The Death of Portability

March 22, 2013 6:54 am

Before the world was conquered by Steve’s (and other similar) devices, there was one term that every single programming person in the world worried about, always: Portability. ‘Write once, run anywhere’ was so magical, everyone knew that phrase, and understood it intuitively. They practiced it for a full decade. But for some reason, just as people had started placing that term towards the top of the requirements list for their software projects, the term just vanished from the tech vocabulary. All of a sudden, nobody talks about portability anymore. At least on the consumer internet side of things, the term doesn’t have the impact it once had. What happened?

If you are building apps, just build one for Steve’s devices, and one for Android, and be done with it. If it is a web app. you already know it would work everywhere, so you are good. If you still have stuff on flash, train your team on HTML5 or hire some HTML5 folks and start porting your stuff. Just don’t talk about portability any more. It really doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter if you can just build for Steve’s devices for example, and be bought for a billion dollars.

Funny how the tech world works. When you just have two platforms (platforms that matter, anyways) and one platform says it cannot encourage technology ‘middlemen’ (Adobe) on its platform, the world of developers has no choice but to forget portability and other such good things. Funny thing, Apple owns the chokepoint and hence could be called the biggest middleman of them all. But then, Evil is what Sergey says is Evil. And Good is what Steve thought was Good. Unfortunately, portability did not cut it.

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