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But mobile apps are also small because they are network apps. In the desktop
era, when it was difficult to access common data stores, we had integration
at the applications level, with monolithic apps trying to handle all of a
large problem. The mobile era, though, is the era of the network. The
integration is at the data level and apps are small tools for viewing or
manipulating small parts of large loosely integrated data sets. We see the
same trend in Web-based apps on the desktop. Loss of an Internet connection
today is generally crippling.
The integration, and thus much of the complexity is in the network and in
the cloud. Individual apps are simpler, but also smarter, resulting in far
less need for documentation.
And information has undergone the same sea change. The old manual model did
integration at the book level. The hypertext model does integration as the
network level, creating large loosely integrated information sets consisting
of smaller topics. And with the right design and the right tools they can be
smarter too, because they have access to the network and all the information
that the network makes available. Dynamic information display makes far more
sense and is both far more natural and far more essential in the networked
While information and function are still different things, the old
application / documentation dichotomy no longer makes sense and we can't
continue to define ourselves and our role in terms of that old dichotomy.
From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Robert Lauriston
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2016 11:08 PM
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Re: HTML5, Phones, and Tables
Phone versions of apps almost always have reduced functionality to make them
usable and self-explanatory.
Maybe 1% of the mobile apps I've used needed help, and they were all weird
and unusable. Have you ever tried to edit an Excel spreadsheet on a phone?
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