Rob Fahrni

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Native vs. Web

Chris Coyier

Still, one gets the feeling that if any of the huge platform-producing tech companies could have their way, they’d have us all writing proprietary apps for their platform only. Right this second, the web feels like it’s in a good spot, but it also feels like the native vs. web battle is a swinging pendulum.

As a native application developer I’ve been waiting for the web to replace all native software development SDK’s, and we’re closer now more than ever.

Web browsers can now persist data locally and work in offline modes. Developers can now write code in many different languages and convert that to Web Assembly. The browser is, essentially, the operating system.

Duct Tape, fixer of all things!At a personal level I want to keep doing native work because it’s nice to use the frameworks as intended and not have to rely on one of the cross platform tools, like React Native, to catch up. But I don’t see a problem with folks choosing web technologies and creating a 100% web app that works great on desktop and mobile.

If anything, old guys like me, should be concerned about web technologies being the choice for everything. When the web happened we didn’t have JavaScript. It was hacked together in a short period of time, a week if memory serves, and named JavaScript because Java was the new hotness. It has all kinds of quirks but it is beloved by developers. Add Microsoft’s TypeScript to the mix and you get some strong typing that spits out as JavaScript.

JavaScript is eating the world and if I want to write code in the future, I’ll have to learn it. 😃

Another thing worth noting: most native apps do use web technologies. We use the internet to pull data from the web and render it using native OS support instead of web technologies. My app, Stream, uses RSS, Atom, and JSON Feed, feeds from any website provided by the user. That’s all web stuff.

Chris Dixon

This is a worrisome trend for the web. Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.

Red sock.Mr. Coyier’s piece sounded so familiar I went back through my blog and found a link to Chris Dixon’s piece above. In 2014 folks were worried about native apps beating the web. It hasn’t happened. The web will keep chipping away until it’s all we have or the web is completely replaced by something else.