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Re: Question from IETF's Interenet Architecture Board (IAB) web apps, native apps, web-based apps

From: Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 18:52:04 +0300
Cc: Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>, Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <7FFB9FA7-0934-49F4-9661-411AA50A7164@gmx.net>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Hi Larry, 

last year a few IAB members published a document (which we typically refer as "post standardization"), see http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-tschofenig-post-standardization-02. 

It was used as background material for an IAB technical plenary (Prague 2011). The material can be found here: 

The main message of that document is that standardization needs change as we move into an area where mobile code is used. We focus on the usage of JavaScript as a visible effect of that trend. 

At the Paris IETF meeting this year we had a plenary about Web Security where similar statements had been made by the panel speakers about the trends regarding mobile code on the Web. 

Now, we have the post standardization document up for IAB approval. I get the same comments that I had already heard during the Prague 2011 plenary, the Paris 2012 plenary and now I hear them from the IAB for that document as well. 

The comments focus on the evolution of the application development and how much the smart phone deployment impacts Web development. 

There are two fundamental ways to write applications (as they have always been), namely 

1) Native applications focused on the target operating system
2) Web applications that run in the browser regardless of the operating system

In addition to these two approaches there is also a third one in the mobile space where you package a Web application so that it looks like a native application. 

From year 2000 onwards we had seen a lot of shift from native applications to Web applications. There may be many reasons for that but I believe the main advantages were:
* The browser offered a more uniform interface to application developers than the operating systems did (even though there were and there still are substantial challenges). 
* The security of downloadable native applications was just horrible. Web pages with JavaScript in there offered much better properties in that regard. 
* JavaScript and the Web provided better code update characteristics than downloadable application. 

Over the last few years there was a lot of development in the operating system section (on the mobile side) and the application eco-system has changed quite a bit as well. The development had impact from a security and an economic point of view. There seems to be some excitement for application stores that aims to provide additional revenue to developers and at the same time they serve as a gateway function for distributing applications. 

While there is great progress with the work you guys are doing in the W3C on the Web platform environment (as would call it), I would mostly say in the area of JavaScript APIs, there is still the question of where the development will be going. 

I am sure you have thought about this issue since it is core to the future of the W3C. 


On Jun 8, 2012, at 11:44 PM, Larry Masinter wrote:

>> ...  What would the TAG be writing about? > What problem would we be addressing that isn't already on the menu for a working group?
> I'd like Hannes to elaborate what questions he'd like answered, but my take is:
> In the best of worlds, working groups focus on specific technology choices and specifications that can be implemented and deployed, and the role of the TAG is to document the overall architectural framework into which the technology choices fit.
> AWWW doesn't talk about native applications and the relationships and tradeoffs for security, privacy, monetization, reliability, offline operation, of native apps, web apps, and widgets.
> The TAG has taken on one of the elements (local vs. remote storage), but I don't think we have an overall framework.
> I know of no working group chartered to put together such a framework. It would be an extension to AWWW.
> Larry
Received on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 15:52:40 UTC

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