Web Browser is THE Tractor App

smallbee2You don’t hear the expression “tractor app” much anymore.  It refers to  a computer application that, by its very nature, draws people to an operating system platform, just like a tractor pulling a bailer.  It could be argued that, for Microsoft, Word was its tractor app.  For the Mac, it might have been Adobe Pagemaker or Photoshop.  Haiku may never have a tractor app in the true sense; an application so well-suited to it that it draws people in from other operating systems.  But for people who want to be able to do all the basics, simply, it might be that the single-most important application is the one that has the potential do “do it all,” and that’s WebPositive, its default web browser.

Before you look around for something to throw, let me explain my reasoning a little.  No other application serves as many different functions as a web browser does these days.  No single application is used more.  And by no other means are so many capabilities and services made available in universal, cross-platform ways.

With each new iteration, WebPositive is giving us access to more web-based applications and services, from word processors, to spreadsheets and databases, to calendars, to cloud storage, games, you name it.  It even supports YouTube videos now.  Every time I open it, I discover new sites it is able to “parse.”   And it only stands to reason that, over time, more and more possibilities will open up.  This helps fill the gap while programmers are discovering the platform and writing Haiku-specific applications for it.  And it eliminates an excuse for people who are already used to a certain cloud-based solution and wouldn’t want to work on an operating system platform that didn’t provide access to it.

What I’d like to do with this article is to start what I hope will be a large and useful list of sites and services people have discovered WebPositive works with, and to add to it over time.  I’ll start it out with this:  SimpleNote.

SimpleNote is a very easy, and nicely free, cloud-based note-taking resource that is completely platform agnostic.  You can keep as many different notes as you like, and they’re all accessible, searchable, and editable from within a single interface.  There are apps for various platforms that serve as clients, but there’s also a very clean, handsome online interface for it.  I was thrilled to discover I can log into it and edit all my various notes from it.

Your turn.  Use Comments to start posting some of your favorite web sites that work with WebPositive.

And of course, kudos to Pulkomandy for his tireless work and many improvements to good old Web+


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. clasqm
    Nov 13, 2014 @ 07:19:22

    Lastpass.com is the website for the lastpass password manager. it doesn’t work perfectly (some graphics only appear at mouseover) but if you already know what the site looks like, then it actually works! Considering that is is a security-related site, that shows how far we’ve come.


  2. Davis R.
    Nov 13, 2014 @ 17:52:29

    I’ve never heard the term ‘tractor’ apps before. Instead, I’ve always heard them called ‘killer’ apps (and that’s what appears with the most relevance in search results).

    Anyway, I’m super proud of WebPositive’s progress, and I hope it continues! I know where I’ll be donating this holiday season. 🙂


  3. NBFM
    Nov 18, 2014 @ 22:09:50

    Davis, the “tractor app” idea begins with Jean-Louis Gassée trying to justify why it was unimportant that there was no “killer app” for the BeBox in late 1995. Initially “tractor app” was like a “killer app” but it gradually shifted in meaning to allow apps everybody else already has, like a web browser. “Tractor app” is to “Killer app” as Stacie Orrico is to Beyoncé. Just over a year later the BeBox was abandoned. The excuse stuck though.


  4. Serpentor
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 14:39:56

    Dane, I saw this article ( http://www.infoworld.com/article/2609165/web-browsers/10-reasons-the-browser-is-becoming-the-universal-os.html ) a while back and it simply supports your idea that every good OS needs a solid web browser to do well in today’s world. I need to sit down and surf around with Web+ to see how well it handles the sites I frequent. Enjoy!


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