Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Don Park has some good discussions.

He suggested MS drop IE 7, which I didn't get.

But here's his further explanation (from the comments), which makes a lot of sense :

HTML is just another content type while the browser can be far more than just an HTML viewer. At the platform-level, built-in support for sessions, local storage/database, fine-grained caching, identities, directories, user-level zoning, graphics engine, and others could make new breed of web applications possible. Security-wise, what about running 'virtual machines' as a 'page' that can be accessed with a simple hyperlink? What if virtual machines can be 'stacked' together like slabs of concretes, each temperproof, to be used as 'platform' for rich web applications?

Must I go on listing all the things Microsoft and Mozilla could do?

And in a later post he points out how alien the desktop has become to users.

I can help noticing how little use they have for the desktop. They look bewildered when I open the Windows Explorer.

To them, file open or file save dialog *is* where the files go. My Documents? It's just an icon they never touch. The web is the little blue icon on the desktop that looks like a letter e. Email is another icon next to it. IM is the little person icon on the bottom right. Word is a W icon on the desktop. They don't even ask why only one click is needed for icons on the bottom right and double-click is needed for icons on the desktop. It just is.

Which has stimulated a re-iteration of my anti-desktop rant in his comments :

Turns out the browser model of pages and hyperlinks is way better. Here's the amazing thing : there are about 8 billion pages accessable through the browser. And not one of them is that difficult to get to. (Assuming you find links going there.)

How many OSs and desktop applications have 8 billion options and functions? Yet, access to these is through a bewildering variety of different methods : menus and submenus, button-bars, wizards, right-click on the icon to change configuration options, hidden XML configuration files, command line arguments.

Windows is so arbitrary when it comes to trying to figure out how to set an environment variable or share a folder (eg. why aren't these done via the Control Panel?)

We need to figure out how to hide the whole computer through a "pages and hyperlinks" interface (that mixes actions with documentation, tutorial help, search) All applications, even local desktop ones, should be on "pages" within the local computer, accessed via a (suitably human readable local URL).

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