Rich Web Clients

Adam Bosworth comments:

Personally I like the web. It is easy, doesn’t require arcane knowledge to use, … So, in terms of user interface, I think it is generally the right solution. I’m always surprised when I hear people disparage the web as poor or limited or dumbed down UI as Macromedia does and Laszlo and Altio and Nexaweb and others have sometimes done.

But there is no doubt that there are two things it isn’t particularly good at:
Offline Access. IE’s attempt to make sites go on working offline is a joke. Offline requires a new paradigm.
Push. If Information needs to flow to the user more or less as it occurs then the browser paradigm isn’t always the best model, at least without help.

All by themselves, I’d argue that the gain outweights the pain. But add in occasionally or poorly connected which is the world of mobile devices and the more limited UI gestures that really work on mobile devices and I think the game gets more interesting.

There is a definite need for (near) real-time information delivery. This is where the publish-subscribe concepts powered by RSS can play a role. RSS needs to deliver via IMAP to a microcontent client. There are only two options: the email client/news reader (which will merge) or the browser. The former option can be done via next-gen email client like Chandler, while the latter needs the equivalent of a “digital dashboard” (harder to do, but still possible). I’d go with the former approach.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.