Weekend Discussion

Friday May 5th, 2000

Has the Web revolution just begun? Or is the Web already in a phase of decreasing returns? Are the Web's possibilities boundless, or nearing exhaustion?

Are you still having fun? Is the Web a new learning experience every day? Or are you overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) with new standards, new programming paradigms, new letters like 'i', 'e', and 'x'? Is the Web still your friend? Or is it the monkey on your back?

#16 Paradigm shift

by Hard_Code

Monday May 8th, 2000 8:01 AM

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I'm all for the open standards of the Web, but, although I hate to say it, I think the web is really due for a change. HTML is now in its fourth iteration. There is only SO much you can do on a statically rendered page. All these years we've been coming up with better kludges and hacks to get around the fundamental static-ness of the web. CGI, Servlets, JSP, ASP, JavaScript, DOM, all in many grotesquely complex backend systems, just to make good on the promise of an "interactive" medium. Let's face it: the web was NEVER designed to be interactive. It has always been passive. A plain web page has never /interacted/ with me. The user always drives. So we've come up with solutions to shove pseudo-interactivity into the web...we push applets, we stream pages and pseudo-realtime update them, we use Flash and streaming plugins to fill the holes of interactivity. Several new fields of internet tools have been created...instant messaging, distributed file sharing. I think the web really needs a transformation from a pure static platform agnostic medium to something truly /interactive/. And I think Mozilla just might be it. Mozilla is more than just a web "browser". It is truly the first web /application/. You have web widgets and inherent dynamicity. Things can be pushed and augmented in real time. Instead of kludgy backends, we have a dynamic _front end_. We don't need to dynamically generate content on the back end...we push the application to the user in a dynamic front end. And this is multi-protocol...HTTP itself cannot deliver on interactivity. This dynamic front end can really represent the "web" dynamically. The "page" metaphor is really deader than a doornail for anything other than online texts. Please, let's move to a brighter future.

(rant over ;)