24 posts • joined 22 Sep 2009
Oh, gawd... another "the web will win" article?
Seriously? The web will win? How long have HTMLx (3/4/5) proponents been saying this? Give it up, man. There is no "one size fits all", no "write once, run everywhere". It doesn't work. Java was supposed to be the write once, run everywhere king... does that mean you can take an Android app and embed it on a web page? Of course not. Java on Android is no different from Microsoft's Visual C++ -> a syntax for a specific platform (just as Visual C++ is a syntax of C for programming on Windows).
Heck, there isn't even really "Java on Android" - there are Android apps that look great on some Android handsets, but you change the screen resolution and they look like crap. So, to make the Java look good, even within Android, there are a bunch of hooks, if/thens, screen formats to check. Really, not much different than your "#define" on C programs to run on different Linux/BSD/Unix workstations.
I'm supposed to get excited about HTML apps when one of the biggest "innovations" in the last couple of years is I can drag a document from my desktop into a Google Mail web page and it uploads? Really? Drag and drop in what, 2008/2009 when it's been on desktops since Mac OS in the early 80's (or Xerox PARC in the late 70's if you want to be technically accurate)?
The biggest argument that was keeping the web from "winning" previously is all the "momentum" that existed on desktop apps, and so it was just going to have to take time to get people to move. Then, bam, along comes these new mobile platforms with NO LEGACY whatsoever, and the mobile players were even touting web technologies (iOS apps originally were supposed to be HTML5, Palm was HTML5, Android was Java, which of course is a web tech), and yet, within a year, native apps sprung up and have dominated.
The web...will... not...win.... GIVE...IT...UP.... HTML5 is LaTeX (a presentation language) with massive hacks to provide UI elements. The fact that it works at all is amazing and a testament to the programming genius of a lot of people. But look, I can probably turn Microsoft Word into a first person shooter platform if I work real hard in Visual Basic for Applications and convince Microsoft to tweak the language... but that would be a gigantic waste of time.
Facebook is a scam
I like facebook, and I use it a lot, but there is no way that FB should be valuated at $75b. I have dozens of FB friends, but only about 3 or 4 who are active. The rest do nothing. Every few days, they may pop on to see what I've said, but they don't post anything of their own. Yet, those same people use Google every...single...day... several times.
There is a reason FB has resisted going public for this long. Once people can really look at the number of active eyeballs, it will be seen that their numbers are inflated. FB is like any other Internet company - a lot of casual viewers, but only a small cadre (less than 5%) who are active users. No different from Digg, for example.
The only reason it hasn't gone public yet is because Goldmann Sachs has not hyped up the investment enough so that they can make kajillions of dollars off of the IPO, leaving the rest of the folks holding the bag. Once they get that right, FB will go public, will soar on the first day, and then crash hard.
Again, I'm not a FB hater. I like FB. But this is just crazy. I can't believe we are going to relive the tech bubble mania of the 1990's. Apparently, nobody learned anything.
I just have to disagree with the "very traditional Microsoft long game". It is a popular myth, but it is a myth. IE was an "oh crap" purchase, PowerPoint was an "oh crap" purchase, .NET was an "oh crap" response to Java, MSN was an "oh crap" response to AOL (at exactly the wrong time, as the internet was taking over traditional online services), Bing is like the umpteenth iteration of Microsoft trying to respond to Google, Zune was an "oh crap" to the iPod, WinPhone7 is an "oh crap' to the iPhone/Android, etc. Heck, even Silverlight is an "oh crap" response to Flash (again, at exactly the wrong time), and XPS is a lame attempt to take on PDF.
There is this myth that Microsoft has this long view, but the only real example anybody can point to is Windows, which only started becoming interesting when things like GEM started getting useful, and really only became successful when they did under-handed (and eventually illegal things). Remember the "Windows ain't done until Lotus won't run" rumors?
Microsoft was born on third base (chosen by IBM for the PC OS) and thought they hit a triple. When stripped of their ability to "cheat" (bundling features to eliminate competitors, hiding APIs, etc.) they've fallen down... consistently. Now they are reduced to throwing their cash reserves around hoping to hang on to "something".
