Oddpost, DHTML, and off-line Web Applications

Oddpost, DHTML, and off-line Web Applications.

As you may have guessed, I didn't know much about Oddpost until recently. But since they're now part of the collective, I had the opportunity to meet with a few of the Oddpost folks on Friday.

Aside from the getting an idea of how all their server-side stuff
works (it's a classic example of “do the simplest thing that could possibly
work” and I love that aspect of it), which was the real point of the
meeting, I got to actually see the product first hand. And I left the
meeting in amazement at what they were able to do using only a web
browser and a lot of fancy DHTML wizardry. I mean, this thing looked
and mostly acted like a real, native desktop application.

Really. A few times I caught myself thinking it was a “fat” client,
only to look at the title bar and realize it was an IE window. But
other than that, it was hard to tell at time. It's really that good.

The only downside to this I can see is that as the gap between
“desktop” and “web based” applications closes, users won't understand
the difference. The Oddpost client, for example, feels like a fancy
mail and RSS application. But take it offline (such as cross-country
flight) and suddenly it does a lot less that one might expect. Knowing
that it's a web-based system with most of the data stored on the
server, this comes as no shock to most anyone reading this. But to
average folks like my Mom, well… that's probably a whole different

This makes me wonder how we're going to bridge the gap or if that
gap will become irrelevant as the odds of having an Internet connection
in any random location continue to increase.  [Jeremy Zawodny's blog]

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