Not to brag but…
Pacman screenshot
Got curious and suddenly played Pacman til I had no lives left!

In celebration of Pacman’s 30th anniversary, Google, as has been tradition with special events, made a special Google homepage for this never-full-always-hungry hero for his 30th birthday! They’ve changed the homepage already by now, but a secret page still allows you to play it 🙂

I got through four stages — or actually, repetitions — of the same stage layout til I ran out of lives. Got a bit disappointed after the first stage when I discovered I’d be playing the same stage over and over again! Worse, I did not even realize that the stage actually spelled out G-o-o-g-l-e until my friend pointed it out to me. Hahaha!

What’s interesting to note is that the banner, which is at the same time playable, is not made with Adobe’s Flash. Try right-clicking on it and see that it isn’t. In fact, looking at the HTML code brings up a lot of Javascript gibberish! (And I’m not planning to read that any time soon :p )

I got info of this from a blog that I’ve read just tonight. Apparently, the blogger is not too fond of web-based applications. For the longest time (four years to be exact, as I had been wondering through the years while I’m on my first job at a bank), I cannot seem to adequately answer a question: Why would anyone not want to go web-based on their applications? I mean, there are endless possibilities with what you can do while you’re online, and that deployments made by IT people are so much easier with web-based applications (read: deploy once and affect 50-plus bank branches and their users on a click of a button). That’s not even including the ease at which you can code entire user interfaces using HTML and all those enjoyable things. :p

Google has been at the forefront of promoting services in the “cloud”. Basically, this means offering services online, like the most mundane things that most users have installed on their desktops, like office applications, maps, and email. They have done a lot of things just to allow people to do these things without the need to install the respective programs on their PCs (or Macs, or what-have-you). Similarly, at my work, my boss has been championing the migration of several of our legacy programs into online versions (well, at least inside our network). I’m not aware if such a word really exists, but a former project manager-mentor of mine called it webification.

I’ve enjoyed the privilege of coding web-based programs for the past four years, using mainly JSP on BEA’s Oracle’s WebLogic Platform. Very true, that experience is the best teacher. Although there are numerous advantages, we cannot deny that there are indeed some things that are easier to implement using the former, client-server way. For one, you’d have to look at the performance of the scripting language. Javascript still has its limits, and the new AJAX technology can only do so much for the time being — this I had personally encountered with the web-based version of Zimbra, an email platform that we’re about to use at the office, replacing the very-old Outlook server. Using it on Mozilla’s Thunderbird e-mail client is way better, as the UI processing is relegated to the installed program rather than having to delegate it to Javascript.

Not that I’m saying that we should all go back to the old ways — there will always be trade-offs, and I’m realizing that there’s got to be a balance between going web-based and going traditional. I’m all for cloud computing, of course, as I’ve gotten so used to it and would like to absorb more and know more. But of course, for the sake of efficiency and speed, sometimes we have to make a choice. Sometimes, if it can be more efficient if we do it traditional, why not?

I think I’ll go find a copy of a Pacman game via an emulator. Facebook’s Waka-waka can never match the original. =)