Today I spoke at Web 2.0, about the differences between Mobile and traditional Web 2.0 architectures. The biggest difference I identified, is that mobile devices frequently have unreliable connections. Even when the connection is available, it often has high latencies. Users are familiar with long waits when browsing the web or sending tweets, but that doesn’t mean they like it.
I presented a vision of the future, where your mobile device will preload the pages and content you are likely to browse, so that when you do browse it, you don’t have to wait. The cost of storage is dropping fast, and network latency is already as good as it will ever get, so the trend is toward making it more practical to carry a personalized copy of the internet in your pocket.
The audience questions were intelligent, focussing on conflict detection and management (“What happens if two disconnected users make contradictory edits?”). The answer, of course, is that Couchbase keeps track of any conflicts, and makes it easy for the application to resolve them. Some folks wish for automatic merge processing inside the database, but we think it is a better solution to push that to the application, as the potential different merge strategies are vast and are properly understood as the application’s concern.