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

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Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> Not exactly.  Some frameworks are evolving to 
> make using the classic HTML browser (ie, HTML 
> as the host language of a universal intergace) 
> less necessary.  It is much cooler.  I also said, 
> if we want to use the term "web browser", that 
> term becomes less descriptive of a specific 
> platform and becomes more a watered down way 
> to say, "web aware because it can use the 
> operating system web services without using 
> a line of HTML".  

Len, the Web architecture was always designed to make it easy to switch 
HTML out. HTML has been an optional feature since day 1. If you want a 
definition of web-browser that you can describe to someone on the 
street, a web browser is an application with a URL-bar where you type in 
a URL and the interface changes based on the information retreived.

So Word is not a web browser, no matter how HTTP and URL-aware it is, 
because it won't do anything useful when you give it a URL that is not 
from a very short list of content-types. You can't configure it to "do 
the right thing" with an unknown content-type because its job is NOT to 
figure out what to do with incoming data (as in a web browser) but 
rather its job is to edit documents in a fixed-list of content-types.

So criticizing the web browser for its reliance on HTML is exactly 
backwards. The web browser is the application that was designed to 
handle every content type and new content types and tasks all of the 
time. It is therefore natural that it will eventually (perhaps slowly) 
subsume the tasks of applications designed with less flexiblity built-in.

  Paul Prescod


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