they were called.


And then people started writing entire web sites with it, so instead of being this parallel thing, it ended up being a rather grotesque form of lock-in.


I think the results speak for themselves, in that HTML back then was entirely too limiting. For example, I remember when Silverlight 2.0 launched it had a JIT compiler that was ~1000x faster than Javascript. Obviously things have come a long way, but they weren't always so palatable.

I don't see that happening again, especially because Google isn't aiming this at the same market that Macromedia/Adobe was with Flash.


If HTML/JS isn't up to the task of doing real app dev work, then let people write REAL native apps that don't require a fucking web browser to be present. How much sense does that make?


You're talking about sense when there's a browser sitting in between the app and the OS. There's never, ever going to be sense in that. Ever.


If you're just going to write apps that work the same on every OS, then you might as well have only one OS.


Cross platform applications are the biggest lie of the century. Maybe they were true when the computing platforms were Windows, Linux, and OSX but with the advent of the mobile OSes, that's no longer an achievable goal.

HTML is a lowest common denominator (write once, suck everywhere) that we've been able to shoehorn into something, but I'm not convinced any platform can do it now. Not Flash, not Silverlight, and not Chrome Apps.

I think Google's ambitions (particularly on the cross platform side) are kind of silly, but that's completely aside from whether or not this is a nefarious act. I'm not convinced it is.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by Nelson
by acobar on Fri 6th Sep 2013 20:44 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

I find it hard to join in the chorus of vendor lock in when this isn't being pushed as a web technology. Google isn't advocating for people to write websites with Chrome only behavior, they're advertising a platform you develop with familiar technologies.


I agree with your whole post and would like to add the following: how can it be "vendor lock-in" if it is multi-platform and Google is not even close to be a dominant player? It is very different from IE6 case, for example, in that you were obligated to run that freaking insecure browser under MS Windows to access some sites facilities.

It seems more "java-like" API and being the whole Chrome the "interpreter". Yet, I would not like to use any "application" build this way as I disliked 99%+ of java apps I tried: they were slow and foreign at that time though things may be a bit different this time around, as we have way better computers now and things would not be as terrible as they used to be.

However, unless Google keeps true to its motto "Don't be evil" and properly document the expected behavior of the components involved so that, for example, Mozilla or Microsoft would be able to reproduce and run the apps, I would not touch or write any code for it. Perhaps, it is just me.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by zima on Sat 7th Sep 2013 12:25 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Google is not even close to be a dominant player

I'm not sure about that, the amount of green on this map http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Countries_by_most_used_web_browse...).svg is getting a bit scary... ;)

edit: OSNews breaks more complex links ...I mean the map in the top right of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

Edited 2013-09-07 12:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by Nelson
by mistersoft on Fri 6th Sep 2013 20:45 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

very well said. I don't think sane folk could argue much with most of those points.

If google were feeling 'very open' for some reason perhaps they could allow users an 'alternative browser' choice on Chrome OS alongside Chrome. Might be a nice unexpected PR move for them in the future

But it's not lock in if the Chrome Apps aren't being marketed as wider web apps

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Hiev on Fri 6th Sep 2013 20:54 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

I don't think sane folk could argue much with most of those points.

So, anyone who disagree is insane? zombie some more please.

Reply Parent Score: 2