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Re: ACTION-47: Draft a chapter outline of "What is a Web App?"

From: Chaals McCathieNevile <w3b@chaals.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 17:06:43 +0200
Cc: "public-coremob@w3.org" <public-coremob@w3.org>
To: "Tobie Langel" <tobie@fb.com>, "Andrew Betts" <andrew.betts@ft.com>, "LEONG, JENNIFER" <jl3101@att.com>, "Tomaz Scavnicar" <tomaz.scavnicar@kodirnica.net>
Message-ID: <op.wi1dlhed22x22q@chaals>
On Tue, 14 Aug 2012 11:08:28 +0200, Tomaz Scavnicar
<tomaz.scavnicar@kodirnica.net> wrote:

> It's an interesting question, because I think that we alerady live for a  
> long time in an web app era, but they are just not understanded and  
> interpreted like that :).

Yes. I believe the first web application was a search field for the CERN
library. It effectively fulfilled Andrew's "doesn't use a page metaphor"
criteria even though it used a page-based *implementation*. Yandex doesn't
use a page metaphor to provide search results, even though we still use a
page-based implementation to a large extent. It also met Tobie's "it is
task-oriented" (as opposed to information-oriented).

I think both of these features are useful to the definition of an app.

Like Andrew, I am not sure if there is a lot of value in pinning down an
exact definition. If we are clearly talking about roughly the same things
when we argue about what to support, and if we can work our way through
"edge cases" after we have established common ground and solved most of
what are agreed to be core problems, I think that's god enough.
(Note that neither of those "ifs" are guaranteed to come true)

> I think that there must be 2 definitions that define the web app. One  
> defines technical requirements and one is defining user experience  
> requirements and I think that these definitions need to be very minimal  
> and clear.
> For me a web app would be like this:
> Technical requirements:
> -has a plug-in free experience, that offers a cross browser and cross  
> device usability
> -uses cross browser code

I think these criteria distinguish web app from other kinds of app, and
are useful ideas to keep in mind.

> -has meta data that offers easy discovering
> -has something like desktop pinning or something that allows to access  
> it instantly, with one click from the device

These are common features but I don't think they are distinctive, or
necessary.

> -touch support

I don't think this matters at all to a definition. It's a feature of
well-built web content in general.

> User experience requirements:
> -Fits the screen, so we don't need to pan or zoom to see the whole  
> content
> -has the same minimal cross browser and cross devices user experience  
> with taking in count hardware limitations
> -touch first design (minimal margins around buttons, minimal size of  
> clickable elements,....)
> I think that we must take in count that design is subjective, but some  
> minimal requirements should be met.
> Things like caching,  page concept and similar are matter of design  
> (technical and ux) and, maybe they can be understanded like  
> differentiation factor from good and bad web apps.

Actually I think all the UX stuff listed above distinguishes between good
and bad apps, rather than distinguishing apps from other things.

> There will be also logical that we have a common place where this apps  
> are available.

"The Web". It's all available from Yandex. Or you might prefer to find  
everything through Bing, or through links from a friend's twitter feed or  
as notes on your facebook wall, or all provided by someone you paid a lot  
of money to. Being able to aggregate things is great - but actually a  
major feature of the Web is being able to *decentralise* things...

cheers

Chaals

-- 
Chaals - standards declaimer
Received on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 15:07:17 UTC

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