Web Apps - What are they?

May 24, 2016

Warning: This is a thought stream and I am still forming opinions on the topic.

A discussion began on Twitter between myself and Jeremy Keith concerning the term 'web apps'. It became confusing and thought it best to write my thoughts down in a short post.

What got me thinking is the following question of this tweet:

He has a good point. I had provided examples to what he had asked 'Define "web app"', but never gave a distinguishing factor to what a web app was. Go read his journal about how we should not make these distinguishes.

My question is: Would you call Trello or Google Docs a 'website'?

To me a website is something I load on a web browser to access information I may or may not interact with e.g Twitter, Wikipedia, someone's blog.

Then a web app is an application that can be accessed in the web browser that acts just like a native application but within the browser e.g. Google Docs, Trello, Messenger, Gmail etc. There's a distinct different in the use case of Twitter and Google Docs.

Are they actually different?

Maybe some people see something called 'website' as all of the above and think me stupid, maybe some don't even know what a URL is, who knows! But I think a new word/phrase should be used to describe the web as a whole just as Jeremy said in his journal entry, 'web thangs', to stop confusion with the general public and these buzzwords.

Thanks for visiting my web thang.