Applications are bad
- Data should not be held ransom inside the walled garden of an application.
- It should be freely editable through the standard Operating System tools,
- and easy to export and import from the application repositories.
Applications, as designed today, tend to make all of the former difficult.
Applications are good
- Applications gather a collection of tools related and suitable to one purpose.
- They organize information and give name to concepts useful to accomplish user goals.
- They make easy for the user to follow task flows pertinent to the goals.
- They allow the user to learn about new concepts in the problem domain, new ways to manage information, and which tools are available in the system for the domain
The concept of an Application is a good information architecture and design pattern for well known problems, where most user needs are anticipated by the designer. If only they weren't niches inside which data gets trapped, they would be a good way to design user interactions!