And the URL as command-line : http://220.127.116.11/bytecols/2001-08-15.html
The DF piece has some interesting comments on MicroSoft's PlatformWars wrt web-based applications. Although for many this is old stuff. Of course the browser was a threat to MicroSoft not qua a particular document browsing app. but because open net-standards allow anyone to play.
There's also some breast-beating from Daring Fireball that triggers a certain amount of "well, duh!"ing from me. For example, it's like he thinks web-pages were obviously worse as interfaces than GUI widgets.
*The user experience limitations of a web app are glaringly obvious. They simply don’t look or act like normal desktop apps ... Instead of looking and feeling like real Mac/Windows/Linux desktop apps, web apps look and feel like web pages *
Whereas I'm of the "clicking on little blue words (that are underlined for emphasis) is so bloody obviously simple that this will eventually replace every other interface widget" school of thought. (Caveat : with the possible exception of things that need you to input spatial information.)
And then DF looks into the abyss of DisruptiveTechnology.
.... The persnickety little UI details I obsess over — these are nothing compared to the massive deficiencies of even the best web app. But most people don’t care, because web apps are just so damned easy to use. What’s interesting is that web apps are “easy” despite their glaring user experience limitations. What they’ve got going for them in the ease-of-use department is that they don’t need to be installed, and they free you from worrying about where and how your data is stored.
This is the classic WorseIsBetter issue. "huh? how it's worse but people seem to be prefering it?" Because it's better on a different axis.
And a web-app is definitely worse and disruptive compared to a desktop app. (Even though I was going round last year asserting that TheDesktopIsBack)
See also :