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Syndication, Dashboards,the browser & standards

Syndication, Dashboards,the browser & standards:

If you are into reading blogs you would have probably seen notes about the browser not being used all that much, and how most pages are *subscribed* too.

Which leads me to a few questions:

1.) how important will the browser be in the future?

2.) With a lot of dashboard/sidebar style projects being done, and the fact that dashboard/sidebar will be a part of Longhorn - will we be using the browser all that much?

If browsers are not going to be widely used, why are there so many complaints/ rants about HTML not being W3C standards compliant - I mean why even bother?


Prakash S
Friday, January 16, 2004

I think you're right that the rush to make applications Web Based (whatever that means) might be over. Many applications just don't lend themselves very well to running in standards compliant browser.

So it makes sense to write Dashboard style client applications instead of adding proprietary extensions to a browser.  And when a browser is the right tool, it makes sense to have them standardized so web site authors don't have to struggle with different ones behaving differently. 

Of course if you're paranoid, the entire Dashboard/compliancy issue is another example of a certain company's Embrace/Extend/Extinquish policy.

One Opinion
Friday, January 16, 2004

We're contemplating getting rid on the last vestiges of our non-browser based applications.

The accessible from anywhere, centrally upgradeable and cheap to modify benefits outweigh the inherent disadvantages (latency, lack of state information).

This isn't just us either - many of our clients have switched to web based applications for core functionality (scheduling, email/calendaring, helpdesk etc).  We were just through a KPMG audit of a web application that we wrote.  According to the auditor, the use of browser based applications to handle core (but custom) parts of business is becoming more common.

Might want to use some non-blog information to broaden your horizons ;) I wouldn't predict the death of the browser just yet, but I also wouldn't expect access to "the web" - be it an app or just information to stay exactly the way it is now.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Perhaps we'll dump the browser when someone comes up with a thin client that does more than HTML and Javascript. My guess is Microsoft is on the forefront of this, exposing more of what we traditionally think of as belonging to the OS.

That is if you have a fat client that connects to a server today you have to install it. What if in the future you could just download the fat client every time you wanted to use it? They would be signed, and wouldn't have access to anything you didn't explicitely give them permission to access to prevent hijacking your computer.
Friday, January 16, 2004

Usually, a good RSS syndication package still requires the use of a web browser of some sort or another.

No, we're seeing a transitioning away from the hype of the web.  Sometimes the web browser is the front end, sometimes it's part of it, sometimes it's not involved at all. 

Flamebait Sr.
Friday, January 16, 2004

For those like me who have no idea what a dashboard/sidebar is...

"Dashboard is, an application that resides at the side of your screen, similar to the "Sidebar" component featured in the now-infamous Longhorn video.

Built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, it is a host for interchangeable components. Through these components, Codename: Dashboard allows you to have any information you want, on your desktop, all the time."

Friday, January 16, 2004

I always find it interesting that people label browsers or clients with some kind of browser control embedded, as thin clients.

All of the current browsers (bar Lynx) are fatter than any purpose built desktop client would ever be to achieve the same thing.  The question is, what is the benefit of a multi-media, multi-format client that allows for separation of data and presentation?

And how many of such applications make use of the separation of data and presentation and don't force a rigid presentation on the user?

Scarce few I imagine.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, January 17, 2004

SmartBar XP is also a pretty good sidebar/dashboard. It's written in VB6 (with a few things coded in C++) , can track updates to your favourite websites (but it's not a full RSS aggreator) and doesn't need the .NET Framework. Google for it if you're interested...

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Apparently, some huge percentage of Internet usage (70-something %? I forget) is non-browser related. However, the primary contributor there is IM.

Brad Wilson (
Sunday, January 18, 2004

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