Local Storage made desktop JS

Until late last year (2013, Happy New Year) when I needed to write a little utility script that would do a housekeeping task on the net for me, I would write it in Frontier.

But then something changed. I realized I could write them in JavaScript to run in the browser on a local machine or even one of my server machines. It really doesn’t matter where they run. I didn’t think too much about it when I was writing them, but just realized that what made it possible was the HTML 5 idea, localStorage. Without it, a bit of code running on the desktop would need a server to remember its state. Now the local machine has that ability, and why not, disk space is super cheap, at least relative to what it used to cost.

The most useful utilities so far have acted as a bridge between RSS and Twitter. It’s how my linkblogging tool connects with it now. And it is still relying on a server for the final step.

My old friend Jeff Sandquist, who used to be the lead developer guy at Microsoft, is now doing that at Twitter. I keep telling Jeff I have no interest in doing anything on top of Twitter, but then I keep doing things on top of Twitter. Oy! Yes, they could make it better. I shouldn’t need a proxy to talk to their server. My desktop JS should be able to talk directly to their server.

Where do I think this will go? Well, there’s no question you could write a full RSS aggregator to run on the desktop in the browser, even on a tablet or a phone. Decentralization is now much much easier than it ever has been, and it’s coming at a good time, with all the michegas from the NSA.


About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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