Extensible browsers

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at simonstl.com
Thu Jan 20 17:32:40 GMT 2000

At 04:37 PM 1/20/00 +0000, Steven Livingstone, ITS, SENM wrote:
>I would love the idea of extensible and layered browsers so that you could
>apply the necessary layers to PC's, handhelds, toasters and all the other
>types mentioned previously.
>I look forward to seeing it ;-)

This is promising, since I've generally disagreed with Steven's approach
throughout the rest of this discussion.

At 12:18 AM 1/20/00 -0500, Didier PH Martin wrote:
>Didier replies:
>Maybe the actual working draft about behaviors (in the CSS courtyard)  can
>be the first step toward this.
>see: http://www.w3.org/TR/becss
>So with CSS behaviors and at least a ECMAScript support of the DOM, light
>may be at the end of the tunnel for the audacious and movers of this world.

Ingredients!  While it seems like the W3C is focused on building parts for
ever more complex monolithic browsers, maybe they can be reused and made
into smaller, more modular pieces.  (As a for-instance, the HTML 'elements'
proposed in becss seem hideous, but the CSS parts are interesting.)

If a browser just becomes a set of common modules, with some way to
distinguish which modules are available, we might be getting someplace.
This'd take going way beyond the XHTML modularisation we have now though,
or the relatively simple content-type negotiations between servers and
browsers that are part of HTTP.

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