1367: "Installing"

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DavesNotHere
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1367: "Installing"

Postby DavesNotHere » Mon May 12, 2014 5:12 am UTC

Image

Title Text: "But still, my scheme for creating and saving user config files and data locally to preserve them across reinstalls might be useful for--wait, that's cookies."

Patents!!!

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby glasnt » Mon May 12, 2014 5:43 am UTC

Now that the html spec has caught up, it's *so* much easier to have a fluid site that works for desktop, tablet, and mobile, than to try and write a standalone for the mobile devices.

To be fair, he totally had a "here's something i prepared earlier" moment that makes a whole lot less work for him, and that's a nice feeling sometimes.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon May 12, 2014 5:48 am UTC

With apps, there's sometimes a fine line between "painless" and "mind-numbing."

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby bholley » Mon May 12, 2014 5:49 am UTC

This is the precise logic that lead to the development of Firefox OS. :-)

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Xantix » Mon May 12, 2014 6:02 am UTC

How much can you store in a cookie?

A few links later, 4KB
A few links later, WebStorage is just cookies but allows up to 10 to 25 MB.

What's the performance impact of Memoizing the full JavaScript and spritesheet of your site as strings in WebStorage?

Latency goes down, but Client processing goes up?

Does the site load faster?

What do we do with the 300+ copies of JQuery.min.js soon to be stored in WebStorage?

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby ysth » Mon May 12, 2014 6:17 am UTC

In other news, Randal tells us there's nothing new under the sun.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Hiferator » Mon May 12, 2014 6:38 am UTC

What this comic makes me think about is the countless "apps" that are nothing more than a webpage but are not available as such (at least once a mobile OS is detected) because apps are the hip way to go... and you probably can't use adblockers on them... and they can spy on all your actions much easier...

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby StClair » Mon May 12, 2014 6:48 am UTC

the clouuuuuud...

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Yu_p » Mon May 12, 2014 10:34 am UTC

@Hiferator: Part of the reason Android needs better permission management. iOS lacked any at the start, but right now its far ahead in that regard... Other than that, did any of these webpages ever notice that there are users who want to use stuff like TABS?

@Firefox OS: Are their apps still useful when offline for extended periods of time (e.g. being abroad)? Can Apps, that perfectly work without a cloud component, still be used and installed, after the service has gone out of business? The last point is a bit of a concern to me especially regarding the historical/cultural value of some software, e.g. preservation of gaming classics. For taking a look into games before my time there is DOSBox and contemporary Android, being open source, will likely be emulate-able in some way. But we'd still need access to the programs (Android: APK-files; iOS:???; Firefox OS:???).

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby snowyowl » Mon May 12, 2014 10:56 am UTC

At least this scheme would put an end to the Back button.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Whizbang » Mon May 12, 2014 11:25 am UTC

But, I like having things installed on my phone. I'd much rather play a game that does not use any data. It makes it easier when you can't get any wifi or are stuck in a deadzone.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Yu_p » Mon May 12, 2014 12:56 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:But, I like having things installed on my phone. I'd much rather play a game that does not use any data. It makes it easier when you can't get any wifi or are stuck in a deadzone.


To my big, bad surprise, most of the games I usually play on my tablet did require allways-on internet connection, even though there was no obvious technical reason. I assume, that they don't want you to play the game, when you don't have access to their microtransactions even temporarily.

For other types of apps though I agree. Explicit installation gives a better comfirmation of expectable offline-availability than offline-caching happening behind the scenes.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Whizbang » Mon May 12, 2014 1:10 pm UTC

Also, we're all in agreement that "Apps" ≈ "Games" right? Let's be serious. Those other apps are just to make you feel better about dropping ~$500(plus ~$100/month) on a glorified Tiger game, right?

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby heatsink » Mon May 12, 2014 1:24 pm UTC

That reminds me—why are cookies called "cookies"? I can't think of anything that the data has in common with the pastries.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby cellocgw » Mon May 12, 2014 1:30 pm UTC

heatsink wrote:That reminds me—why are cookies called "cookies"? I can't think of anything that the data has in common with the pastries.



