Kunal Anand: The uncloneable web

Kunal Anand talks about the uncloneable web:

Anyone can write AJAX or make a usable interface. But how many people can actually program a library and API for delivering facial recognition over port 80? The average web developer will discover that the learning curve for replicating Riya‘s features is substantially steeper as the underlying technology is not web-based, but probably in some low-level language like C or C . If this is the new breed of web applications, then I am excited to be a developer.

Ok. Let’s be clear about this: not everyone can make a usable UI. I sure can’t. I was once asked to teach a human interface course, and I refused. I’m not even ever going to try again.

This being said, I think he’s got a point. A lot of the current breed of web applications are easy to clone. Creating useful and uncloneable applications is important. Google is one such example. To a lesser extend, our very own indiscover is hard to clone (or is it?). But I believe more will come and more must come.

Maybe this is maybe where the pendulum will finally swing back: when we start to produce sophisticated web applications few people can replicate. We must stop trying to sell bits, and we must sell sophisticated services instead!

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

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