Classic software development and the mobile industry
Hot topic these days: Mobile applications, RIP – Offline web applications. Of course the Web2.0 guys (let me put it this way) have an agenda, but the developers tied to native environments have it as well. What to believe? There are many moving targets these days.
In the last years we have seen the omnipresent web eating space to the native desktop, from webmail and remote Flash games to the Google suite and the desktop inside browser experiments. This fight is getting tougher in the mobile context, where many factors seem to oppose resistance to classic software development: platform fragmentation, unstable API, demanding UI, restrictive write access, security buzz… We are even hearing about learning curves when it comes to compare C, C++ or Java to the languages brought by the WWW assisted by envisioned web APIs that will do the rest for you (apparently).
Native development had a safe past in mobile devices thanks to its optimized use of resources and its 99,9% professional/commercial motivation, but things are changing. The devices are getting more powerful allowing a thicker layer of abstraction without affecting dramatically the performance. Light application development is favoured by Flash, widgets and the web family of languages running offline. Microsoft’s Silverlight, Adobe’s Air, S60’s Web Run-Time… they are already here. Even something like Facebook development is getting increasing attention/fuzz. Thankfully the W3C is also approaching the field.
How Linux and open source developers are taking all this?
PS: I’m personally curious about Python and Ruby in this context, having both offline/runtime and online/net success stories.
PS2: True, I didn’t mention Android or the iPhone SDK.
Filed under: maemo | 6 Comments
Tags: development, mobile, runtime, web