Web Versus Apps
The JAX Conf keynote looked at Facebook, Disney, Apple and Google.
The second keynote on Wednesday at JAXconf was presented by Ben Galbraith,
together with his long-time friend Dion Almaer. He forms one-half
of the dynamic “Ben and Dion” duo that founded Ajaxian.com, headed
Developer Tools at Mozilla, ran Developer Relations at Palm, and is
now working on a new start-up called Set Direction.
With the recent releases of Firefox 4 and 5, we’re reminded that
today’s browsers sport amazing capabilities, truly graduating from
markup renderers to sophisticated app run-times. We’re sure to see
some amazing new web applications just over the horizon that take
advantage of these new capabilities. At the same time, the mobile
ecosystem is white hot. What relationship do mobile “apps” have
with the web and how will these two communities co-exist into the
future? Also, how do developers target all of these different
platforms? Ben and Dion shared their thoughts on these and other
The keynote was a great journey through the history of the web,
as Ben and Dion compared the “old” web with the new one, showing
screenshots of websites from Disney, Apple and Google, and how they
changed through the years.
The problem they see is: talented web developers moved to the
mobile market to develop mobile apps, and suddenly the apps look
awesome and the web has stopped looking so awesome. Also, there is
a group of app start-ups that don’t want to move to the web at
The argument Ben and Dion brought up is: Don’t decide whether
you want to do app OR web, but combine it. The best example for
Dion is Facebook, sharing the code of the newsstream for the
website, the iPhone app as well as the Android app.