Friday, August 14, 2009

Web applications Vs. Desktop Applications

I do not normally make a habit of writing about other blogs or stories that I have read, but this is something that I could not ignore. There is turf war going on between traditional programmers and Web programmers, and it's time to put an end to it!

This all started with a highly contested blog entry byMichael Barude, which was quickly followed up by Jeff Atwood. They both had some pretty heated things to say about the other's chosen medium. I'll save you some time and give you the best lines from each:

The reason most people want to program for the web is that they’re not smart enough to do anything else
You hope everything doesn't "move to the web"? Wake the hell up! It's already happened!
In order to put this cat fight to bed, I propose the following:

1) Each side must realize that there is terrible code written every day, both on the Web and on the Desktop.

2) There are groundbreaking and terriffic apps written every day (most of them never get any attention) and they come in Web based applications as well as desktop applications.

3) The majority of programmers are not very good (I include myself in this. If you say that you haven't written bad code, you have either never written code or you are a liar).

4) You can not blame the medium for the work of the artist!

Saying that someone isn't smart or sterotyping users of a particular medium is bad form! No matter who you work for (Michael) or how popular you are(Jeff)! Jimmy Page isn't dumb because he chose to play the Electric guitar in a rock band, instead of being a concert pianist (in fact, most would say he was smarter for his choice). Programming is an art form (no matter what everyone else believes). Just like every form of art, there is going to be a million bad artists for every great one. I think that I agree with Joshuua Nunn :
if you dismiss web apps, you dismiss a lot of clever, well written programs right out of the gate.
I also think that there is still a very bright future for desktop apps as well. As it stands now, there is no Web Office System that even comes close to comparing to Open Office, let alone Microsoft Office. There are always going to be ERP Systems and other Business Development Tools that will need to be installable on the Desktop.

There will always be a need for great code that solves a problem and/or provides a service. The average user doesn't care if it is on the Web or on thier desktop. They just want it to work and be useable.

We, the artists, are the only one's arguing about this!