"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007


More questions I'll keep trying to give my take on...

Can I link from my blog to content or data within a RIA app?
Can you link from your blog to content or data within a browser app? Only if that content is being served somewhere over HTTP or some other common protocol.

Same is true with a RIA app.

Flash sites where links can go out but they can't come in?
Your choice. AJAX is the same way.

An AJAX app can run in a browser and display things that are not served by links to other clients, so can a RIA app display things that are not served by links to other clients.


quark said...

The big difference is that an Ajax application can be made hyperlinkable by adding the JavaScript on top of the plain old HTML as an optional layer. The HTML is fully hypertext enabled and can be linked to in any and every way, plus it can be indexed and understood by bots and screen readers.

With RIA, you just have a dumb, binary, proprietary blob of content, with only one way in.

Patrick Logan said...

Think of "the dumb binary" as "the executable code". That code can read and write standard data (e.g. JSON and/or HTML with microformatted information).

quark said...

Yep, but the "executable code", "dumb binary" or whatever you call it can't be read itself by another application. That's the problem. By cemetizing the web into opaque, binary information silos, what will become of the web?

Imagine Wikipedia as an Apollo/JavaFX/Silverlight application. Sure, it would look awesome, you could download it all and run it locally, but nobody could hyperlink any of the information inside it. How would that benefit anyone except the manufacturer of the RIA?

Patrick Logan said...

The firefox executable cannot be read (easily or very meaningfully) by other applications either.

The application developers have to choose wisely what they want to be linkable and what they don't. Sure that requires a somewhat different level of thinking than a traditional browser-based HTML application.

I don't think all HTML applications will or should go away. In fact I'd like to see what range of applications could be based on HTML with microformatted information where the HTML allows a fairly basic, traditional web capability but other clients use the microformatted information fairly independently of the HTML per se.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.