Comments on information technology in general

Return of the Thick (Fat) Client

In the beginning, of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) at least, all applications used a thick (or fat) client. That means the client controlled all aspects of the user experience in regards to using an application. Developers tended to like them because they allowed them to provide a generally richer experience and better control of said experience. As Web browsers matured, though, enterprises began pushing developers for Web (or thin) clients. That is because thick clients normally required a visit by a desktop technician and keeping up with the versions was very difficult.

Fast forward to today. Today, we have multiple browsers and multiple versions thereof. Furthermore, the browser developers are pushing out new versions faster and faster. Now, we have a very difficult situation for the enterprise to manage. Thin client X required browser version N where thin client Y requires browser version N+1. If a user needs to run both, we have a real problem. This leads to pressure by enterprises on developers to keep up with the browser versions.

I believe this will lead to the return of the thick client. I am already seeing some of this. LogMeIn, which is remote desktop software, used to be all browser based. It now requests to load a thick client when you select to remote control. It downloads and installs said client with your permission. I also am working with Forms inMotion from Keymark. It currently only has a thick client though a Web client is on the horizon.

Why can this work now when it didn’t previously? Well, first, there is more bandwidth now making downloading and install on demand more viable. There is still the potential problem of needing admin rights to install that needs to be licked though. Second, software like LanDesk (link taken down at their request) allows enterprises to originally install software without a desktop technician visit and keep it up to date.

The bottom line is I believe we will see the return of the thick client.

Hosting by GoDaddy

I’ve been self hosted on a Fedora Linux machine at my house for years.  I have taken the plunge to move to GoDaddy Web Hosting.  It just has too many good attributes to resist.  A monthly fee that allows hosting of multiple sites, adaptable templates, and no worries about keeping my machine up.  Now, I can finally take my former hosting machine to the latest version of Fedora and re-purpose it.  It was just too much trouble for me to upgrade the OS before.  Hopefully, you will like the changes to the Web site.  I tried to keep the content much the same while fitting it into the new template.

Firefox 2 on Fedora Core 6

I am writing this post without direct access to my system. I’ll edit it later if I discover problems….

I looked at and/or tried some of the suggestions on the web. These included:

1. Doing it with the “remi” library. I didn’t try that as I was not familiar with that library.

2. Enabling the development repository under yum. I tried this but could not get past the gecko dependency problems.

Finally, I went back to what I first tried i.e. download tar and install it.

Upon startup, I received a libstdc++…so5 not found error. I resolved this by doing an Add Software and installing the compat…3… libraries.

Note, if you say yes to make it the default browser, running by clicking on the browser icon on the desktop header will invoke your Firefox 2. You don’t need to change /usr/bin/firefox unless you plan to run from the command line. Even then you can run /usr/local/lib/firefox instead.