Video calling is stupid to begin with...
Nobody has been able to make a good go of this... ever. Everybody I've ever seen try things like this thinks it is "neat", but not so neat that you want to go out of your way to use it. Beyond occasionally bringing it up to let grandma see the grandkids, I just don't see the big point.
What does video conferencing, for the consumer set, offer exactly? It is harder to set up, drains batteries of mobile devices faster, and doesn't really give you an experience that is worthwhile. Compare this to, say, IM or texting vs. email. There is a benefit of using these services because while it does the same kinds of things e-mail does, the response tends to be more immediate, and you don't have to sift through an inbox to find a conversation. texting/IM is even better than phone calls - does the same thing, but doesn't annoy other people sitting next to you in the coffee shop, for example.
But, there is "skype out" or the ability to call a phone from skype. But if you have skype on a mobile, assuming your telco doesn't block it, you most likely have a lot of minutes available to make a regular phone call, of higher quality/lower latency, etc.. Minutes are becoming cheaper and cheaper, and with rollover, etc. I have never come close to going over (nor has anybody I know).
So, that leaves IM/chat. And Microsoft has a chat client that has more people on it than Skype.
I know Ballmer is a CEO, and therefore apparently smarter than me, but I'm sorry, this deal is asinine.
It's because HTML sucks, dude
1) customers want apps that look good and are easy to use
2) developers will gravitate to the tools that provide that experience to customers with the least amount of effort.
HTML5 is an ungodly pain in the ass to code to. And takes many more lines of code to do something (say, add a nice fading shadow under an object) compared to an app language (in iOS, this is 3 lines of code (shadowColor, shadowOffset, and shadowRadius). And don't even get me started on how hard it is to do a dynamic, scrolling list/table view compared to a TableViewController in iOS.
Can I find and install a library in HTML5 that will allow me to do this? Yes. Why would I, that's more work!
I can't understand the whole fascination with HTML5. HTML is a "presentation" language. A language that had its roots in the text-oriented document creation languages like LaTeX. Over the years, it has had numerous amounts of crap glued onto it to make things interactive. I could make PostScript or LaTeX interactive, too, by glomming the same amount of junk onto it, but why in the world would I? Other than masochism?
If a language had existed that could provide the user experience that iOS or even Android's Java version does, I would have used it. But it doesn't. The learning curve to make HTML5 do what you want it to do is MUCH, MUCH, higher. And the benefits "it's portable" are lame. I can write an Android app and an iOS app - 2 independent apps - in the time it would take me to do a cross-platform HTML5 app. And each will look better than the HTML5 version. And my IP used to develop it would be private (unless I wanted to open it up).
You HTML5 people... you need to get over yourselves. The fact that you can make it work at all as an application framework is truly commendable. You've done the equivalent of bolting a jet engine onto a bicycle bike frame. The fact that the bike doesn't blow up is awesome - but that doesn't mean I want to ride it.
Mozilla is wrong, of course
Quote: "Jay Sullivan, Mozilla vice president of mobile, announcing the project in May 2010, singled out the Apple model as being opposed to what Mozilla has in mind. Developers want app ubiquity for their software, he said."
Jay, no they don't. Developers don't care about "ubiquity". They care about making money. If you build a platform that allows developers to make money, they will port their code to it. If a developer can make a billion dollars porting their code their code to the back of bubble gum wrappers, they'll do it. On the other hand, nobody will port their code to some "ubiquitous" platform if they can't make money.
Would it be "easier" if they could code once and run everywhere? Sure. Has that ever happened? No. HTML5 is the new Java - the latest fantasy in write-once, run everywhere.
There are probably 5 people in the world who care about this concept. And none of them are developers. The rest could care less. I mean, how many times has Tetris been recoded to run on different platforms? Has the fact that it had to be recoded been a "problem"? Of course not.
I also find this whole concept of ubiquity hilarious. If I build an app for a desktop that I want to be "native", I would build it for Windows, Mac, and Linux. If I build it in "HTML5", however, I have to test it against MORE things - Chrome, Safari, Mozilla, a couple of IE's, and probably Opera. None of which support all the HTML5 features, and won't for a long time (especially since HTML5 isn't a fixed target). It would actually be harder to build an HTML5 app without massive amounts of if-thens to deal with all the browser crap. Which is the same amount of work as building native apps for the desktop.
