Lowering the price of Web-Apps

October 18th, 2009 · 5 Comments ·

The old saying goes: Ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s the execution that counts.

So you are working on a project and all of a sudden you realize that it would be great to have a web-application which keeps track of something. It is exactly what would hit the spot, but than you think about it some more and you realize that your choices are

  • Custom app in php/java/ruby/rails/etc… would take you days to get up and running and than there is the cost of deployment. You have full control of everything but you have to be an expert in everything.
  • You could use Google docs (spreadsheet) but that does not have the right look and feel, as you can either have form for collecting data or you can have tabular data. You have zero control of the presentation.

So you think about it some more and you realize that the benefits are not worth the effort and the application does not get build. How often has this happen to you?

<angular/> is not about making the building of web-applications easier, it is about allowing you to build an application where no application would have been build before.

Let me give you an example. I do a lot of coding and often I get distracted. So I said, I would love to know the reasons why I get distracted. Would it not be great if I could keep a log, which would than draw a chart for me with how often and why I get distracted? I could have opened a spreadsheet, but somehow the act of opening a spreadsheet is a distraction in itself, so I doubt I would have done it every time I got distracted. So instead I took 5 minutes to hack together a quick HTML which allowed me to enter the reason why I was distracted in <angular/>. Now I am a mac user, so I click the “Open in Dashboard” on my safari and I had a dashboard widget which allows me to keep track of the reasons whenever I get distracted, with very little effort. I stop coding because I need to go to meeting, I activate Dashboard and enter the reason, someone comes over and asks me a question, ditto.

<angular/> allowed me to go from an idea to working app in 5 minutes. If it was not for <angular/> this simple app would simply not get built. It is great when technology makes existing things easier, it is even better when it enables things which simply would not have happened.

Wait! I have an idea, it would be great to get your opinion on what kind of quick and dirty applications you always wanted to build but the effort was not worth the benefit. What if, we could also vote on other peoples ideas too.

Well here it is:

If you can see this than you need to go to http://blog.getangular.com/2009/10/18/lowering-the-price-of-web-apps to get the full effect.

Your Idea:

  • Votes: like it:{{idea.yes}}; hate it:{{idea.no}} | {{idea.$audit.created.by}} | {{idea.description}}

Tags: Uncategorized

5 responses so far ↓

  • Trevor // Oct 19, 2009 at 11:38 am

    eh, sounds like rails could do that in about the same time :) at worst still not “days”

  • misko // Oct 19, 2009 at 6:51 pm


    The back end of is written in Ruby. Ruby has lots of scripts which let you generate things and get going fast, but in 5 minutes you can get a hello world going. To get a simple app with voting going you would have to create schema, controllers and routing. Than you would have to deploy this someplace and set up mySql. And you would not have authentication, nor embedability working. But this all is a moot point. Since to write Ruby you need to know a lot about programing, databases, etc. Where as with everything is declarative, which means you can build quick apps with just the HTML. In Ruby you need: HTML, Ruby, Rails, SQL, and ERB.

  • Peter // Oct 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    An XQuery and an XML document is all it takes, isn’t it?

  • misko // Oct 26, 2009 at 8:45 pm


    how do you figure? Authentication? Data Storage, Behavior? Rich widgets? Compatibility with existing browsers?

  • Peter // Nov 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    An eXist server will happily work with the LDAP of your choice. There are choices to make with data, of course, but ease of experiment counterbalances unfamiliarity.
    All the Javascript that gives you rich widgets already still works, and – since it’s pure HTML going out – browser compatibility is straightforward (any problem areas are probably covered by your JS framework, as is Ajax-ability)