• Why Web Applications Are an Important Part of the Internet

    Applications are a central part of any computing experience. Everything from file servers to home computers makes use of applications of one type or another. These are usually very distinct from the operating system as a whole. But there’s one type of application which exists in a more subtle space. These are what’s known as web applications. And, as the name suggests, they’re applications which are loaded up from the web. People often overlook the significance of these applications due to the fact that they’re essentially launched from within another program. In reality web applications are an important part of the internet, and technology in general.

    One of the most significant benefits to be found in web applications comes from something known as platform independence. Some desktop programs are released for multiple operating systems. But in these cases the developers need to go to a lot of extra trouble to support every operating system they run on. Web applications run on different operating systems in a very different way. Web applications are usually seperated into two distinct elements. They have a backend system which handles the larger amount of data crunching, and a frontend which handles graphical elements and user interaction. Of these two elements, only the frontend is actually running within one’s computer. The backend calculations are done on a remote server which is stored within a data center.

    The full benefit of this situation might not be obvious at first glance. But it essentially ensures that programs don’t need to depend on the underlying operating system. The main bulk of the program is executed within a remote server which has a set type of architecture. The frontend code is written in a combination of Javascript, HTML and CSS that any web browser can read. Additionally, the majority of modern web browsers will take that frontend code and further optimize it through something known as JIT, or just in time compilation. The JIT process takes scripted content and converts it into native code for a particular platform. In the process the speed of the code is dramatically increased.

    This all comes together to create programs which can really be run anywhere, and on almost any device. And this is also why they’re such an important part of the internet as a whole. Web applications are programs which exist outside specific platforms. They’re available through web browsers, which are almost ubiquitous at this point. And because browsers run on so many machines it means that one is never locked into a single platform when using web applications. People can upgrade or choose not to upgrade operating systems. They can use whatever phone they want. And they can even access most web applications on video game consoles. Web applications and the web in general are geared at the users, rather than at promotion of a closed platform that will be sold to them.

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