Linked by mufasa on Mon 10th Aug 2009 12:25 UTC
Web 2.0 The web browser has been the dominant thin client, now rich client, for almost two decades, but can it compete with a new thin client that makes better technical choices and avoids the glacial standards process? I don't think so, as the current web technology stack of HTML/Javascript/Flash has accumulated so many bad decisions over the years that it's ripe for a clean sheet redesign to wipe it out.
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Better UI granularity
by John Bayko on Mon 10th Aug 2009 14:32 UTC
John Bayko
Member since:
2006-10-20

Someone's been working on this with something called "Extensible User Interface Protocol", or XUP:

http://www.w3.org/TR/xup/

What it's missing is a well defined client presentation (the actual UI elements that this protocol should display, etc.), but I saw a Swing-inspired sample that would be pretty usable.

I spent some time on my own with something similar, but I haven't done much with it recently. It is connection oriented, like telnet or ssh, but defines the client UI and the protocol for constructing it, as well as events sent to the server (actually is connection agnostic, so it could even run over RS-232). If it ever gets done, it'll be called "Holistic Interface Control Protocol" (HICP).

Using a TCP connection makes it immensely more responsive than stateless HTTP based UIs, but obviously has its own resource usage issues. The client is not much smarter than a TTY, so needs only a small generic runtime supporting a basic GUI toolkit - no application specific downloads needed (not even those growing Javascript libraries send as part of active web pages).

I still like the idea and intend to get back to it. My prototype doesn't do more than let you define windows, buttons, labels, and text boxes (and associated events), but I think it shows the potential (prototype client is in Java, server is in Python).

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