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

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dang It

That blogger tool. It seems easy to accidently reject a comment, or something. Anyway, Christophe Grand commented...

While reading this post one hypothesis came to me: the angst created by rich internet applications environments isn't about rich internet applications, it's about web pages. Will rich internet applications IDEs lead the user who doesn't care about "the values of the web" to create a web site which isn't "on the web" (ie turning websites in something akin to badly designed flash sites)?
Sure they could. Web browsers did the same thing. I have encountered *many* web pages and entire sites that do not follow standards and so require one specific brand of browser (usually MSFT's Internet Explorer). We didn't need Flash to do that.
Actually if an average user picks Dreamweaver or Frontpage his websites will be on the web.
Where on the web will it be? Does the average user *know* this?
AJAX (beacuse of all its quirks) tends to favorize simple (as in KISS) solutions.
Even if I accepted this argument, would that be a *good* thing?
Will RIA environments do the same?
Well the one I am in love with so far does not seem to have as many quirks. Do you *want* your tools to be quirky in order to somehow steer you in some unintended-yet-better direction?
RIA environments appear to be good for RIA but will they be good for the whole web-things continuum (from dumb web pages to RIA)?
Apollo seems to be deliberately aimed in that direction. That won't (and probably shouldn't) prevent people from making other uses of it. But I think the message of "the web" is front and center in all that I have seen about it.

I Guess It's Me

People who I consider a good bit smarter and more knowledgeable about "the web" than I am continue to write warnings about "rich" applications. I am thinking about giving up on this budding romance I've been having with Flex and Apollo. I must be missing something. Sean McGrath writes...

I do know... that the design constraint whereby taking inevitably involves giving is being eroded over time. It can, for example, be argued that emerging Rich Internet Application platforms give you everything you need to take cents without ever giving any cents back - if you see what I mean.
I am so confused. I've been under the impression that for the last decade or so most web users *have* been taking without giving. That most web users have control over a browser, but very few have any kind of control over a service. That very few browsers have the inherent ability to create and maintain links, as opposed to relying on a service somewhere else to do the creating and the maintaining.

Have I missed a whole revolution that already exists somewhere on the web?

Where is this web in which the majority of people even come close to a 25:1, or even a 100:1 ratio of takes to gives in the link department?

How is it that all of a sudden "rich" application developers will take that ratio to even more disproportionate numbers?

The days of "Give a link. Take a link." may be numbered. In years to come, we may look back on the birth of Rich Internet Applications as the moment when community finally had to give way to commerce: for good or ill.
Really?! Just when even Microsoft is understanding open data over simple protocols, I don't see how it can get *worse* than it has already been.

And a richer client with an easier programming model is somehow going to screw this web up? I need to get out more.

WS-* is finally dead on the server, but there is that pesky more-usable, more-maintainable client on the horizon. Woe is us. And all this time I thought it was about making services easier to create and more available to *multiple* kinds of clients that can use the HTTP methods, standard mime types, and other conventions like microformats.

I guess it's me. I guess I have a lot to learn.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Trade Offs

I'm enjoying Pat Helland's blog...

It is essential to approach computing as a means to support business, not a religious fervor. I don't think that it is "wrong" to relax consistency, I think it is important to understand the business trade-offs and apply the technology realities to support the business effectively.

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About Me

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.