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Old 06-09-2010, 06:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dpapathanasiou View Post
Well, we can think of good reasons why it shouldn't be a desktop app, but I'd be interested to know why you think it is a good idea (I'm not trying to be disagreeable, I just want to understand your point of view).
Because I'm not a huge fan of hosted solutions. I don't like to trust people with my data if I don't have to, I'd like to make sure I can use my workflow even if you decide to remove this tool from the public (or begin to charge for it, say)... In short, I like things local and under my control. If that means running it off my home server that's not an issue. (Actually, an advantage: I don't do Windows).
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dpapathanasiou View Post
If it's an issue of trust, building a desktop app doesn't solve the problem.

In fact, it makes it worse in some ways, b/c if you don't trust the web site in the first place, you're unlikely to install something from that site on your pc, for fear of viruses or malware, etc.
Open-source the app, and there will be no reason for mistrust. The point above by K-Thom about what your app offers is relevant: there are far easier ways to achieve the functional actions of the app -- it's the not-so-hidden agenda that is the problem. You want to be a go-to place for people to come; you want them to be dependent on you and ignorant of other solutions.

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The point about uploading and downloading makes sense, but it is less valid now than 5-10 years ago, when broadband was less widely available.

As Flickr and YouTube have shown, people are ok with uploading and downloading decent sized files to and from those sites.
So? We are all using gasoline engines because 100 years ago, petroleum was cheap. The filth and destruction was seen as a cost borne by others than the businesses that made those decisions. The fact that the ignorant jumped on board is irrelevant to where the responsibility lies.

Wasting and inefficiency, particularly with something that has as much fine-grained control as programming gives, is still waste -- and it's clogging the 'tubes.

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Also, with the advent of Google Docs and Zoho, the idea of using an app that was formerly desktop-bound on the web has become more acceptable. Even Microsoft Office is now available as as web app.
Again, so? Other people are doing something stupid, so I can too? You think I would trust Microsoft with my data, and control over anything I possess? Even Google, with the mission statement "don't be evil" has repeatedly crossed the line. It's the nature of corporateness -- responsibility is removed from action, and the worst people rise to the top.

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I'm not against the idea of building a web app per se, but I just haven't heard of a compelling reason to do it.
I presume you mean desktop app, not web app. I actually think you're right -- there is no compelling reason to make such an app -- at all, web or otherwise. There are lots of people doing it for free, that don't have a reason for doing it that relates to harnessing the efforts and energy of others. I mean, I could write a zenity script that would do the job faster and more efficiently, and I'm no programmer.

Look, at the end of the day, you're in this for money. The natural inclination is for you to keep everything under your control, and to presume that because you're doing it, it must be good because you're good.

When circumstances change, so will your company's philosophy about privacy (see Facebook). A little nibble here, and a little nibble there... Perhaps not done by you personally, but certainly by the company you represent.

It's the nature of corporations and business people. It's not about art or excellence, it's about profit, influence and status.

There are exceptions, of course, but they're rare -- and they all involve actually producing something, either creative or tangible.

What are you producing? A list of other people's work?
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dpapathanasiou View Post
If it's an issue of trust, building a desktop app doesn't solve the problem.
In fact, it makes it worse in some ways, b/c if you don't trust the web site in the first place, you're unlikely to install something from that site on your pc, for fear of viruses or malware, etc.
It's not trust of your current condition that's at hand; it's the future.

If you vanish tomorrow, your software is no longer available. Why should people use, beta-test, and learn to rely on software that might vanish overnight?

If you strike a deal with a "partner," you might start collecting info & saving the history (including images) of every person who uses the site to make an ebook. Why should people give you access to their personal images?

Quote:
The point about uploading and downloading makes sense, but it is less valid now than 5-10 years ago, when broadband was less widely available.
I'm on dialup. (For complicated reasons that have to do with distrust of most large ISPs.)

I have friends who are on dialup because they live in areas where the choice is dialup or incredibly expensive satellite feeds.

Always refreshing to see a company that's willing to say "people still on dialup are not our target customers."

Quote:
I'm not against the idea of building a web app per se, but I just haven't heard of a compelling reason to do it.
Because then you wouldn't be liable for copyright infringement or obscenity charges based on the content of the images running through your servers? The fact that the user of the app would also be liable wouldn't protect your company.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:04 PM   #19
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Well, I have to say that I'm surprised at your sense of outrage.

We know this tool is not for everyone, and that some people have problems with web apps in general.

That's ok.

