Thin and dumb, or fat and smart? – The interim steps ..

Dont miss this article by Dominique HAZAEL-MASSIEUX of the W3C and also see some insights from CEO on this topic

Both Dominique and CEO are clued on guys and good friends ..

Its nice to see W3C take the right initiatives in this space ..

The key aspect is the interim steps ..


The goal seems clear: getting the two paths to converge at some point in the future; getting there is difficult, but there are a few intermediate steps that seem pretty important to me:

there needs to be some serious work on the offline capabilities of mobile devices – Google Gears may be a step in that direction, but I tend to think that some real investment on making HTTP-caching a platform-level operation (the same way getting a network connection is, for instance) would be a tremendeous help – I have already ranted about it for browsing, but that’s even more important for Web applications development; more largely, synchronization protocols will become increasingly important – WebDAV, CalDAV should lead the way, but a generic framework for synchronizing data has not crossed my radar yet

currently, most browsers don’t have access to low-level client APIs; there has been a lot of work done in the Java world on defining these interfaces (through the JSR process), but they remain invisible to the browsers in most cases, and to their client-side scripting capabilities even more so; the W3C Ubiquituous Web Application Working Group is chartered among other things to look at this problem space, and hopefully will make it possible for Web applications to get better integrated in their hosting devices

Web access should become much more pervasive in client-side applications; as of today, on most phones, if you get a Web address in an SMS or in your calendar application, you would be hardpressed to use it directly to launch your local browser

the level of interoperability for rich client Web technologies needs to improve dramatically to make it possible to rely on them for serious user interfaces; I’m hopeful that the work made by the W3C Compound Document Formats Working Group will help; it seems also to me that increasing the availabilities of test suites for user agents is primordial to achieve that goal