Future of the Woopra Desktop Application

Many of you have been asking “What’s going on with the Woopra Desktop Application?” We know it’s been a while since we pushed out an update to the desktop application, but we also know it’s a key feature that separates Woopra from its competitors.

Lets Talk About the “Old” Desktop Application

For clarification let me go ahead and state that the current Java-based Desktop Application has been deprecated (it’s being retired). However, we will ensure it continues to work until we release a solid (and better) alternative. We’re sad that after more than 3 years we find it necessary to make a change in direction, but the world around us has changed and we’re looking to stay a step ahead. As a result, it no longer makes sense to bet on Java on the desktop. Let me take a moment to explain in non-technical terms why:

  • Although Java is our favorite programming language, by comparison to other technologies, it seems to be getting weaker and weaker each day.
  • Java can be slow on the desktop and requires a huge amount of effort to make it as responsive as alternative technologies
  • Pushing updates to that Desktop application can be painful and slow. You may remember that each Woopra update requires a large one time download and installation process.
  • The future of the Java on the desktop is very foggy, and there are rumors that Mac OSX Lion will not even support Java.

Make Way for a Shiny New Web Application

Last year we launched our Woopra Web Application, which has been getting updated almost every night (you may not have noticed that, that’s the beauty of the web). It’s an HTML5 application that follows the latest industry standards. Hopefully you’ve also noticed that we have been introducing features to that application faster than ever before, and we will continue to do so with lots of great stuff in the pipeline (notifications, exporting data, calendar view and more). We believe that HTML5 is the future of the web for the next decade and we want to ensure that Woopra users are poised to take advantage of it.

The true beauty of the new Woopra Web Application is that it’s not a Web application at all! Instead it’s a version designed to be initially implemented on the Web, but also ported to the desktop and even mobile platforms. It represents a single codebase that can be deployed for all platforms.

So far, we’ve evaluated several solutions to “wrap” this code into a desktop application while making use of native resources and delivering the best user experience. There are plenty of wrappers available, including Mozilla Prism, Adobe Air, Titanium Appcelerator, and more. They each have unique advantages and disadvantages. Throughout our extensive testing, we’ve learned that Woopra performs best on Google Chrome which is based on the super fast and stable Chromium (WebKit HTML renderer and V8 JavaScript engine) open source project. At this point in time we’re pleased to announce that the new Woopra application is coming to the desktop soon. We just need to tie up some loose ends and complete the testing cycle.

Meanwhile, make sure you install Woopra from the Google Web Store if you’re running Google Chrome.

That’s Not All

This new Application not only implements the key HTML5 features, but it has been built to support plugins. We are happy to announce that, soon, you will be able to build plugins, seamlessly, with JavaScript, that you can share with the Woopra Community.

We understand very well how sensitive your information is, and by limiting the application’s access to external resources we’ve been able to build a secure framework to be extended with plugins of your choice.

Woopra Real-Time Updates

At Woopra, we’re real-time maniacs! Even as we publish this post we’re releasing a new version of the application that gets updated in real-time! You will receive a simple notification stating that your Woopra App has been downloaded and updated (beauty of HTML5). When you hit the “Load Update” button, it will load in just a few seconds (literally)!

If you’re a Firefox user, you may have to accept access to Offline Storage manually when you load this version for the first time to make advantage of this new feature.

Stay tuned.

Woopra Founder

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