[DFWUUG:Discuss] IO-InfoOnly: Web Browsers - Brief History And Evolution

Erick Guzowsky zaphod1 at swbell.net
Fri Oct 5 19:34:12 CDT 2007

I will have to disagree with your statement
"1. The web enables infinite distribution of content
without any
special effort or infrastructure."

Where do you think all those connections and all that
storage are located on? You have to have quite a bit
of exotic equipment to prevent data loss and
destruction due to problems or individuals. 
I feel that like many companies fail to recognize so
do many programmers and web developers fail to
remember that the data has to sit some where and have
a communication path to the internet and the
world...and all of it has to be maintained on a daily


--- Robert Pearson <e2eiod at gmail.com> wrote:

> Blake Mitchell, another very knowledgeable gentleman
> and myself were
> discussing Web browsers and their evolution before
> the DFWUUG meeting
> last night. I could not remember what part of
> Mozilla had been a part
> of Netscape. It is Gecko, the layout engine.
> A very nice reference is Wikipedia's "Comparison of
> web browsers":
> Lots of great information.
> A very interesting but circa 2004 source is:
> "Ubiquitous Browser Evolution"
> November 4, 2004 - 10:37pm — bmann
> <<http://bmannconsulting.com/node/1377>>
> Roughly in chronological order (gasp!), here are
> three excerpts and
> links to longer articles that are important to go
> and read. My version
> of a link dump.
> The PC is no longer the only battleground. The
> Internet is the new
> medium and it has the effect of leveling the playing
> field. While this
> isn't a new insight, let me say it in two specific
> ways:
> 1. The web enables infinite distribution of content
> without any
> special effort or infrastructure.
> 2. The web extends the reach of our apps and
> services as far as we're
> willing to let them go.
> Both notions come back to ubiquity. If your stuff
> (and your brand) is
> everywhere, you win. The money will follow. It
> always does.
> [1]Jeremy Zawodny: Ubiquity in the Internet Age
> His other rules boil down to build great stuff, make
> it open, and give
> opportunity to other people to build/make money on
> top of it.
> We need to get web publishing back on the fast
> track, and by rapidly
> speeding both the evolution and the adoption of
> modern web standards,
> we can create an efficiency and innovation boom this
> medium has never
> seen.
> [2]Mike Davidson: Can We Speed Up Browser Evolution?
> I can get behind this. Designers drool at some of
> the special tags
> added to Safari...but then sob because they can't
> use it elsewhere. So
> -- aim for open-ness and standards, but push the
> envelope as well?
> Perhaps more importantly, as I said in a prior post,
> most of the value
> today is coming from the community, the reputation,
> the access to
> information and goods and services, and the media
> itself. This
> ineluctable fact coupled with the driving forces of
> much faster
> evolution in response to the natural selection of
> market needs, much
> cheaper and easier and more simple user interface,
> and much better
> ability to know what can be done better for the
> customer are all
> combining. Services will be the dominant model.
> Think of it as
> evolution in action.
> [3]Adam Bosworth: Evolution in Action
> <<http://www.adambosworth.net/archives/000028.html>>
> The deliver everything as a service that can be a
> service concept. I
> had an "aha!" moment around this when looking at
> development cycles
> for interpreted languages vs. compiled languages. It
> may very well be
> that much of the advantage comes from that
> difference as well, since
> desktop apps are generally compiled.
> Of course, if you can deliver a desktop app that is
> auto-updating and
> based around an interpreted language core, do you
> get some of the same
> benefits? In looking at 1001, I see a single-purpose
> app that hides
> complexity, but is still tied into a wider web
> world.
> [End Ubiquitous Browser Evolution]
> [rdpcomment]
> Chris Nystrom's NewI/O is, in fact, not new. The way
> Chris choses to
> design and code it is probably very new. For Chris
> Nystrom see
> for Dec 07, 2006. I have been to Chris' site since
> he spoke to DFWUUG
> and he has made much progress.
> One way to make sense of all this is to think in
> terms of thin clients
> and rich clients.
> A thin client is not a dumb client. A thin client
> supports the same
> rich graphical Window Manager that the rich client
> does. The thin
> client does not have any, or very limited by memory,
> local compute
> power. Some may have local USB Storage.
> Rich clients are regular desktop clients but
> Interent backend enhanced.
> "So, you ask, what is the next new user interface
> paradigm? It's
> called rich client. Think of it, sort of, as back to
> the future. A
> rich client runs software on the client, just like
> an old-fashioned
> client/server application. One of the main
> differences, though, is
> that with rich clients, the back-ends are now
> essentially all running
> only industry standard Internet protocols. SOA
> (Service Oriented
> Architecture), implemented using web services, is
> what makes it
> possible for rich clients to be able to emerge at
> this time.
> Back during the days of client/server computing,
> lots of applications
> were partitioned across multiple platforms using an
> Object Request
> Broker (ORB) like Microsoft's DCOM or OMG's CORBA as
> middleware. Other
> applications were partitioned at the database layer,
> sending SQL to a
> back-end RDBMS or an ODBC engine. The biggest
> problem with any of
> these older approaches was always security. Data
> packets just couldn't
> get past the firewalls. SOA-based web services
> bypass the whole
> firewall problem entirely by passing freely through
> port 80 just like
> plain old HTML web pages. The underlying
> breakthrough that makes SOA
> and rich clients possible is XML."
> What does all that mean?
> "Why are people going to rush to embrace rich
> clients? The answer is a
> user seductive interface. To the user the interface
> is the system.
> Have you ever held an Apple iPod in your hand? What
> makes the very
> word iPod nowadays share the same kind of brand
> power as, say, Kleenex
> or Band-Aid? It's not because Apple's player makes
> music sound better
> than other MP3 players. It's because the iPod's
> naturally intuitive
> user interface is awesome. Historically, the key to
> a killer interface
> has always been a feature known as direct
> manipulation. It's all about
> control. With SOA, suddenly it's possible to dream
> about all kinds of
> new and exciting ways for people to use computers
> for communicating,
> exploring, interacting, and being entertained.
> In addition to the appearance of some really
> cool-looking sexy new
> rich client-enabled controls, I'm also looking
> forward to rich
> client-enabled interfaces cropping up embedded
> within other products.
> Imagine being able, from within Excel, to easily
> access a service that
> automatically returns information directly into a
> spreadsheet,
> seamlessly and transparently."
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