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RE: Alternatives to browsers (was Re: Alternatives to the W3C)

  • From: "Hunter, David" <dhunter@M...>
  • To: xml-dev@i...
  • Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 10:40:31 -0500

RE: Alternatives to browsers (was Re: Alternatives to the W3C)
From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@s...]
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2000 11:32 PM
> XML opens the way for a super-slim 'browser' that's pretty 
> much a network
> interface with an XML parser on it, passing results as 
> requested to a wide
> variety of application possibilities.  Those applications 
> might look like
> 'browsers' or they might not.  I've been thinking of this as 
> the expansion
> of the browser (treated as network interface) into the other facets of
> software, but it could also be treated as the 
> demolition/reduction of the
> browser.
> Either way, I'm looking forward to lots of XML-based apps running over
> TCP/IP and possibly even HTTP.

As am I.  And it's exactly the combination of XML and HTTP which, to me,
makes the browser unnecessary in many situations.  If I can just put some
kind of application on the client, whether it be written in Java, or Visual
Basic, or C++, and have that application communicate with my servers via XML
and HTTP, I get all of the benefits of using the Internet (or an Intranet or
an Extranet, or any of the other names I can't keep up with), PLUS, I get
all of the advantages of splitting my processing intelligently between
server and client.

In many cases this won't be possible.  (It's probably most feasible for
companies which are rolling applications out to their employees.)  Any of
the large dot coms which want to reach as large an audience as possible
aren't going to force people to download these apps, for example.  But in
other cases, it is a beautiful concept, such as the aforementioned
RealNetworks example, or even something like ICQ.  I assume neither of these
use XML to communicate data, but there will be other similar apps coming
down the pipe.

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