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Mike Champion wrote:
> I complely agree. But for whatever it's worth (and however short term
> it may be) proprietary formats and proprietary apps very loosely glued
> together with XML seem to be in the ascendency.
I guess this is where we differ. I believe that they are peaking right
now for the simple reason that it took until now for the alternate
browsers to become technologically (if not yet sociologically) competitive.
> I REALLY hope I'm wrong and that SVG+XUL+XForms are where HTML was in
> 1994 or so. But the fact remains that if one were to deploy a rich
> client app in Flash today, it would run on something like 99% of the
> browsers out there. If one were to deploy a XUL+SVG rich client app,
> it would run on something like 1/10 of 1% of the browsers out
> there. I'm all for betting on the underdog, but three orders of
> underdogness magnitude?
I don't see how XUL and Flash can be compared. Flash doesn't do what XUL
does. XUL doesn't do what Flash does. I've done research on solutions in
this area and Java Webstart is the only thing that I would really trust
that works across browsers. So the market for rich client applications
is still wide open.
Flash is not even necessarily dominant in all sub-niches of its
stronghold in vector graphics. There is a lot of PowerPoint out there
and when people deliver it they tend to deliver in two forms, pure
PowerPoint and GIF/JPG -- not Flash (even though the GIFs are very
lossy). Similarly, when people deliver geographical information to the
Web, they already prefer SVG to Flash. This is Flash's essential
weakness -- it is wonderful for stuff that is authored and not good at
all for integrating with other data sources.