How Else to Interact with Browser (was Re: Revolution Web Browser Plugin)
jerry at daniels-mara.com
Mon Nov 6 13:51:52 CST 2006
I like your analysis of the situation here. Helped me clarify my own
thinking. Thank you, Swami.
I use Basecamp a lot, but I am tempted from time to time to write a
Rev front end to it so I don't have to wait for the Basecamp engine
to render my pages that could already be rendered in Rev Basecamp
Makers of Galaxy 1.5
On Nov 4, 2006, at 10:17 PM, Sivakatirswami wrote:
> Well, I'm way out of my depth here so for Dan's .06 cents I can
> put in .01 cents. mostly musings...
> I'll state my bottom line first and then launch into a long
> One way Revolution can look at the browser is the same way I look
> at Fed Ex. The browser is simply a facile window to the underlying
> "real" internet, which is just wires and sockets connecting computers.
> The browser is a delivery mechanism... take it one step further... the
> browser is to Revolution like, Time Oceanic Cable is to our
> A contractor which assists us in the delivery, installation and
> of the tools we need to begin communications. i.e. in this model
> a) the browser has no relationship to presentation or content and
> b) assumes if user resistance to downloading a plug-in fades, then
> from my experience, that same "resistance loss" will appy equally
> to downloading a standalone player. So then, we don't need a plug-in.
> If we can get them to download anything... we can get them
> to download a standalone, or player
> OK then: the browser simple provides
> a) a window for access to services
> b) a comfortable environment for installation and configuration of
> c) useful "components" (as Thomas mentioned) which we won't
> detail here: (HTML snippets, access to data on other web sites
> AltBrowser if you want it, http calls to xml files etc...)
> ~~~~~ hold you breath.. dissertation begins:
> Right within our own work group of 20 people here and within the
> limits -- space of
> those directly interesting in our web content around the world.
> (and audience would put in the 100,000 + users bracket, not giant,
> but also
> not small....) I see both trends at work:
> 1) on the one side we see the well-known strong resistance,
> resist using "proprietary" tools (plugins)
> The "ostinate resistance" is a protective mechanism:
> users are overloaded, time wise, information wise, learning curve
> wise etc...
> They have a strong desire to protect their creative-productivity time
> against the wave of "IT doodle" that threatens, in a very real way,
> them from getting any "real work" done in a given, say, 2 hour period.
> I think it's really important we understand this in this discussion.
> It is not resistance to plug-in, player, widget per se.
> The other obvious resistance relates to security and the level of
> the user feels he is exposing himself to. 10% of those subscribing to
> the Hinduism Today Digital Edition are using bogus email addresses.
> on the other hand, this same user has no problem entering his real
> email address on a yahoo user group... he knows and feels comfortable
> with yahoo.
> What does this tell us:
> it has a lot, everything in fact, to do with brand awareness, trust.
> My own brand awareness in the internal work group may be very low.
> If I send an email to someone here with a REv app attached, he
> will resist the process
> of saving it to his hard-drive, installing it somewhere where he
> can find it.
> I will get intercalm calls asking what to do.
> That same user has no resistance to going on to the web and clicking
> a button that says "Download for Mac" ... going through familiar
> he doesn't ask for help.. he know it ends up on his desktop, or
> folder, he clicks etc....
> If we understand mind of the user here....this may help in all this
> others will have other useful insights: to get "user requirements"
> and "usage studies" into this mix of ideas...and they are *not* all
> 2) On the other hand... for any given application or content that
> has a niche
> market where end user demand is extremely high, these "obstinate"
> users will suddenly
> do a complete about face. iTunes is the obviously "macrocosmic"
> If your desire to listen to some music or audio content is that
> strong. you will
> go thru any amount of "pain" to get that thing installed on your box.
> If the iTunes network library on our main server here goes down,
> those "addicted" to music will stop their work and get up and
> do anything to get it up and running again.
> Point: there is zero resistance if demand is high enough
> and the "brand" is trusted.
> Has anyone tried to download Real Audio player lately? Wow! talk
> making the user jump through hoops. But obviously people will and
> do continue to install Real Player on their boxes.
> If you have some YY userbase that is salivating for your ZZ
> content, they will
> do anything to get it... At which point, one has to raise the
> if that user base has such a high demand for your content, does it
> a level of trust that will suffice to get them to download a
> If the brand awareness is raised to a sufficient level, trust goes
> up and download
> resistance fades to virtual zero.
> OK, this analysis on the surface leads back to the position
> already stated:
> we really don't need a plug-in, or as was stated, "the time for a
> plug-in has already passed."
> i.e. the browser is just "FedEx" for Revolution.
> 3) So "interact with browser" means simply "delivered by browser"
> and looks to vie with the coming of Adobe's Apollo which has to
> we continue to see steady, serious migration to desktop internet
> enabled apps where
> vendors' engineers are really, really sick of playing the browser
> game, and in very real $ terms, see a desktop app as a viable
> alternative for
> content and application delivery. They get the job done in 1/50th
> of the time
> and simply tell their client base "If you want this, download it,
> we no longer
> deliver inside a browser...." period, end of discussion, end of pain.
> "OK so, it's not running inside Explorer, (or Safari or Firefox)
> It works better, we can provide you better tools and you
> will have fewer problems, grow up, get used to it."
> i.e. again the browser is FedEx for apps. Spend 100 man hours
> JS for dynamic CSS for DOM that serves .10 content, versus building
> your own
> UI painlessly, with fun, in Revolution to serve 100.00 content in
> 1/10th the time.
