With safe net promising to deliver so many innovative approaches, my mind has started spinning over the implications of this. The more I think about it, the deeper I see the changes occurring.
I think we need to look back at the relatively recent history of Internet growth and the birth of web development. Client/server has become the default approach, with browsers becoming almost like an operating system in their own right; they have sandboxes and their own programming language and with the advent of HTML5, they have started to blur the line between application and website.
However, will what was born out of client/server still be fit for purpose in a world without servers? Even if it makes the transition, will it still be relevant?
Safe net will, for the first time, allow a distributed file store to follow users between different devices. These devices could be of various types and operating systems. While the browser has bridged this device gap thus far, will it persist when an app ceases to be deployed or installed, but is instead just always available, natively, via safe net? IMO, no it will not.
We only need to look to mobile to see how much apps are still appreciated. What would happen when this line is blurred further, with such apps being accessible securely and directly from safe net? Why would you want to use a clunky browser based application, when it is so easy to get.more feature rich apps directly? Why use a client/server technology, when the server is no longer needed?
Of course, there are challenges. Deploying different versions of apps for different systems is not a new problem and is a thorny issue. However, the web browser is not the only mechanism to resolve this issue and the alternatives have become better in the interim. Safe net could give these alternatives a fresh perspective.
What am I talking about? Virtualisation. While this is common on the server, it is relatively uncommon on the client. We have the likes of docker sweeping through the server side, virtualising the OS too. I see safe net paving the way for this on the client. Moreover, I see a fresh future for JVM (java virtual machine) applications, which is a similar concept at the application instead of the system level.
Why here, why now? Safe net lets us distribute data like never before. It allows us to access these technologies easily, where before it was difficult at the client end. Where previously the browser was the sane option, the browser becomes less compelling. Why run in a browser when you can break out of it?
There are interesting times ahead and this could be the next big shake up as data starts becoming fully distributed.