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Monday, December 3, 2007

Is the Web Losing Its Edge?

It's a rainy and snowy day in Boston this morning, and perhaps
rightfully so, given the somber mood at the opening day of the XML
2007 conference. Yahoo! architect Douglas Crockford, one of the
keynotes this morning, mentioned that the World Wide Web is in danger
of losing its ubiquity. Crockford, by the way, is the father of
JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), which he designed as a data
interchange standard for programmers who aren't quite comfortable
with XML. The true value of the Web is in how it provides a common
platform for online applications. While we take for granted the fact
that the Web can be accessed from pretty much any computer, there
are forces at work that may disrupt its pervasiveness, Crockford
warned. Due to the shortcomings of in HTML, a number of single-vendor
offerings have arisen that can offer attractive alternative platforms,
such as Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Air and Sun Microsystems' JavaFX.
Crockford: "The trouble with the open Web standards is that no one
is working on the hard problems... Take HTML, for instance, HTML has
never been a great model for presentation and that it hasn't aged
well. And certainly Silverlight, Air and JavaFX have some sexy
presentation features. Security is another problem. There aren't
sufficient boundaries between different Web technologies, such as
JavaScript and HTML.. In many cases, the Extensible Markup Language
(XML) can be at least partially to blame... the strength of the
World Wide Web was that it was not one company's product.. We all
didn't need to go out and buy one document viewer, or one document
creator to create Web pages -- not that we would have ever done so
anyway. So the ubiquity came from how we could all easily create
and view pages. It would be nice to extend that universal power
from Web pages to Web applications, but there is no guarantee that
this will happen..." More Information

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