> Some companies are finally waking up to how they have been duped by
> browser dominance and the real cost over time.
> I'm not saying that it would not be really great to have some powerful
> RevStack-->Browser Window options, but consider this
> It has more to do with marketing strategy.
> Let's let Revolution provide the "iTunes" engine/standalone player,
> that will do everything except blow up your hard drive,
> unless you change prefs to allow writing to disk. In otherwords, we
> delivering things like my Himalayan Academy Stack Player, or Key
> Ray's Player,
> or whoever's player... Instead, we all help position a RunTimeRev
> Player as a
> new kind of "internet app" brand... i.e. we really don't have to
> build anything new
> at all, just educate the market and turn Runtime Revolution into a
> vendor" ... so, just as anyone downloads Acrobat Reader... people
> all over
> the world are downloading the "Revolution Player." one location
> on the
> internet, well branded, making people feel secure, it appears
> it appears in Version Tracker... in the news, on each of our
> sites... articles
> in magazines, etc. one vendor, one app...
> Of course this "Universal standalone Runtime Revolution Player",
> to succeed, will need to have all the externals,
> including those which are now limited to enterprise users
> most importantly, dBase drivers to open source MySQL and
> PostGreSQL... well supported by Revolution, professional installers.
> upgrade notices, etc.
> I'm afraid I also fall into the same category as Tom:
> "moved to SC and roadster but eventually gave up on the idea of a
> web side app
> because I always expected the browser to act like a full fledged
> application and
> it is just too limiting an environment for that. Instead, an
> application that integrates
> web components truly is more powerful and useful for me."
> And I take Andre's and the other post on the difficulty of melding
> Revolution with
> the browser also seriously. "Oranges and shoes"
> If we could actually build a bug-free, cross platform "Roadster"
> style plug in.
> (highly unlikely, despite the "nothing is impossible" postion of
> some) we would still
> have to market it... And if we can market and over come download
> resistance to
> a plug-in, why waste the time selling people on the idea
> of what will be, in the end, a hobbled web app (which it will be,
> no matter
> how well you build it) and
> a) save all the $ resources for building such a
> plug in and
> b) plough that same money into the existing engine and
> into a marketing "branding awareness"campaign for
> "The All New Incredibly Powerful Revolution Player!
> A Quantum Leap For the Future of Mankind.
> Internet Enabled Software for the 21st Millenium and Beyond"
> (smile... you get the idea.)
> Which of course we already have it....this has the advantage (and I
> agree with
> Brian on this) that Rev folks $ stay focused on the engine as it is...
> and we pour our "brain power" into making this player become something
> amazing... AltBrowser would also be part of it.... RunRev Company
> home page
> will become a "comfort zone" for users... "ahh, let me download the
> latest player, it works, I'm safe here, this is great stuff, they make
> it so easy for me..."
> then, those who are in love with Java/DOM/AJAX/Browsers, can do that
> and those who want to build and deliver full-fledged Revolution
> can continue to do that...
> Dan Shafer wrote:
>> Since I've made as much noise about this over the years as anyone,
>> I figured
>> I'd better not bypass this chance to provide what I hope is clear
>> input on
>> the subject.
>> For me -- and this may well be overly simplistic -- there are
>> three kinds of
>> applications: desktop apps, browser apps and client-server apps.
>> Rev is
>> outstanding at the first, more than adequate (even excellent in
>> some cases)
>> at the third, and not much help at all with the second. I'm
>> talking here
>> about full-blown applications that are delivered to and run nearly
>> completely inside the Web browser environment. Examples include
>> dabbleDB, JotSpot, BaseCamp, and others. The key idea -- for me,
>> at least --
>> is that the software uses the admittedly confining presentation
>> space of the
>> browser window as enhanced by the poorly named AJAX technology set
>> requires the user to download nothing. Those are the kinds of apps
>> in which
>> I am presently interested, which is why my level of activity with
>> Rev has
>> dropped off considerably in the past few months.
>> Now, I'm not at all sure it's either necessary or appropriate for
>> Rev to try
>> to wedge its technology base into that space which is now largely
>> programming languages such as Ruby, Python and Smalltalk.
>> I am decidedly NOT interested in any app solution that requires my
>> end user
>> to download a plug-in or anything else.
>> Flash is a terribly interesting DELIVERY platform for this class
>> of apps but
>> the development tools for creating such apps suck big time. There
>> is clearly
>> an opportunity here for a way to build an app in Rev and then
>> compile it to
>> Flash and deliver it entirely via the browser. Similarly, there is
>> a great
>> opportunity for doing the same thing and producing AJAX output.
>> This is the
>> direction taken by tools like Laszlo and Flex, which essentially use
>> That's my $0.06 (inflation taken into account along with the
>> length of my
>> response). :-)
>> On 11/3/06, Lynn Fredricks <lfredricks at proactive-intl.com> wrote:
>>> WHAT ELSE? What other options are there? Id like to frame this
>>> within the bounds of use - if you suggest something, is there a
>>> use you can think of?
>>> Before diving into the Roadster model, I ask that you go back and
>>> discussion on the list. I have a very strong opinion about this
>>> since I
>>> directly involved in the last rev of the Roadster plugin for
>>> Best regards,
>>> Lynn Fredricks
>>> Worldwide Business Operations
>>> Runtime Revolution, Ltd
> Om shanti
> (In Peace)
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