Browser based operating

April 6, 2007

I was reading Ra’s blog post: Firefox OS and had been meaning to comment on it. I voiced my opinion on the subject which has been the inspiration for this post.

I’ve written about the concept before: https://elevate.wordpress.com/2006/07/09/youos-and-browser-based-desktops/ and believe it has merit. It’s not what feel is the best way forward, however.

To quote my comment (saves writing the same thing twice!):

Browser based operating systems are an interesting concept, something that I had been following last year. I know its self promotion but have a look at my post: https://elevate.wordpress.com/2006/07/09/youos-and-browser-based-desktops/

My view now is that thin clients are great, browser based operating is not!

I really don’t understand the push towards browser based applications? I’d much rather have a desktop app which implements a client server architecture through web apps than be forced to use an application within a browser. Not to mention the reliance on a third party for your data. I’m not being paranoid but why give Google all your information when it’s just as easy to keep it local? USB drives are perfect for on the run, browser based operating would be useful for travel but I think thats about it.

I’d like to see a push towards GNU/Linux based thin clients with application suites. Combine this with a media center type application and you have a very viable home entertainment computer.

I can see that happening.

I’ve head comments such as wasn’t the old client-server model so much easier” and “Catering for different browsers and maintaing usability is such a hassel”. The former also suggested (something that I’ve always had in the back of my mind) including a ‘shell application’ which was a browser wrapper but only contained what was required to render the page (no back button etc.). This would be a good solution as the browser is agreed on (no compatibility issues) and catering for events such as using the ‘back’ button at an inappropriate time are non issues.

What I’d like to see is the push towards desktop ‘Applets’; small applications that do one job and do it well.

Combine this with a portable device and you can have an on the go system or thin clien. This is what I believe is where desktop development should be heading.

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