Alternatives to browsers (was Re: Alternatives to the W3C)

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Tue Jan 18 04:32:00 GMT 2000

At 03:41 AM 1/18/00 +0000, Sean McGrath wrote:
>[Len Bullard]
>>The day of the web browser as portable operating system is drawing to a 
>Amen. I see an increasing number of innovative Web apps in which
>the browser is the "viewer" as distinct from the app that is
>doing the real work.
>I think it is interesting to ponder why this is so.
>My (controversial of course) view on this
>is that the Web client-side programming model of an
>embedded, sand-boxed, buggy,
>antithesis-of-a-text-processing-language has finally
>run its course.

I'm not sure I see the disappearance of the browser from my perspective,
but given this fuller description I'd be happy to say that those kinds of
browsers may finally be running their course.

XML opens the way for a super-slim 'browser' that's pretty much a network
interface with an XML parser on it, passing results as requested to a wide
variety of application possibilities.  Those applications might look like
'browsers' or they might not.  I've been thinking of this as the expansion
of the browser (treated as network interface) into the other facets of
software, but it could also be treated as the demolition/reduction of the

Either way, I'm looking forward to lots of XML-based apps running over
TCP/IP and possibly even HTTP.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
Cookies / Sharing Bandwidth

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: or CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
Please note: New list subscriptions now closed in preparation for transfer to OASIS.

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list