But please do not mis-characterize what we're doing, i.e.,

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Originally Posted by capidamonte View Post
You want to be a go-to place for people to come; you want them to be dependent on you and ignorant of other solutions.
That could not be less true.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:07 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
If you strike a deal with a "partner," you might start collecting info & saving the history (including images) of every person who uses the site to make an ebook. Why should people give you access to their personal images?
We would never do a deal like that; it's neither in our interests, nor in the interests of anyone who uses the site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck
Always refreshing to see a company that's willing to say "people still on dialup are not our target customers."
Well, we have to draw the line somewhere.

Dialup creates several technical and user experience challenges which are difficult to overcome. Even if you just wanted to download books to read, the time spend on the transfer (especially for a graphic novel like "Crude Behavior") would be frustrating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck
Because then you wouldn't be liable for copyright infringement or obscenity charges based on the content of the images running through your servers? The fact that the user of the app would also be liable wouldn't protect your company.
It goes beyond simple liability; we respect IP rights, and don't want any unauthorized or illegal content on our site.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:19 PM   #21
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I am in rural China, so I have spotty broadband that is slowed down on purpose by the government. I would never run any software that is web-based because the government could simply start blocking access. As soon as one person used your site to make a graphic book about the evils of the Chinese government, you are blocked in this country.

The idea of web-based apps is nice but just not realistic. If you vanish or decide to change your business model (and don't say it will never happen), the time and effort people have put into your product are gone.

You mentioned you don't want unauthorized or illegal content on your site. Who will decide what is unauthorized or illegal? If I make an anti-communist book on your site, I have broken Chinese law. Will you censor me? Or report me to the proper authorities?
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:24 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpapathanasiou View Post
Dialup creates several technical and user experience challenges which are difficult to overcome. Even if you just wanted to download books to read, the time spend on the transfer (especially for a graphic novel like "Crude Behavior") would be frustrating.
5 min/mb. If the book's worth it, I'll download. But my interest in uploading images and then downloading the same images in ebook format is limited... as has been stated, I can make a CBZ and put that through Calibre instead.

Quote:
It goes beyond simple liability; we respect IP rights, and don't want any unauthorized or illegal content on our site.
And what are you doing to prevent it? When people upload their images, how long do you store them--and how do you prevent illegal images?

If you're saying "upload images here," you are, to some extent, liable for the content of those images. I don't see anything on the site that indicates what content isn't allowed, nor any way for you to prevent illegal images from being uploaded.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Tom Swift View Post
I am in rural China, so I have spotty broadband that is slowed down on purpose by the government. I would never run any software that is web-based because the government could simply start blocking access. As soon as one person used your site to make a graphic book about the evils of the Chinese government, you are blocked in this country.
I agree that a web app is not ideal in some conditions, including the one you just described (i.e., in rural area with throttled access).

As for being banned by China, if Google cannot avoid it, neither can a small startup like we.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Swift
The idea of web-based apps is nice but just not realistic. If you vanish or decide to change your business model (and don't say it will never happen), the time and effort people have put into your product are gone.
The business model may change, but we have no desire to exploit people who use the site.

I don't know what about the site or what I've written here has given anyone the impression that we're unscrupulous and evil. We're not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Swift
You mentioned you don't want unauthorized or illegal content on your site. Who will decide what is unauthorized or illegal? If I make an anti-communist book on your site, I have broken Chinese law. Will you censor me? Or report me to the proper authorities?
Unauthorized in the sense that the IP owner (i.e., the person who created the work) does not want it on our site.

We operate in the U.S., and are not at the beck and call of the Chinese government.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:57 PM   #24
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I don't know what about the site or what I've written here has given anyone the impression that we're unscrupulous and evil. We're not.
Facebook wasn't unscrupulous or evil four years ago.

If your site gets popular, someone may offer you Unholy Amounts of Money for it--in which case, whatever agreements *you* made with users may be irrelevant. And we've all seen that happen too many times to trust that your site is exempt from that temptation.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:07 PM   #25
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Yahoo is a US company and they turned over information about bloggers to the Chinese government, resulting in lengthly jail time for posters to the Yahoo blog site. A little bit of pressure and offers of access to the largest batch of internet users in the world and morality goes out the window.

Nobody said you are evil. I think that many of us are not supportive of the web-model, having seen it abused too many times. It just seems better to have your services off-line. Protects you from liability issues and makes it easier for your users.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:36 AM   #26
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I don't get web based apps. If I want an app, I want it on my computer where I can access it and use it anywhere, anytime, anyway I want without having to worry about internet availability or connection problems.
Hello Gastan,

Do you create illustrated books such as comics, graphic novels, manga, or children's books? If so, are there any tools in your workflow that you would like to see?

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Old 06-10-2010, 04:01 PM   #27
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Hi,


If you mean downloadable as a desktop app, though, we learned that people don't want desktop apps, and we've come around to that view ourselves.
Oh noes! I'm not a people anymore
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