Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Web application loads in two parts - the browser loads first, and the application loads thereafter

One of the benefits of Web applications that's touted quite frequently is that these applications always stay updated. That's true in the sense that the application is loaded from the server each time it's used, thus ensuring that the freshest/latest version is pulled and used. This fact is touted as a benefit of Web applications over native applications. While this might appear fully true at first, close examination reveals that there are some important fine points which merit a look.

A Web application - like Gmail - isn't just the Gmail running inside a browser tab. It's Gmail plus the Web browser [taken together], since Gmail can't/doesn't have any existence without a supported browser. This idea can be extrapolated to all Web applications; all depend on a browser.

Which implies that all the aspects along which Web applications are compared to desktop applications must include the browser in the equation as an inseparable component of Web applications.

When the browser is added to the mix, the scales start to turn against Web applications, since browsers have their share of high memory consumption, delayed launch, version updates, etc. When we launch a Web browser, we're basically completing the first half of the total process of launching a Web application. This step [of launching a browser] is no different from launching a native application such as Microsoft Word.

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