Provocation: are webapps compatible with Kyoto?
John Reynolds just posted another blog in the saga "the web is killing the desktop" (no pun intended: it's somewhat obvious that as the world evolves people discuss about the direction). One of the comments, by cmdrx, gave me the hint for a provocation that is floating in my mind since a long time:
With most mobile internet solutions having a 5Gb monthly cap on usage, relying on the internet for everything may be an extremely costly decision.
Well, costs evolve too and in a few years (recession allowing) we will have much higher caps - or no caps at all. In my own personal perspective, this won't necessarily make me willing to stay permanently connected (I've already blogged on the joy of being disconnected). But this is not a new point.
Now, look at this:
Is it green to trigger a potentially world-spanning transaction for every small operation you do with a web application?
Maybe I'm wrong and somebody proved the opposite with the proper maths, but I'd say a good, old, disconnected, desktop application that works mostly on your laptop and uses the network only when the network is really needed (when you have to transfer information) consumes less energy than a webapp "relying on the internet for everything". What do you think?
PS This doesn't relate to the point, but I'd like to stress that I'm not a green paranoid. While I've been a supporter of ecologist associations since I was a child (almost thirty years ago), I'm pretty skeptical about Kyoto and the whole global warming stuff. But I'm puzzled that in a world where the current mantra is that you should care of how much greenhouse gas you're going to produce for every step you take (possibly avoiding to eat too many beans so you don't generate killer amounts of CO2) nobody is thinking about how ecologically inefficient a web application might be. Or somebody is doing?