March 29th, 2011

The case for Micro Web Apps

At first, La Distribution main goal was to help users install and use existing web applications (like WordPress, DokuWiki, etc). To achieve that, we created a proper infrastructure featuring: 1-click install, single sign on, an unified UI, etc. This effort was very pragmatic: we observed what needed real world applications to work with La Distribution, then we implemented only what was necessary. To date, it works pretty well.

Very early, it has been evident that this pretty nice infrastructure was in fact an opportunity to create very simple applications targeting La Distribution. By running within La Distribution, these applications would be able to focus on their core job, instead of boring things like user management, user registration, user authentication, installation, updates, extensions/themes management. Isn’t this actually a developer dream?

It sounds like a framework, but it’s not a framework, developers can use the framework they want. It’s an environment.

As a proof of concept, because we wanted some applications to inject content into the news feed, and also because it’s the “Hello World” of its generation, we decided to create a simple Twitter client.

First, we asked Twitter Inc if it was a good idea to build yet another Twitter client. Their answer was no ;) But anyway, we created it!

Its name his Le Tweeting, it’s open source, it’s definitely perfectible, and developers are encouraged to fork it on Github .

This application, a few upcoming others and a selection of community-made web applications will now be made available from this new repository (add the URL in your La Distribution repositories).

http://ladistribution.net/repositories/edge/apps

We are pretty proud to have created a platform where you can code a web app and make it available to everyone in minutes.

Now, your turn!

Which application would like to be created for La Distribution? Which one would you like to build?

Think about it, and later this week, I will share with you a tutorial explaining how to code and distribute a simple web application from zero.

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