Douglas Crockford at the Rich Web Experience conference...
AJAX applications are highly interactive, highly social, easy to use, and offer great network efficiency, according to Crockford. "The big problem is that it is too damn hard to write these apps," he said.Good so far, but then...
"The most interesting innovation in software development in 20 years has got to be the mashup," which shows the benefits of distributed programming. "Unfortunately, mashups are insecure [in the browser]," said Crockford, with components unable to be protected from each other.
The model in the browser is fully broken and needs to be fixed, he said. "The Web is an exploit waiting to happen," Crockford said.
Crockford then went through a critique of various Web technologies.
If the Web is unable to repair itself, it could be replaced with a proprietary system such as Microsoft's Silverlight or Adobe's AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime), Crockford said. Proprietary systems do present advantages, such as having only one source of new bugs and presenting a simpler upgrade story. But people like open systems and are suspicious of proprietary systems, he said.Em, AIR is like any other programming language and framework -- it can be used "on the web" or it can be used to route around the web. We need better ways than the browser to be "on the web" but we certainly don't need to route around the web per se.
The modern-day web browser is not the only client that can be "on the web". Look at blogging tools like Bottomfeeder. BF is a great example of an end-user application that is (1) not based in a popular web browser like IE or FF, and yet (2) is "on the web".
On the Road...
We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one noble function of the time, move.