Friday, November 03, 2006

Thin and Fat (clients)

An article caught my attention today. It talks about Jonathan Schwartz, Sun CEO. I already expressed my admiration for him in a previous post (and now that he added also when to if and how Java will be open source, I even like him more). In the article, one answer - in my opinion - stands out:
Schwartz panned thin clients as an end-all, be-all solution: "I just don't believe in thin clients. Right there, I said it." Even iPods are thick clients, he said.
It looks like a simple comment, but it is simply going against the entire world of Web 2.0 ;-) That is like saying "a web browser is only meant to browse the web". Unheard of. Blasphemy.

Well, I agree with Jonathan. I do not buy the idea of Web 2.0 around doing Word Processing, Email and stuff inside a browser. Maybe because, when I started Internet Graffiti in 1994, I was forced to develop sites thinking about the concept of the hypertext, the links and the Back and Forward buttons. The last three items are the basis for web browsing. If you run an app inside a browser and you screw everything up clicking on Back or Forward, why are you running it inside the browser?? Why don't you have a downloaded app on your PC, that updates automatically? Just because Google say so??

Ok, enough with the PC Web 2.0. When it comes to mobile (not just the iPod hardware as a thick client, but also the software inside the iPod) I just do not see the thin client paradigm work at all. I thought about Mobile Ajax, but I do not seem to get convinced about it. I want a mobile widget pre-installed (the music player). I want the data there when I turn it on (my music stored locally). I want an iPod (actually, I like the new shuffle, in case you do not know which present to buy me for Christmas).

T-shirt idea of the month:


BTW, if you happen to be at Mobile2.0 in San Francisco on Monday, I'll be there giving a demo of our Phone Sniper tool during the Launch Pad session ("showcasing cutting edge start-ups in the mobile space"). If you are around, give me a buzz.