I could be (and probably am) wrong, but way way back in the days of the first IBM multi-user mainframes, some wiseass wrote a little program which sent a message to all active users saying "I want a cookie." It then froze all I/O until someone typed "cookie" on a terminal.

The story is true; I just don't know about the attribution.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby orthogon » Mon May 12, 2014 1:35 pm UTC

heatsink wrote:That reminds me—why are cookies called "cookies"? I can't think of anything that the data has in common with the pastries.

Woah, your implicit assertion that a cookie is-a pastry has overturned my entire worldview. I have always considered biscuits and pastries to be disjoint sets.

EDIT: Not to mention cakes...
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby harperska » Mon May 12, 2014 2:25 pm UTC

In general, native apps tend to have a better user experience than web apps. There are 'native' apps out there that are simply a thin wrapper around an offline webpage, but those apps tend to pretty much universally suck. And with the first generation of iPhones, Apple tried to restrict all 3rd party development to web apps. There was a major backlash because developers weren't happy being forced to make apps that suck, and Apple pretty quickly opened up a native API.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby meustrus » Mon May 12, 2014 2:39 pm UTC

So you actually re-invented web pages. Don't let that realization stop you from patenting your "dynamically installed mobile app" idea!

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Black ICE » Mon May 12, 2014 3:19 pm UTC

heatsink wrote:That reminds me—why are cookies called "cookies"? I can't think of anything that the data has in common with the pastries.


Because they are magic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie#History

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon May 12, 2014 4:06 pm UTC

bholley wrote:This is the precise logic that lead to the development of Firefox OS. :-)

And Chromebooks.

The difference is, neither of those people had the moment of realization that they hadn't done something revolutionary, and plugged away at it anyway. I, for one, am sick to the back teeth of websites being referred to as "apps". Your browser is an "app". No site you visit with it, no matter how useful or extensive its features are, will ever, ever be an app.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon May 12, 2014 4:37 pm UTC

This comic reminded me of another brilliant idea in computing: promoting code reuse by, instead of wrapping up all the code for your project into your private executable file(s), so that every program you write includes the same bits of code for handling I/O (for example), instead just have one bit of executable code that does the I/O which all your programs can call into. That way, you only ever need to have one compiled copy of the I/O library and every program that does I/O can just link into it. We could call it a dynamically linked library, or dll for short...

Of course, a couple of decades of experience with using dlls has shown that there may be a problem with the concept - dlls work fine when you're working in a trusted environment - if you can assume that all the reusable code you want to use is already installed on the target machine, or you're bundling together a bunch of closely related programs that share a lot of common code, then the distributable size comes way down. The problem comes when you're releasing a stand-alone project into the wild: as a stand-alone, self-contained executable, the compiler can optimise things so that only the code you could actually use gets included; doing things the dll way, since you can't rely on the target machine having a given version of a given dll, your distributable package needs to include complete copies of every dll your project uses any part of, pushing distributable sizes way, way up...

Of course, there's an obvious solution - instead of packaging all the dependencies in with every distributable package, just have the private code and a list of shared-code dependencies that are hosted at a commonly-accessible location and let the target machine fetch any dependencies that it doesn't already have (or just check whether they're there and tell the user to find and install them) - which is the standard for Linux...

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby orthogon » Mon May 12, 2014 4:43 pm UTC

Black ICE wrote:
heatsink wrote:That reminds me—why are cookies called "cookies"? I can't think of anything that the data has in common with the pastries.


Because they are magic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie#History

Hold your horses, sir or madam. So they're called "cookies" because it's short for "magic cookies". So far so good. Let us admit for the moment that they were indeed called magic cookies because they were magic. (That is how adjectives work, after all.) Their alleged magicity explains the "magic" part of "magic cookie". But it doesn't explain the "cookie" part, which, we should note, is the only part left after the complete elision of the word "magic".
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby HES » Mon May 12, 2014 4:49 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Woah, your implicit assertion that a cookie is-a pastry has overturned my entire worldview. I have always considered biscuits and pastries to be disjoint sets.

