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

From: Jo Rabin <jo@linguafranca.org>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2012 13:50:22 +0100
To: W3C Coremob Community Group <public-coremob@w3.org>
Message-Id: <809013AB-7A3F-44A9-B24A-FA16C60599E7@linguafranca.org>
Interesting piece by James Pearce on this

http://tripleodeon.com/2011/09/of-sites-and-apps/

Re Chaals's comment below about the danger of wasting time trying to find something normative - agree that we don't want to waste time, but think that we should continue this discussion further to see if we can narrow down what we are talking about.

Jo

On 15 Aug 2012, at 14:24, Chaals McCathieNevile wrote:

> On Wed, 15 Aug 2012 11:46:03 +0200, Tomaz Scavnicar <tomaz.scavnicar@kodirnica.net> wrote:
> 
>> Has anybody looked at the Wikipedia definition, I think its pretty good:
> 
> I think it is not bad as a rough explanation. If we wanted something normative that people could use to argue XXX is(n't) in scope it isn't tight enough, but I suspect that trying to find something like that is a waste of our time and will just get in the way of us producing something timely and useful.
> 
> cheers
> 
> Chaals
> 
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_application
>> 
>> Tomaž
>> ________________________________________
>> Od: tomomi.imura@nokia.com [tomomi.imura@nokia.com]
>> Poslano: 14. avgust 2012 20:16
>> Za: w3b@chaals.com; tobie@fb.com; andrew.betts@ft.com; jl3101@att.com; tomaz.scavnicar@kodirnica.net
>> Kp: public-coremob@w3.org
>> Zadeva: Re: ACTION-47: Draft a chapter outline of "What is a Web App?"
>> 
>> Hi guys,
>> 
>> On 8/14/12 8:06 AM, "ext Chaals McCathieNevile" <w3b@chaals.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> 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 this is the important part to define web apps (vs. web pages),
>> besides the technical definitions.
>> 
>> People occasionally ask me what web apps differ from websites. Some people
>> argues that "web" is just "web".
>> 
>> I usually say that web sites are mostly contents (to be consumed) while
>> web apps are actual software that likely requires more user interactions
>> (and I continue talking how UX matters).
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> 
>>> 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.
>> 
>> 
>> Are we actually trying to define mobile web apps or web apps in general
>> here?
>> 
>> I think the touch support may not be directly a part of the definition for
>> web apps, however, the form factor related user interaction is relevant
>> when we talk about mobile apps.
>> 
>>>> 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
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Thanks,
>> Tomomi
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Chaals - standards declaimer
> 
Received on Sunday, 26 August 2012 12:50:52 UTC

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