DESKTOP APPS BUILT LIKE THE WEB
One of the upcoming big technologies in Microsoft’s new OS (“Windows Vista”) is XAML – an XML language for defining user interfaces. Mozilla also has a similar one called XUL. All of these are trying to accomplish the same thing – make rich applications run on the desktop while let developers write them like web applications. Microsoft in particular is being driven by the biggest threat to their proprietary Windows OS “cash cow” they have ever seen – the Web. As Joel Spolsky puts it: “… suddenly, Microsoft’s API doesn’t matter so much. Web applications don’t require Windows”. Mozilla was motivated by a need to easily write cross-platform code (ironically the exact opposite of what drives Microsoft). But the end result was still pretty much the same – full-featured desktop apps written in markup instead of compiled code.
WEB APPS THAT RUN LIKE DESKTOP APPS
WEB APPS ON DESKTOP
THE GOLDEN GRAIL: WEB AND DESKTOP SEAMLESS
TiddlyWiki is not much to many of us but it foretells the golden grail of desktop/web integration – Sun’s old slogan: “The Network is the Computer”. In such future we should be able to login to any website in the world, have the ability to have the site run locally on our computer as an application and then save itself back to the web. The integration should be seamless and transparent and run on any platform. Or even better, perhaps it can also talk to other web applications out there. So for example, when I wake up in the morning to check my calendar, my web/desktop super-dooper scheduling applications can tell me if an appointment needs to be rescheduled because someone else is unable to make it after being notified by his scheduling app. I should also be able to save my desktop back to the web and access it from anywhere. With web services and open standards this is not far fetched.