EDIT: Not to mention cakes...

And despite the lack of VAT my Jaffa Cake budget is still waaaay too high.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby orthogon » Mon May 12, 2014 5:09 pm UTC

Isn't this just the latest swing of the pendulum that's been swinging back and forth between client and server for decades? We had mainframes with dumb terminals, then desktop computers, then desktops with centralised storage, then we had laptops with the storage locally but backed up centrally, then we had thin clients with loads of server-side cleverness, then client-side scripting, then apps...

The pendulum analogy isn't quite right, though. The ecosystem now is a really interesting hybrid: we have a mixture of "thick client" apps and "thin client" websites; local storage which is cheap but this is combined with cloud storage both for backup and sharing between devices and users; and we have some instances of centralised computation, e.g. Siri, Shazam, etc., just like the good old days.

</rare on-topic post>
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon May 12, 2014 5:42 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Isn't this just the latest swing of the pendulum that's been swinging back and forth between client and server for decades? We had mainframes with dumb terminals, then desktop computers, then desktops with centralised storage, then we had laptops with the storage locally but backed up centrally, then we had thin clients with loads of server-side cleverness, then client-side scripting, then apps...

The pendulum analogy isn't quite right, though. The ecosystem now is a really interesting hybrid: we have a mixture of "thick client" apps and "thin client" websites; local storage which is cheap but this is combined with cloud storage both for backup and sharing between devices and users; and we have some instances of centralised computation, e.g. Siri, Shazam, etc., just like the good old days.

</rare on-topic post>


There are also problems with thin-clients and imperfectly reliable networks - I know someone who works at a large organisation where, over the last year, there have been 5 occasions when the network went down and a large chunk of the company couldn't do any work for a day or two until it came back...

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby mathmannix » Mon May 12, 2014 5:57 pm UTC

Black ICE wrote:
heatsink wrote:That reminds me—why are cookies called "cookies"? I can't think of anything that the data has in common with the pastries.


Because they are magic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie#History


Huh. I always thought it was because they left a trail of crumbs.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon May 12, 2014 11:30 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Also, we're all in agreement that "Apps" ≈ "Games" right?
Nope.

I only have one or two games installed on my phone at all, and haven't played either of them for months at least.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Eternal Density » Tue May 13, 2014 6:06 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Whizbang wrote:Also, we're all in agreement that "Apps" ≈ "Games" right?
Nope.

I only have one or two games installed on my phone at all, and haven't played either of them for months at least.

I'm fairly certain I have no games installed on my phone.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Sebastiaan » Tue May 13, 2014 6:47 am UTC

And that's why our latest web browser, Windows 8, isn't actually such a bad idea.

(Windows 8 is Microsoft's way of sticking up the finger to the EU's IE-packaging ruling by just making the whole OS a web browser)

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Red Hal » Tue May 13, 2014 8:44 am UTC

Yu_p wrote:@Hiferator: Part of the reason Android needs better permission management. iOS lacked any at the start, but right now its far ahead in that regard... Other than that, did any of these webpages ever notice that there are users who want to use stuff like TABS?


CyanogenMod's Privacy Guard and (in v11 built-in App Ops) allows you to modify permissions on an app-by-app basis. This gives great granularity, and also allows me to see what apps are requesting what information. Any that don't work after I've "privatised" them get unceremoniously dumped; if an app for calculating resistor networks (for example) can't run without reading my contacts then it's either incompetent coding or maliciously harvesting details. Either way it's history. See attached.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Yu_p » Tue May 13, 2014 9:48 am UTC

Red Hal wrote:CyanogenMod's Privacy Guard and (in v11 built-in App Ops) [...]


I know that it is possible. But the ecosystem needs an easy-to-use out-of-the-box solution. Its not enough to protect people who would dabble in rooting and custom roms (which for most devices, if doable without major pains at all, includes forfeiting warranty).

Important aspect: Does Privacy Guard protect you, when you forget about setting permissions for an app? And does it force you to explicitly set permissions all the time, or does it provide you a permission-request popup or something similiar?