Now, here is Mozilla with their "app model". OK. Great. Chrome also has an "app model", which is different. How is this ubiquitous, exactly?
"Oooh, oooh, i got an idea for an article to generate web traffic!"
"What is it?"
"Say that a new interconnect has a back door to allow unfettered access"
"Hmmm.. how do you think it would work?"
"Well, I've not seen the technology, nor have any idea how it works, but why does that matter?"
"You're right! Post it!"
Seriously, what a stupid article. No facts, not even a supposition of facts. If TB is strictly a tunnel for PCI-Express and DP, as is currently indicated, then how in the world can you assume it introduces a new back door?
Do you people even do any work other than cleaning the cheetos dust off your fingers before typing?
Mis-understanding why Android is "winning"
I'm so tired of hearing how Android is taking over the world because it is "great" or something. Android is doing well for three reasons: 1-Apple redefined what a Smartphone is, (chocolate bar form factor, touch screen), 2-the existing "smartphones" (RIM, MS, Nokia) have not been able to migrate over there (MS maybe gets there with WP7), and 3-Apple has one phone model on one US carrier, so many people can't/won't get an iPhone.
Smartphones are the new "feature phone", as in, the new baseline for people. Everybody I know who is a non-techie got an Android phone *not* because they wanted an Android phone, but because their contract was up, they wanted something a little more flashy like all their iPhone friends, and the Android phone was the new free or seriously cheap phone they could get. Most of them don't know how to use any of the features, including the browser, (they didn't browse on their feature phone, so they aren't browsing on the new phone).
Many, in fact, thought they got an iPhone because it looked kind-a-like an iPhone.
This doesn't mean that Android is "bad" or anything. It just means you can't look at the number of installed Android phones, or the number of activations of Android phones, and draw *any* conclusion about Android as a platform. Nokia Symbian used to dominate (and still dominates in much of Europe), and that isn't really a platform. RIM still dominates in many businesses, but that doesn't make it a platform, either.
Android was dreamed up (as a startup) to replace Win Mobile, RIM, and (the older) Palm, and it has done quite well at that. Apps and heavy duty browsing are slap-dash add-ons for Google to respond to the iPhone, and even Google admits that they have a poor implementation for doing that.
Maybe this will finally expose MS for the fraud that they are
If you compare a PC to a tablet or phone, you find that problems such as: battery life on a PC sucks, they run too hot, and they take forever to sleep and resume.
People have always seemed to assume that this is a fault of both MS and Intel.
Putting Win8 on ARM will show that, no, it is all the fault of MS.
1) It takes forever to sleep and resume because MS' algorithms for entering sleep and wake are pathetic. Windows doesn't have a "just stop" equivalent - they do all this wind up and tear down. It won't be any faster on an ARM processor, and once it gets faster on ARM, your x86 machine will improve, too.
2) Battery life sucks because again, MS cannot shut the hell up and is always doing things when there is, frankly, nothing to do. Look for Win8 based ARM machines to also have no battery life.
3) PCs run hot, because again, MS cannot shut the hell up so the processor and chipset are always churning, doing essentially nothing. If you have used an ARM based device to watch a movie, you will notice that the device will be a little warm to the touch after a while, because it is BUSY. The difference is, when you are done watching the movie, the device cools down because the OS knows how to shut up. Windows doesn't, so the device will be warm to the touch always. Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if you will start seeing Windows based ARM machines with heat spreaders on them!
Microsoft will fail miserably here, or said differently, if they do something that makes ARM based platforms decent running Windows, the x86/x64 counterparts will equally benefit. Microsoft has no clue what they are doing, but they are desperate to stay relevant and so look around and say "gee, ARM things are out there, guess we should do that!"
One - Microsoft isn't "known" for content creation, per se. Yes, they have content creation "owned" for Office, but not for any media content creation, and certainly not for Internet content creation. 1 out of 3 does not make you an "expert" on content creation.
