[Lazarus] The future of desktop

vfclists . vfclists at gmail.com
Sat Nov 30 13:44:51 CET 2013

On 30 November 2013 08:08, Martin Schreiber <mse00000 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Friday 29 November 2013 13:55:10 Michael Schnell wrote:
> >
> > MSEgui has a (supposedly not yet finished) extension called "ifi". Same
> > is supposed to provide a remote GUI via a Byte-pipe. Both the server and
> > the "user" end is a pascal program.
> >
> MSEifi-remote is still experimental because nobody made real applications
> up
> to now. Local inprocess MSEifi is used in production to separate user
> interface and business logic in MSEgui applications since years. IIRC I
> even
> made a MSEifi-remote demo-binary especially for you so that you could show
> the principle to your co-workers some years ago. ;-)
> How MSEifi-remote works:
> Martin
> --
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> Lazarus mailing list
> Lazarus at lists.lazarus.freepascal.org
> http://lists.lazarus.freepascal.org/mailman/listinfo/lazarus

The real issue here is not the future of the desktop, it is basically
Microsoft and Hardware manufacturers 'punking out' business developers
through FUD. The simple fact is that all the industry majors are
'frenemies' of developers, they pretend to be your friends and screw you
over afterwards. Saying that the desktop has no future is simply a side
effect of  the policies Microsoft adopted as a consequence  of trying to
turn itself into Apple.

The 'desktop' for Delphi developers where many FreePascal  come from
basically means Microsoft. It is a consequence of Microsoft trying to force
all sales through their App Stores like Apple does, which is insane as LOB
applications are not consumer applications that are sold through App Stores.

For example Delphi developers feel they are being screwed over by
Embarcadero, if they feel bad they should ask Microsoft developers how they
feel about Microsoft's policies concerning Silverlight, WPF, Windows 8 and
all those issues.

For business developers the main advantage of the Web is that it cuts down
support costs and eliminates deployment issues. The downside is that
HTML5/Javascript combination is not good enough, leaving Flash and
Silverlight. Then Apple refuses to support Flash, Adobe withdraws Flash
(but leaving Microsoft and Google to develop it their versions, ignoring
Mozilla who are doing Shumway) and Microsoft cancels further Silverlight
development. These were the tools that were supposed to enable desktop
software developers to transition to the web, so you see the desktop is not
the issue, the agenda of the industry majors is.

Mozilla has XUL which enabled cross platform development and they started
messing with it. Google has Pepper and they say are ceasing development
from 2014.

Linux would or should work, but when hardware device makers don't want to
release drivers it results in  substandard drivers compared with those
available for Windows and Apple machines.

This doesn't mean that the desktop doesn't have a future it only means that
developers have to think strategically and work out carefully what their
options are.

To summarize the situation:

1. Microsoft seems confused and has apparently lost direction in the sense
of how it supports its traditional developers, or how to support their
transitioning to the tablet and smartphone era.

2. Linux is not getting enough support from hardware manufacturers.

3. Microsoft, Google and Mozilla are disabling their browser plugin
systems, and where they are present requiring apps that use them to be
whitelisted, as successful cross platform applications, especially if they
can be purely browser based would cut them out of the commission loop and
minimize the benefits of their platforms uniqueness. Their basic agenda is
you can do anything you want on our platforms so long as we gain access to
your Javascript, minified, Google Closured, asmjs-ed, whatever and are able
to take out commission.

4. Moral of the story - stick to Linux, port it to your smartphones and
tablets, develop your own Web browser and develop your own plugin system
for it. You just can't depend on 'frenemies'.

Frank Church

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