I started playing with iPhone/iTouch/iPad "web apps" just last week.

http://developer.apple.com/safari/library/navigation/ index.html#section=Resource%20Types&topic=Coding%20How-Tos

Apple has made it incredibly easy to create a web app that runs exactly like a native app on these devices.

Of course, perl is a perfect server side language to power these apps, and BBEdit and Perl on a Mac make the perfect IDE to create these web apps.

While poking around there I also found out that Safari on the Mac OS also provides some big enhancements for web based apps now too. Check this out:

"Safari on iPhone, Mac OS X, and Windows all implement the Offline Web Applications feature of HTML5. This feature allows you to cache all of the resource files for your web application on the client, improving the load time of your application and making it possible to create an application which is fully functional even when there is no network connection."

(source: http://developer.apple.com/safari/library/codinghowtos/Desktop/ DataManagement/index.html)

This is actually fulfilling a vision I expressed right here waaay back in 2005:


Geez, It's like they've been working all this time for me entirely for free ;)

Seriously, according to the news this week it now looks like most all "Smart Phone" makers will adapt a similar, if not the same, approach to web based apps that run on these devices.

Think about it, Apple knows that laptops and desktops need to be able to run these same applications because it provides a fast and inexpensive way for developers to integrate the use of these applications with these different devices. Users want that, and they want them to "Feel" like a native application too. Apple is essentially giving them that.

So, looking forward it's easy to imagine that many "Native" apps will really be "Web Apps". The client side will contain the necessary tools to run them. Updates and upgrades happen "at the atomic level" on the server side and are instant and seamless and distributed as soon as the software is accessed. (that's something I learned right here ;)

The advantages to developers both small and large are huge. I now believe this is exactly where Apple is heading and as you can imagine, I'm absolutely thrilled about it :)


Bill Stephenson

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