Two - the Courier was never even a project. If I had the money, I could have hired a media company to create that video. That doesn't mean I was running the project - just that I hired somebody to make a video for the device.
Neither MS, nor anybody else for that matter, knows how to make something like the Courier. It is an expensive, time consuming endeavor, and nothing MS has in its technology stable would have been able to have been used to make such a thing.
You might as well have asked Paramount Studios to "just execute" on the delivery of holo-decks, because they "demoed" them on Star Trek, The Next Generation.
Good, and bad
In the last year, I have worked for an organization that couldn't care less about Microsoft Office (small engineering firm), and an organization that depends heavily on it (large firm). In both places I'm using a Mac. In the small company, I didn't use Office at all, and couldn't have cared less to ever use it. In the large place, I need Office a lot, and I'm glad that 2010 is out, as it solves most (not quite all) of the compatibility issues. There is still not LiveMeeting for the Mac version, and in Outlook, you can't schedule conference rooms. But other than that, it works very well.
I still have to fire up a Windows VM if I need these things, but unfortunately, Parallels 6 (and then Windows, and then the Mac) crashes when you try to act as a presenter for LiveMeeting. This has to get fixed. I wish I could use the Java client for LiveMeeting, but unfortunately, this only works if you have Microsoft act as the server for your LiveMeeting, and there is no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that this company would allow that. C'mon, MS!
So, your mad, then?
It's not good enough that these will be American jobs in a sector of the economy (manufacturing) that is severely hurting in the states? You have to urinate over the decision because Intel would-a-could-a gone elsewhere but couldn't?
Can't we just celebrate the fact that its happening? Sheesh.
This makes no sense
What the heck is Mr. Otellini talking about? He clearly knows nothing about what "signing" code means. There have been signed apps in Android and the iOS that have done bad things - like steal passwords, copy your private data, etc.
Plus, if anti-virus companies were to just go away due to the magic of "signing", wouldn't that have made Intel's purchase of McAfee utterly stupid?
Microsoft invents the idea of putting the left foot in front of the right foot, then the right in front of the left, as a means of propulsion. What is really exciting is a second breakthrough, reversing the order of feet, allowing one to walk backwards. This comes on the heels of their amazing patent for expanding one's diaphragm as a means of taking in oxygen, and occasionally blinking to ensure ones eyes stay properly moisturized and free of debris.
Get real, fellow fanbois...
I'm a fanboi, but i find it hilarious how my fellow fanbois are defending Jobs here.
To "Sean Timarco Baggaley", most people don't need CS5, either, so saying most people don't use Office and therefore Jobs was right in saying Adobe is the last major vendor to go to Cocoa is nonsensical. More Mac people may use CS5 than Office, but I can guarantee you most Mac users don't know what Adobe even is as a company, let alone use any of their products.
Yeah, Jobs "screwed up" with that statement. But I'm not surprised Microsoft hasn't moved fully to Cocoa. To the best of my knowledge, Office 2010 is not fully ".NET" either (actually, is any of it .NET???), so it isn't like Microsoft is setting some kind of precedent here in terms of not using the latest frameworks.
Heck, iTunes on Mac isn't even a Cocoa app. And until Snow Leopard, Mail wasn't in Cocoa, either.
Basically, using Cocoa as an argument is a silly thing for Jobs to do. He should just stick to the fact that Flash on a Mac sucks (which it does), and that he has no faith that Adobe is going to fix it for mobile (which, from everything I've seen with the Android port, Adobe is struggling like mad to make it even remotely functional).
One of two things will happen... either Adobe will fix Flash for mobile, after iterations of crashing Android phones, at which point Apple will let it on the iPhone, or they won't fix it, and Android phones will dump it and web sites will go flash free. Either way, Apple "wins". Adobe's the one with the gun pointed at its head.
I like the FSF, but sheesh
I like how the FSF stands up for software freedom, but their action here seems more than a little silly and petty. Look, if the code is open sourced, then the port would have to follow the same license, right (GPL, Apache, etc.)? And the app is free, right? So, you can get it from the App Store, and you can get the code, modify it, and submit your own version, right? What, exactly, has been limited here and how, exactly, as Apple shown that they don't care about freedom or creativity? What was prevented?
