There is a company called 265 Network Company in Hutong area near Xinhua Gate in Beijing where the national leaders may live around. Xiao Lin is the CTO of that company.
Xiao Lin demonstrated us a set of new software rather than a website like before. It was a Smart Photo Album, an only 1M program containing powerful picture editing functions, and you can operate it in browsers. It can automatically search the images in your computer, and classify and combine according to the metadata contained in the image. What’s more, it can generate corresponding pictures in chronological order. After clicking on the thumbnail, you can enter the editing page. Not only can you easily add tag information, modify the classification, but also change the size of the pictures, modify and remove red eyes, and use other functions. And it’s convenient to upload and publish pictures to your own network album. Xiao Lin said, “In addition to fast indexing and classifying local pictures, smart albums also have rich editing functions and provide users with a zero-client experience.”
Apart from the benefits of zero clients, the most important goal of Web-based client software is to simplify complex applications. Xiao Lin said that for many users, especially those who had never been exposed to computers before, if they learned to surf the Internet, to use the mouse and click on it, they could handle such software well. For our parents’ generation, it’s impossible for them to lean all kinds of operations in different software system. Basically they know how to surf the Internet. Even for most of people, they can’t handle the simplest ACDSee system until they are familiar with functions and usage of every button. But the smart album is so easy that people can use it only with the knowledge of surfing Internet.
Apart from the functions, the program needs to do deeper things. As Xiao Lin said, “this is not an independent application, but based on our Desktop Web Server (hereinafter referred to as DWS). DWS is a web-based personal portal application development framework. Programmers can use this framework to develop a variety of application software. It fully embodies the advantages and convenience of web.
DWS even has its own file system and storage system. Because DWS has quit a lot of internal data storage and management requirements, such as configuration information, plug-in resources, template files, user data and other content management items, as well as documents such as mail content, index information, pictures, music and so on. The file system will have an advantage if the file system is operated by dragging, copying and pasting directly through the resource manager and the operating system. In this way, the internal data security can be guaranteed and the data can be shared with external programs.
In addition to smart album, they are also developing smart search, smart mail, smart bookmarks and other software. This requires the core function module plug-in technology of DWS. The application layer is the traditional CGI mode, such as reading Email, analyzing RSS files, listing favorite bookmarks and so on, while logic layer is trying to deal with some of the traditional CGI cannot-be-achieved or more difficult-to-be-achieved functions like checking, receiving and sending email, grabbing RSS source, synchronizing weather forecast information, downloading and updating plug-ins and interacting with Web Services, etc. Xiao Lin said that it was possible to put API of WPS in public so that programmers can develop various new Web-based applications on it and make personal desktop software Web-based.
For Internet users, it’s no longer necessary to install numerous applications, to switch between different operating interfaces and usage habits, but only need to use the mouse click to gain most of the using feelings, so that software, Internet and Web services have become a trinity application. This is actually the idea of WebOS that just emerged, and it is also the heated concept of Web 3.0 discussed recently, which is by virtual operating system based on browsers people can operate applications on WebOS. Either Google Desktop or Windows Live has implied this concept. Xiao Lin interpreted this concept of WebOS to us from a different aspect.
From: Programmer (March, 2006)