Multi-OS or Browser Development?

When it comes to Image Viewing Platforms, there is a debate within DMMD on whether or not we should focus on the development of a browser based image viewing platform or a multi-OS stand-alone application.

On one hand, more and more applications are moving to a browser based platform and the future of software development certainly seems to indicate that software applications will become more like services, rather than software that one purchases and owns. For a service based environment, a web deployment seems very appealing.

On the other hand, in order to provide cross platform functionality, an application needs to run on top of another layer of software that virtualizes the hardware underneath. Whether Java, a web browser, Flash, or any hardware virtualization platform, the extra layer of software translation means lower speeds.

For Visere, which is meant to be a viewer and image processing platform, the slower speeds become a serious hindrance. Additionally, keep in mind the following irony:

If the software is developed to be cross-OS compatible, then the software needs to be tested on at most three different OSes: Windows, Linux, and Mac-OS. If the software is developed for browsers, then it needs to be tested on multiple browsers and multiple versions. Either way you cut it, for high performance applications, such as Visere, it makes much more sense to stay with a cross-OS application that has an HTTP interface to allow data exchange and software updates to be performed in a manner similar to a web application.

– Darian Muresan

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