Many feel that Apple provides a convenience with their App Store. By picking this fight with Apple, the FSF has said "you must change your business model", which Apple very obviously wasn't going to do. All the FSF accomplished here was destroy the open source community's ability to develop really cool iPhone apps that "scratched an itch".
Yes, they can do it for Android, and i suppose if that is wildly successful, Apple will change their policies, but really, FSF, was this ultimately a necessary thing for you to gripe about?
No, i don't think Windows will cut this...
Well, I'm a fanboi, but yes, there is no Adobe Illustrator nor Photoshop for the iPad... yet. I say "yet", because there was no reason to make a port since the screen (iPhone) was too small. Yet, Photoshop did release some basic photo editing stuff for the iPhone, and I would imagine something much more powerful is in the works for iPad.
I can't imagine running Photoshop on the HP Slate, though, since it is an app built for mouse clicking. I can't imagine that those apps would be even usable as a touch device.
Though, if you say you can plug this thing into a KB/mouse dock, then yes, it is more functional there.
I just have a radical different take, though, on how important battery life is. Once you get into a mode where you don't need to carry around a charging brick, your life really changes. My guess is that the HP slate is going to not have a 5 hour batter life, but more like a 2-3 hour battery life, because it is running Windows. Microsoft's OS is just horribly bad at this, because it isn't what it was built for. I just recently upgraded a new HP 8530w laptop from XP to Win7, and even though I turn off all the Aero crap, the battery life has gone down. I design hardware to work with Windows, and I can tell you, it is just shocking how many CPU instructions MS spends doing "nothing".
MS can claim all they want about how they are addressing this stuff, but they just fail miserably here. And it isn't because they aren't smart, but it is because at its heart, Windows is a workstation OS (the remnants of the new OS for the DEC Alpha). While Unix (and its offsprint Linux and BSD) were also workstation OSes, there have been thousands of tinkerers over the years that have solved the power problems. MS, being the only company to be able to muck with Windows, just hasn't caught on yet.
You can't just dress the OS up in a new GUI and get where you want to go. The underpinnings have to change.
Having said that, if this device is at all competitive, it will help all of us. Just call me skeptical, though.
Competition is good
Competition is good, so I would like to see this device do well to give the iPad competition. (note: I'm an Apple fanboi, so I want the iPad... but i don't put myself in a "camp" where MS has to "lose" for Apple to "win"). The rumor mill is churning that there will be *real* multi-tasking in iPhone OS 4.0, which I think any reasonable person would admit had to have something to do with pressure from Android.
But... i just can't see a device running Windows 7 performing anywhere near as well as what the iPad can do. That OS is just not built to "go to sleep" for long periods of time, which you need it to to get anything resembling decent battery life.
My fear is that it will be yet another crappy Windows tablet, like all the crappy Windows tablets before it. But one can hope.
Not only "free" apps are compeition
iWork is also competition for the Mac. Pages is still a pretty weak application, IMO, especially for the kinds of work I do, but Keynote blows PowerPoint away, and Numbers is a very interesting way to build spreadsheets that I think is much more productive than the way Excel does things (spreadsheets themselves can end up being your presentation, as opposed to cut and paste into a PPT like you have to do when presenting Excel data). Having said that, Excel is still much more feature rich than Numbers if you do really complicated sheets
But yes, I will not cry over the death of Entourage. What a horrible, horrible, horrible application.
Frankly, MS has to do *something* in this space if they want to stay relevant on the Mac (many would argue why bother since the Mac share is so small). I think their lack of fear about all things Apple has really hurt them - be it the iPod, the iPhone, or (even though many are mocking it), the iPad.
Snow Leopard integrated Exchange 2007 support into its native mail, calendar, and contacts applications (unfortunately, my company doesn't have Exchange 2007, so can't use the native apps and have to rely on Entourage (*shudders*))
I like this post-DOJ Microsoft, which actually appears to be listening to customers, as opposed to trying to harm the Mac so that you can't use them in the Enterprise. Who woulda thunk it?
Exactly, and that's why it's over
If the uptake for Ogg-Theora is sufficient, then yes, it will get hardware acceleration. And since Mozilla isn't in the content creation business, they won't be the ones to do it, no matter how much they stamp their foot about it.
