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The recent explosion of phone platforms has depressed me (slightly), and made me wonder if we will ever reach any kind of standard for presentation?

I don't mean language or IDE. Different languages have different strengths and I can see that there may always be a need for disparity, although I do note that languages are merging somewhat in functionality, with traditional imperitive languages like C++ now supporting things like lambdas.

What I'm really talking about is a common presentation mechanism. Before smart phones and tablets came along, the web seemed to be finally becoming a reasonable platform for presenting an application that was globally accessible, not just geographically, but by platform too. Sure there are still (sometimes infuriating) implementation differences and quirks, but if you wrote a decent site you knew it could be accessed on anything from a PC to a phone to a C64 running the right software. "Write Once Run Anywhere" seemed to finally be becoming a reality.

However, in the last few years we've seen an explosion of mobile operating systems, and the ubiquitous "app". A good site is no longer enough, you need a native "app", and of course we have a sudden massive disparity in OS, language, and APIs needed to write them as each battles for supremecy.

It's kind of weird how the cycle of popularity goes. Mainframes with terminals - thin client. PC - thick client. Web browser - thin client. Phone app - thick(ish) client.

I just wonder if you think there will ever be a global standard for clients, or whether the "shiny and different" cycle will always continue along with the battle of the tech du jour.

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closed as not constructive by Adam Crossland, DeadMG, Thomas Owens Mar 23 '12 at 18:39

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Sorry, but there is no way that this question can be answered in a constructive way. –  Adam Crossland Mar 23 '12 at 18:31
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Of course it will always continue- that's how technology works. –  DeadMG Mar 23 '12 at 18:34
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This question can be answered in a comics way : xkcd.com/927 –  Nettogrof Mar 23 '12 at 20:15
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2 Answers

No, I don't think there will ever be a "standard" platform. "Ain't it cool". Why would you want that anyway? It's how you get innovation in the market. You don't like what one platform does, then use another or you make another. You improve.

It's also fun (at least for me). I like learning new hardware, frameworks and approaches. It's part of the tinkering that a lot of us like to do. At least for me, it doesn't get old (at least it hasn't yet).

It's kind of weird how the cycle of popularity goes. Mainframes with terminals - thin client. PC - thick client. Web browser - thin client. Phone app - thick(ish) client.

I don't see this as a "cycle of popularity", but as evolution and improvement.

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Not as long as people have ideas they think are better than the existing [your thing here]. [your thing here] could be hardware, software, user interaction methods (think wii vs PlayStation/XBox), or whatever.

It will always be this way, hopefully. When it stops, new ideas are gone.

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