Will Apps Unravel the World Wide Web?Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales: The Danger is Real and It's Happening Now
29 comments Sunday, January 16, 2011
Speaking at Bristol University in the UK, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, had some less than positive things to say this week about the direction the web is taking - the app direction. As quoted by computing.co.uk:
"The debate is a highly overblown issue," said Wales in a response to question about his personal view of net neutrality. "A lot of the things that people are afraid of are in reality a long way from happening. The real threat comes from the apps model."
On the open internet anyone can develop software and give it away or sell it. "But in the apps model, you have to get Apple's permission," said Wales. "That choke point is very dangerous. It's not theoretical like a network operator potentially shutting out Skype, it's real and it’s happening now."
The words somewhat echo a recent report from the inventor of the web himself - Tim Berners-Lee. Here's a sample from that:
In contrast, not using open standards creates closed worlds. Apple's iTunes system, for example, identifies songs and videos using URIs that are open. But instead of "http:" the addresses begin with "itunes:," which is proprietary. You can access an "itunes:" link only using Apple's proprietary iTunes program. You can't make a link to any information in the iTunes world—a song or information about a band. You can’t send that link to someone else to see. You are no longer on the Web. The iTunes world is centralized and walled off. You are trapped in a single store, rather than being on the open marketplace. For all the store’s wonderful features, its evolution is limited to what one company thinks up.
Other companies are also creating closed worlds.
I'm thinking that these App Worlds... Will eventually Close them Selves off and Starve to Death. As long as there is Open Source and the WWW to Put them on that is...