Maybe they could influence by throwing some money around to get people to implement in hardware and to get content providers to provide "yet another" format on their servers. But maybe that would cost more than just paying the licensing fee.
And it is possible that the H.264 guys are rolling around in piles of money, lighting cigars with $100 bills. But maybe that licensing fee does things like, oh, evangelizing, enabling, marketing, engineering development, etc. and that's why it is everywhere.
It isn't like H.264 is controlled in some evil way by a single company like "WMV", "WMA", "AAC". Or did I miss the news articles of H.264 "executives" flying around in private jets? USB has a licensing fee, you know. As does PCI. Is Mozilla going to call for some new standard there?
You're missing the point
You are missing my point. It isn't like the whole world is "leaning" that way, and gosh darnit, somebody just needs to take a stand. The point is, the train is loaded with passengers, has left the station, and isn't even in the same town anymore, yet Mozilla is complaining that the tickets cost too much.
They lost this battle, and need to get over it, or their browser share, which (thank god) woke Microsoft up to doing SOMETHING better (even if IE7 and IE8 are still pretty bad), will diminish. Mozilla has done a really good thing with Firefox, yet they risk their credibility on this issue. It's OVER.
If you want decent video playback, you have to have hardware acceleration, and no silicon company in their right mind (and yes, I design silicon for a living) is going to spend any hardware real estate on Ogg-Theora acceleration.
Shaver sounds like Don Quixote.
Look, I would like to admire Mozilla for "sticking to their guns", but Mozilla also doesn't like MP3 and have been pushing Ogg for that, to no avail. The world is H.264, get with the program. Cable is going that way, satellite is going that way, Blu-Ray has it, DVDs are being released with digital versions that are H.264, and on and on and on.
I've been running the YouTube beta, and in my nonscientific testing, the CPU load of an embedded video from YouTube using Flash takes 75% CPU resources between Adobe's flash and the browser (number totals to 200% since it is dual core), and strict HTML5 of the same video natively on the YouTube site yields 17% utilization.
Shaver's comments sound a lot to me like that scene from "The Naked Gun" where the cop is standing in front of the fireworks factory that is blowing up behind him and saying "nothing to see here, move along".
I completely agree with Princeton here
I so want to use the Kindle or a Kindle-like device for research. I really, really, really, really want to. And I might even be more capable of doing it than the students. The documentation I need to refer to is all on my hard drive as PDFs. Having them in one spot that doesn't take up screen real estate (so that I don't have to tab between it and whatever it is I'm working on) to be able to annotate on it, and to have them all where I can cross reference them, would be awesome.
But the e-Ink technology and/or the processor/memory they are using in the current eBook readers can't cut it. It's just not there.
Please, somebody solve this problem ;-)
it is so close, but...
There are many things that make Linux sooooo close to being ready, but as the article points out, it just seems that developers aren't interested. I use Ubuntu. Their update manager is AWESOME, blowing away anything in use on Windows or Mac OSX. This is mainly because those two companies don't seem to have an API to let other companies have downloads come through their update manager. So, you fire up Adobe later, and blammo, now you have updates for Adobe.
But, the desktop still, for all the efforts, is ugly. Buttons are way too big. You have to install both KDE and Gnome libraries because you aren't always sure which apps require which libraries. Themes are impossible to install unless you are an experienced user. And, well, the desktop apps still suck (I'm looking in your direction, OpenOffice).
I use a Mac, because I like the Unix foundation. There are a lot of things I do as an engineer that require C compilation, and having a POSIX gcc base is invaluable. I would consider going to Linux if they could make the thing look nicer and had desktop equivalent apps. I will never, ever, use Windows again (I guess you can never say never, but i just can't ever envision it)
I was really hopeful way back when during the DOJ investigation that MS would be broken up (an apps company and an OS company). If Office existed on Linux, and the other things are cleaned up, Linux would do very, very well on the desktop IMO. Having a good (yet still somewhat crippled) version of Office on the Mac means I can co-exist in a Windows world at my company and not struggle. Could never do that with OpenOffice.