I recently got few projects where we need to provide a platform for user to upload or create image on web interface probably with Flash or Java applet, and then they get that image in some way, for download and printing.
However online editing seems a good concept, and bring little money to developer like me. But how good they are for user? Well I have few point against these applications:
1) These applications are often quite slow, due to the fact that everytime you do some action on image they mostly use server side application to perform those action. Like if you want to rotate image, most application send it to server where a image application (75% imageMagicK) does the rotation and send it back.
2) They don’t have better tool then desktop, again the image are not easy bit to handle and very few programmer are able to make logic to edit image on user machine and rather use backend script. If a backend script is used most features are not possible, something like Lasso Tool in Photoshop. This tool is really seems hard to allow selection of image using Flash.
3) Browser restriction and security, as application are getting smarter, risk of security is increasing. And hence most modern browser start restricting intelligent scripts and hence if you use Online application with intelligence, then you either put your security on risk or you miss some feature of application.
Web solutions seems good, since they avoid the hassle of installing application, and things, but have you ever thought if a photo editing can be done with 900KB flash application, then why we need 200+ MB softwares like photoshop or even small application like MS paint ?
I would say image editing online is still infant, and they are not good tool to have them on regular basis, rather use a Desktop tool that upload a modified image to online, as that allow fast working on images. Once we all have 100 MB download and upload internet, then images on online application will be better.
Hope to see that day tomorrow 😉