quick thoughts on the iPad
Thu Jan 28, 2010
I'm in two minds, but on balance I'm optimistic. What they are
delivering is not a product, but a new platform, and one who's
limitation has the potential to drive innovation in the open web. What
I really don't like about what has been delivered is how closed the
system is, and how much this is not a tool that a developer could use.
I am in no way the target market for this product, but I don't care
that I'm not a market, I care about what I care about. The kinds of
things that I would want to do with such a device I can't do, however
applications on the web, in particular cloud storage + html 5
applications with local data storage, are fast moving to the point
where I could start coding in the cloud. My language of choice is
Python, there is already a toy implementation of a python interpreter
through a web interface (http://try-python.mired.org/). The Mozilla
foundation have a really advanced cloud based code editor
(https://bespin.mozilla.com/). Coding is about the biggest thing that
this device does not allow the power user to do. If those things are
close to being do-able in the cloud, then anything is possible.
What I do like about the device is the potential speed. We don't need
computers with fast processors. We need computers that feel fast. This
platform could really drive computer-human interactions towards the
cloud based model. It could really be a boost for rich web
applications (no need to go through the app store), and it could
really drive innovation in software and content delivery on the web.
It's almost a blank canvas upon which we may write or create the
interfaces that will define how people will interact with the content
or services we wish to deliver, and that's going to be a big deal.
tags: cloud, iPad, speed, web applications, html5