May 3, 2010
The web, with its interconnectedness, happens to be a pretty good tool for distributing content. Applications tend to be tools for manipulating content. So we get web applications: tools for manipulating content that you can find or create on the web. The problem comes when web applications start to bite the hand that feeds, by isolating the content within the application from the rest of the web.
Qz, commenting on Hacker News
I published Understand the Web late on a Saturday night, and honestly thought I'd have Sunday to live-edit it before people read it on Monday. I was very wrong, but the response has been positive and astounding all the same and some of the comments on my blog and elsewhere are doing a fantastic job of exploring the relationship between the web, applications on the web, and applications built with the same technologies. I keep finding new pockets of feedback that make me smile.
Anyway, my least favourite part of my article (that would definitely have been rewritten had it not first been quoted all over Twitter) was the very last line:
“The idea of undermining the core function of the web to [build a crappy cross-platform framework] is detestable.”. It was too blunt, negative, clumsy and too absolute. There's really a lot of grey to be explored. I'm thankful to commenters like Qz, who are doing a grand job of expanding my thesis.