Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Crockford's Gambit

Doug Crockford has been blogging about making the traditional WWW software stack sufficient to face the forthcoming challenges from Silverlight and Flex. I won't link to his blog here, because Yahoo! 360 is annoying in the extreme.

I think Doug just has to understand this quote to know that Google and Yahoo are sufficiently bland to ensure the long-term viability of plain-old Ajax.

My works are like water. The works of the great masters are like fine wine. But, everybody drinks water.
Mark Twain

That being said, and presuming (safely) that HTML, JavaScript, and browsers aren't going to be fixed, what does that mean for those of us looking down the road?

I think the following points are particularly germane to this line of thinking:

  1. The web isn't going anywhere

  2. The web (HTML + Javascript + CSS) is already insufficient to support modern applications, notwithstanding the heroism of GWT, YUI, Dojo, et alia.

  3. The web is fantastic as an application delivery platform

  4. A modern application must compete with the iPhone experience, specifically:

    • Scalable vector presentation

    • Scales from phone to desktop

    • Quality video

  5. My data is NOT your data...proprietary vendor lock-in of data created via software is unacceptable. Someone will figure out how to scrape it out. This is Web 2.0

So what might we deduce from these points? Well, we can certainly apply these as heuristics when choosing a next-generation platform for developing applications.