The Browser is Dying ?!

What are the strengths of browser based applications ?

Sophisticated user interfaces ? No ! (slow server roundtrips)
Easy development ? No ! (a lot of scripts)
Offline capability ? No !

Easy deployment ? Yes !

The most important feature of browser based applications is the easy deployment.
You just have to update the server to update your clients as well.
But everything is based on the HTTP which is relatively simple and not suitable to support rich clients.

Sure there is Java Webstart and .NET Zero Touch Deployment which enables you to type something like


http://ww.pleus.net/MyRichClient.jnlp

or

http://ww.pleus.net/MyRichClient.exe

in your browser to start your managed application.

By using this approach it’s possible to enable rich user experience and user server based deployment.

But that’s not all…

During this years PDC Microsoft announced their next model for the development of user interfaces called Avalon.
This technology is based on XAML (XML Application Markup Language). This enables us to develop rich clients in a declarative way like HTML.
The following snippet is an example of how to write the HelloWorld application with XAML:


<TextPanel xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/2003/xaml” Background=”BlanchedAlmond” FontFamily=”Comic sans MS” FontSize=”36pt” HorizontalAlignment=”Center”>
Hello, world!
</TextPanel>

This document can be distributed over HTTP. The client uses it to create a UI which runs into the browser or standalone.
This is only a new version of HTML, you might say.
But in contrast to HTML it enables you to develop fully-fledged rich clients in a mostly declarative way.
That’s promising, I think.

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