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

Thomas B. Passin tpassin at
Wed Jan 19 04:42:27 GMT 2000

Miles Sabin wrote:

> David Hunter wrote,
> > As am I.  And it's exactly the combination of XML and HTTP
> > which, to me, makes the browser unnecessary in many
> > situations.  If I can just put some kind of application on the
> > client, whether it be written in Java, or Visual Basic, or
> > C++, and have that application communicate with my servers via
> > XML and HTTP, I get all of the benefits of using the Internet
> > (or an Intranet or an Extranet, or any of the other names I
> > can't keep up with), PLUS, I get all of the advantages of
> > splitting my processing intelligently between server and
> > client.
> I'm having trouble seeing why XML over HTTP is preferable to
> eg. CORBA or Java RMI (maybe tunneled through HTTP if there's
> a need to traverse firewalls) for application specific comms.

XML (and, say, XML-RPC) is much lighter-weight than CORBA and easier to get
going.  There are (I imagine) many, many applications that don't need all
the CORBA machinery.  Java RMI supposes Java, but how about something for
non-Java people?

> How is application specific markup better than an application
> specific binary wire protocol?

HTML showed that human-readable text markup is a LOT better that a binary
format if you want to get widespread involvement and development.  I think
the same will continue with XML applications, even though they won't be as
simple as banging out a little HTML was in the early days.

> Cheers,
> Miles

Tom Passin

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