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   Re: [xml-dev] The Browser Wars are Dead! Long Live the Browser Wars!

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Gerben Rampaart (Casnet Rotterdam) wrote:
 > But let's indeed talk about user interfaces and not (for
 > example) Transact-SQL, the
 > two are simply a few tiers too far away from each other.

Agreed! In fact, even well-architected desktop apps have a clear 
separation of concerns between the user interface, the control logic and 
the data. Today, it makes increasing sense to express that separation 
using XML over sockets (rather than putting SQL in the UI).

> I think the point Len tried to make is (&& If Wrong = True Then
> Correct(Me)) that browsers can cupport some ... but not the whole of
> an Enterprise app. What is the answer then ? Thin-Client ? Part
> desktop app and part browser ?And when ?

Let me summarize my position in one place.

According to my analysis, there are five (was four) factors that made 
the Web the most important new application interface platform since 
Visual Basic or Hypercard (depending on your bias).

  * http://www.blogstream.com/pauls/1034787029

Note that HTML is irrelevant to the analsysis. JavaScript is irrelevant. 
We could replace them with PDF and C# and the Web would still have been 
a compelling application deployment platform (if a little poky!) because 
of the key factors. Len wants to put HTML front and center, I guess 
because he dislikes it, but it is increasingly irrelevant to the issue 
except as infrastructure.

Those five factors have not decreased in importance as the browser UI 
has stagnated over the last couple of years.

Therefore there is a certain pressure building up. People want rich GUIs 
but they don't want to let go of the five features. So we have products 
like these which are still very preliminary and only work on certain 

  * http://www.prweb.com/releases/2002/10/prweb47801.php
  * http://ipw.internet.com/site_management/site_tools/986419618.html
  * http://www.droplets.com/

And we have some open source projects:

  * http://www.domapi.com/
  * http://svgui.sourceforge.net/
  * http://www.netwindows.org/

And then there are experimental declarative models that could serve as 
the basis for standardization:

  * http://www.xulplanet.com/tutorials/xultu/
  * http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/ui.html

So there is a need out there that is not being met. And there is a bunch 
of experimentation on various solutions. And there is an open source 
project out there with a good start towards solving the problem and oh, 
by the way, is looking for any strategy possible to compete with 
Internet Explorer.


My hypothesis is that rich, browser based GUI interfaces are inevitable. 
  Based on dHTML, XUL, dSVG, HTML, java, .NET? I can't predict yet. 
These days I'm experimenting with dynamic SVG. I'd love to see XUL 

Next year? The year after? Five years after that? I can't predict that 
yet either. Considering the pent-up demand, I would say sooner rather 
than later.

  Paul Prescod


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