[whatwg] about rich internat applications

Preston St. Pierre webmaster at aparadine.com
Tue Jun 8 12:35:14 PDT 2004

Hey guys, just a few comments:

> 1) do everything in the client
> pros: simple installation of web forms (plug & play)
> cons: performance in the client is degraded (is this a bad thing? we are 
> talking about explorer)

If we do everything client side, we need the support of people. People, essentially, are idiots. They do what Microsoft tells them (for the most part, of course). If Microsoft has goals that lie in other directions, it would be easy for them to break compatibility. This standards group is partially here to block the proprietary MS stuff from becoming a standard. When 90% of the population is governed by one body, and that body is against what we are doing, suddenly we fail. Yes, everyone has proposed work-arounds. But do we really want to be designing standards based on work-arounds? If so, it will eventually be "Well we'd like to do it this way, but it would be 10x easier to implement on IE if we did it this other way, so we'll do that." The first way may have been much better, but client side and IE crushes it.

> 2) introduce server-side solutions (xsl, jsp etc)
> pros & cons: the reverse of the above
> another con, do we want to say:
> "to implement web forms 2 you will need php version 4.x...?"

In response to your second con... what do you honestly think is better: A company that can install a (free, btw) server mod (php) and have their site work on all clients, or a company that makes all their clients install a plugin of their own? The obvious answer is that it is better to be on the server side. There are other things to consider, too. It is much easier for a company to have freedom of open/closed source when the technology is server side. Everything suddenly becomes more secure. Yes, there is more overhead on the server, granted. Do you think that Linux + PHP + Apache + WebForms is going to be slower than Longhorn + IIS + XAML? I doubt it. I doubt it highly.

I do a lot of web applications programming, and server side technologies have done nothing but make it easier. I joined this mailing list to be sure that a "regular" programmer is around. Too many times standards groups get lost in speculation and end up with something that isn't usable. As far as I'm concerned, client side technology is too insecure. When the user's browser chooses how to interpret my code, it may come up with a different result than I had intended. Server side, I know the worst it can do is morph how my page looks.

Just some thoughts.

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