Having Your Cake and Eating It Too
Web apps are desperately trying to leverage the full power of the desktop. We had JS, Flash, Silverlight, all technologies that run locally on the client while still keeping your data on the server.
Here’s one more from Google called Google Native Client (NaCl). This is a browser plugin that allows websites to run full blown native apps on your PC through your desktop. Apps are written in C++, but have several restrictions on what they can or cannot do.
It does sound interesting and very cool (especially the C++ part), but here’s the real question. Web apps do want to use your bandwidth and now do want to use your computing power, but why don’t they want to give up control over the data? There seems to be an unhealthy interest in centralizing the data while not centralizing the computing resources.
For all intents and purposes, the direction of some of these technologies seems to indicate that we soon will have apps that will be downloaded Just-In-Time and run on your computer when you open the website in a browser.
But wait a sec, I thought these were called Java Applets. 🙂