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Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> I agree with this... but I also think it points out a problem: the web
> browser is being used both as an information delivery tool and as an
> application deployment platform.
> I've often felt that the requirements for those two things are so
> vastly different that different tools should be used... one way or
> another, publishing to the web and developing web-based applications
> is simply too hard and too expensive...
Wow, this is a problem? I would have said that it is the Web's (and
therefore, by implication, REST's) biggest strength. The fact of the matter
is that besides a handful of infrastructure, development and
design/authoring tools, all of which could plausibly be supplied by one
vendor (whose name could plausibly start with "M"), nearly every application
involves nothing more than displaying information and soliciting additional
information from users using forms, with some straightforward notion of
business logic (i.e. for data validation and moving the user from one screen
to the next).
The underlying tools to develop these applications aren't especially
convenient, although they are improving. Personally I'm confident that
application frameworks that are more oriented towards configuration (e.g.
feeding document schemas and business-process flows into a generic
application engine) will eventually prevail over "real" development
frameworks and will go a long way towards making the creation of web
applications easier and more accessible. But the real point is that it is
exactly the capability of web applications to combine information browsing
with application functionality that makes the paradigm so compelling.