Versioning of Webapps

As we move more and more of the work we do to the cloud, we as consumers of these services should demand a way to stay with a specific version. What am I talking about? Well, for example, many of us use Facebook and they are constantly changing the interface and the services behind the interface and many people aren’t happy. The same for gmail and googles calendar app. I’m happy with what I have now and I don’t want to have new ‘features’ or interface designs forced upon me. Clearly I do not pay for these apps so I really have no rights, but still, its inevitable that people will really start complaining en mass and these services depend on users. The makers of these apps should start thinking about how to manage change and how to allow users to lock in to a version they are using. I would pay a little for this. I don’t mind paying for applications as long as they do what I want them to do. What about you?

One thought on “Versioning of Webapps

  1. Depends on the app. I’m willing to pay for an ad-free chess app or two. I don’t know if I’m willing to pay for, to pick your example, facebook. The aforementioned chess apps (RHP currently,’s various tools previously, previously (well, this is really a media access subscription)) don’t change significantly. A feature gets added, maybe, but the interface isn’t drastically changed. If they were removing features, etc a-la Facebook, they’d be (have been) less likely to get my money.
    For me, it’s about supporting the stuff I care about — voting with my dollar maybe. Facebook doesn’t really qualify for “care” for me. They get to push ads in my face and that’s it.
    I wonder about the feasibility of user level versioning for an app like facebook. Many of their upgrades reflect a schema change. If they went to a database structure that was friendly to that sort of flexibility (say, more delimited composite-content fields), they’d possibly lose normalization and performance. I dunno.


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