Another thing he is wrong about is "moore law of bandwidth": it does not exist. While CPUs are getting faster and RAM is growing like crazy, bandwidth is not growing. In fact I am starting to notice an annoying trend of businesses running on slower and slower connections.
But his thoughts on parallels between terminal/HTML transition to Windows/FancySDK are cool nevertheless. He may not be right about everything, but something similar to what he's talking about sure will happen.
Steve Yeggie blogged about inevitable "Rails for the Client" some time ago. Similar idea but expressed in more technical terms.
Huh? Am I the only one the notice how illogical this is?
We are not basketball players. Some of us do are best hacking in our 40's and 50's. (Lay off the drugs - you'll see.)
Joel has forgotten more than many here have ever known about hacking. His only problem with this essay is that he has the balls to make a prediction.
There is only one prediction that is always 100% accurate - that no prediction will ever be 100% accurate.
Great read, Joel. Now back to my ramen.
Dvorak has enough balls to make a prediction. Does that make him clever?
Besides, he never really was a programmer. If I remember correctly he started his career as a program manager at Microsoft.
He's great as a general technology trends observer and I find his thoughts on business side of software crafting immensely useful, bug a hacker? No.
So am I officially the only person who agrees with Joel on this?
But I definitely stand by my "too old" observation. That's just silly.
Oh, and don't call me dude, shirley.
Nice Godelian statement :)
His software products are lightweights, and he makes most of his money from his fan base, selling books and job ads on his web site.
He's just not relevant any more (if he ever was in the first place).
...in the U.S.
Although I'm a bit more optimistic about the possible application of Moore's law in communications. Some 20 years ago 9600bps seemed to be the physical limit for phone lines, and there was even proof for that based on physics. But see how many new protocols emerged since then. ADSL, for example, would have sounded like an alien technology 20 years ago, or take any high-speed wireless protocol in use nowadays. Essentially it's the same medium utilized by much, much faster protocols.
This isn't really true. In 1997 most users were lucky to be on 56k dial-up. Now for the same price (at least here in Australia) I can get a 28Mb ADSL 2+ connection. That's an increase of 500x in 10 years. Granted bandwidth increases in fits and spurts, but it's increasing alright.
Also, could you clarify your statement: "The most annoying limitations are imposed by the browser (meaning that no JS library is going to fix them)." Do you mean the there are things that browsers simply can't do (e.g., your "file uploading that doesn't suck" example)?
I am curious about the evolution of GWT from an internal Google tool into its current form as an open source platform. Did the JS compiler tools you describe simply evolve into GWT?
I see parts of GMail that could be highly custom GWT. Google Mashup Editor on the other hand is pretty obviously GWT.
Personally, I prefer JS. My current project is mainly written in JS (using Rhino on the server).
In your opinion how easy would google cope with a need for a complete rewrite of Gmail?
There are a number of real threats to Gmail. This isn't one of them.
That said, I'd bet that this threatens encrypted mail more than webmail. Have consumers ever chosen security over convenience?
Burned once, consumers will choose security over convenience. They'll even go so far as to choose inconvenience on the assumption that it makes them safer. Witness people's acceptance of inconvenient airport security, even as baggage went on totally unscreened.
The very core of what makes Gmail so enjoyable is that their expertise in free form search allows me to pretty much stop caring about organizing my mail at all. I generally just hit archive, and rely on search to retrieve whatever I may need to later. No web mail client can provide such a service against encrypted mail.
At the same time, it is Google's access to my mails' content that allows them to show me 'relevant' ads. Without this ability, providing Gmail for free will get a lot harder to justify.