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Red Hal » Tue May 13, 2014 10:39 am UTC

You can (and I have) set it to default to on for all new apps. This sets every permission to "Always Ask". That way if you forget to make the changes when you install a new app then it will prompt you "Do you want to allow $app to access $permission? (Y/N)" and also an option to allow just once or to remember your choice.

I also have "Droidwall" installed which defaults to not allowing network traffic on either 3G or WiFi unless you explicitly allow it. You can also configure it to default allow, but I'd rather wonder why an app isn't working and have an "oh yeah" moment, than the other way around.

Of course, if privacy is the real concern, then either Ubuntu, or a blackphone with PrivatOS is the way to go.

Or ... Nokia 6310i? (Still the best business phone ever made.)
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Yu_p » Tue May 13, 2014 12:36 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:Of course, if privacy is the real concern, then either Ubuntu, or a blackphone with PrivatOS is the way to go.
Or ... Nokia 6310i? (Still the best business phone ever made.)

It is always a matter of usability vs privacy. If privacy was the only concern, I'd just disable wireless data ;)

Otherwise, thanks for the explanation. It seems like Privcy Guard already does what I want, so I guess I'll have to try it sooner or later. I'd still prefer to have such features in Android by default though.

PS: Kudos for using string interpolation syntax ;)

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Red Hal » Tue May 13, 2014 12:42 pm UTC

You're $greeting, $name.
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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby 80-watt Hamster » Tue May 13, 2014 1:21 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:
Or ... Nokia 6310i? (Still the best business phone ever made.)


In a search to find out what the 6310 was, I ran across a post on Nokia's website about the 3310 being remade into a Windows phone with a 41 Mp camera. Honestly, it looks pretty nifty.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby myoilu » Tue May 13, 2014 3:01 pm UTC

Sebastiaan wrote:And that's why our latest web browser, Windows 8, isn't actually such a bad idea.

(Windows 8 is Microsoft's way of sticking up the finger to the EU's IE-packaging ruling by just making the whole OS a web browser)



What is this about the EU packaging ruling? (yes I tried googling it)

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby speising » Tue May 13, 2014 3:04 pm UTC

myoilu wrote:
Sebastiaan wrote:And that's why our latest web browser, Windows 8, isn't actually such a bad idea.

(Windows 8 is Microsoft's way of sticking up the finger to the EU's IE-packaging ruling by just making the whole OS a web browser)



What is this about the EU packaging ruling? (yes I tried googling it)


there was a ruling that ms hat to offer a version of windows that does not have IE preinstalled. (actually, after installation there's a dialog asking you to choosea browser). also, there's a WMP-less version. (which costs the same, i think)

edit: http://www.browserchoice.eu/browserchoi ... ice_en.htm

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby StClair » Wed May 14, 2014 1:33 am UTC

As for the etymology, I always figured it derived from some variation of (as you would tell a child), "Go talk to X and they'll give you a cookie." A small treat as a reward, or in this case, a token for performing a minor task.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby orthogon » Wed May 14, 2014 8:34 am UTC

StClair wrote:As for the etymology, I always figured it derived from some variation of (as you would tell a child), "Go talk to X and they'll give you a cookie." A small treat as a reward, or in this case, a token for performing a minor task.

... with the associated advice that you shouldn't accept sweets (or, presumably, cookies) from strangers.

Randall's "invention" has the further benefit that when you decide to make arbitrary changes to your web api for no reason, you can change the client-side code to match.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1367: "Installing"

Postby Yu_p » Wed May 14, 2014 5:48 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
StClair wrote:As for the etymology, I always figured it derived from some variation of (as you would tell a child), "Go talk to X and they'll give you a cookie." A small treat as a reward, or in this case, a token for performing a minor task.

... with the associated advice that you shouldn't accept sweets (or, presumably, cookies) from strangers.

Randall's "invention" has the further benefit that when you decide to make arbitrary changes to your web api for no reason, you can change the client-side code to match.

It is also great, because if you decide that some features are not needed, those reactionist users cannot stick to the old version in response.


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