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November 21, 2005

Owning the Container: Addendum

After reading some fine content on one of my favorite blogs [gadgetopia.com], I thought I would add my two cents (or is it sense?) to this entry [gadgetopia.com].

First off, we've been inundated with HTML applications from Microsoft since the early days of XP (circa 2002), maybe even before in Windows 2000. Of course, these weren't full up applications like Word or Photoshop, but more like applets. Take a look at some of the control panels in XP, especially the Add/Remove programs applet. I'm pretty sure this is an HTML application in a specialized container based on the way things are rendered and the iconology that's presented during pauses in execution.

Deane also mentions that some of this (web applications) could be done in XUL. Absolutely correct. I've seen some XUL applications before and they reach back to the interweb for rendering their interfaces and business logic. In fact, a lot of applications can take advantage of this type of architecture. For example, using .Net Remoting or any slew of Java client/server apis such as RMI or JMS, we can pull back an interface to render, send commands and actions to the server and recieve psuedo-asynchronous events back from the server. Hmm, sounds a lot like an non-binary X Server.

Then there's the whole notion of stateless remote applications that I've been toying around with. These apps act more like servers where the front end is simply a VNC client. What this boils down to is an app directly serving VNC frames (or tiles, whatever) forming an image that is rendered on the same (or remote) machine. The client machine then sends simple input (mouse movements/clicks and keyboard) to the VNC server/application for processing. This architecture opens a whole slew of new and innovative architectures that loosely mimic Windows Terminal Services.

Well, I've talked enough.

Posted by Guy at November 21, 2005 9:39 AM