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   Microsoft's Universal Canvas

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  • From: "Ashvil" <ashvil@i3connect.net>
  • To: <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 09:10:06 -0700

>From Microsoft's Whitepaper [1]
Microsoft's Universal Canvas-- An XML compound information
architecture that integrates browsing, communications and document
authoring in a single, unified environment, enabling users to
synthesize and interact with information in a unified way. The
universal canvas builds upon XML schema to transform the Internet from
a read-only environment into a read/write platform, enabling users to
interactively create, browse, edit, annotate and analyze information.
Because the underlying information is XML, the universal canvas can
bring together multiple sources of information from anywhere in the
world to enable seamless data access, synthesis and use.

This is the one of the holy grails of User Experience. One document
where you can do multiple things instead of opening multiple
applications. This is not a new idea has been tried before with Open
Doc, OLE Compound document model, etc. We talked about this during the
"Future of HTML" Conference in May 1998 [2], but the progress made has
been slow with the XHTML modules.

I hope that Microsoft plans to document and publish the "XML compound
information architecture" before releasing the software, so that
projects like Mozilla can support them. It should not be too difficult
to do this, if you count the number of IE4/5 only features that have
been successful or adopted by developers. This and other parts of the
.NET architecture will only be successful if it is adopted by (web)
developers and other cross platform tools/OS/Services and not by so
called third party folks.

Microsoft has a good demo on this [3]. Please use the Bob Munglia
video and it starts around 28 minutes in the video.

Anyone has any thoughts or comments on a Universal Canvas or think it
will still remain a holy grail.


2. http://inet2001.com/post/Features/HTMLX/htmlx.html
3. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/topics/f2k/speakers.asp

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