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"what is behind this?" : Mo Money. Less responsibility.
If a Google service to a public safety application identifies
the wrong home address as the residence of a sex offender,
whom does the resident sue?
If this happens, the producers of Arcview, Google or tutti quanti cannot be
held responsible. They only provide the tools. Moreover, since at least two
decades, the license clearly states that they have no responsibility for
data lost, etc. etc. Basically, the license states that they are not
responsible. On that note, Len nothing is changing :-)
This said, when the application is mission critical or when life can be in
danger, I doubt they would rely on web services. But for more basic
commercial applications web applications can be used.
If you have doubts about the business model behind services like Google map,
I share your doubts. In contrast to previous models where the business
models were clear, the new ones are not. Is ti possible to built profitable
business on this model? I do not know but I am still very curious to see how
people will find ways to make a living out of it. If they fail, it won't
survive. If they do, it will kill the previous paradigms.
"what is new?"
Res ipsa loquitur
Len, a couple years ago when we were demonstrating the Xrox star I also
heard the sentence "it doesn't do more than a terminal!". Yes indeed like
saying that everything can be done in assembler. Is it more fun? More
reliable? More economical? With more potential? History will say as it did
for the GUI vs the terminals :-)
From my point of view, the main questions are:
a) can money be made out of this?
b) can we provide to users applications as rich as we can do with desktop
c) Can it become more economical to develop web applications?
No answers yet to these questions but I would judge before the facts.
Didier PH Martin