Aside from the getting an idea of how all their server-side stuff works (it's a classic example of "do the simplest thing that could possibly work" and I love that aspect of it), which was the real point of the meeting, I got to actually see the product first hand. And I left the meeting in amazement at what they were able to do using only a web browser and a lot of fancy DHTML wizardry. I mean, this thing looked and mostly acted like a real, native desktop application.
Really. A few times I caught myself thinking it was a "fat" client, only to look at the title bar and realize it was an IE window. But other than that, it was hard to tell at time. It's really that good.
The only downside to this I can see is that as the gap between "desktop" and "web based" applications closes, users won't understand the difference. The Oddpost client, for example, feels like a fancy mail and RSS application. But take it offline (such as cross-country flight) and suddenly it does a lot less that one might expect. Knowing that it's a web-based system with most of the data stored on the server, this comes as no shock to most anyone reading this. But to average folks like my Mom, well... that's probably a whole different story.
This makes me wonder how we're going to bridge the gap or if that gap will become irrelevant as the odds of having an Internet connection in any random location continue to increase.
Posted by jzawodn at July 17, 2004 09:23 PM