Converging Applications and the Web

Adam Bosworth paints a vision for the future of applications (and the Web) that far exceeds what I have been pushing for as a vision for business applications. Although this is an old post, with more than 60K of markup text, its relevance and applicability is quite durable. One of the best takeaways from this article is his definition of a Web services browser:

… is a browser that can access information published as XML messages by services, let the user interact in a rich and graceful way with this information or these services, but can run well in terms of interaction whether the user is online or offline.

In separate but loosely congurent ways, we are preparing for the convergence of large applications with the Web mainly as a response to

  1. customers demanding greater flexibility in creating and organizing live data owned by a wide variety of sources, and
  2. users increasingly craving for mobility from their desktops without being tearfully separated from their applications.

I am convinced that it is not a question of if but rather of when, applications will take on a greater similarity with the Web and the Web will resemble more of a read/write medium like traditional applications than a 1% contribute/99% consume medium that was the Web in its first decade and a half.

Of course, this requires that the Web (as in content and platform) evolve to increasingly favor a subscription model (think of Atom), a greater separation of content from information (think of JSON/XML/microformat), and a richer interaction model for end users (think of AJAX). A lot of this is tagged “Web 2.0” these days.

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