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» Heavy shit ot end a heavy year from Marc's Voice
Mark Pesce - Out Of Control: The Sequel - Hollywood does it again Adam Rifkin - Weblications (the Web Way and the web as a platform) - this guy just doesn't stop! Marc Cuban - Barry Diller - Spins off Expedia - 'bout time - DLA for travel Scott McMulle... [Read More]

» Googlecalifragilisticexpialidocious from Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled
Until this typepad post, there was exactly one Google hit for the nonwordGooglecalifragilisticexpialidocious.It was a link to What Would Jesus Google? For what it's worth, until this typepad post, there was also exactly one Yahoo hit, one MSN hit, and [Read More]

» Search 2005 from Mike Linksvayer
Many of John "Searchblog" Battelle's predictions for 2005 seem like near certainties, e.g., a fractious year for the blogosphere and trouble for those who expect major revenues from blogging. Two trends I hope 2005 proves that Battelle's predictions... [Read More]

» from wholesome goodness
WeblicationsThe future of computing lies in the web. [Read More]

» The Web As A Platform. from Blog-Fu
This is an excellent article on [how the web as a platorm], and how moving to a de-centralized working environment is a good thing. Lots of good, deep thoughts in here. When it comes to simple, ubiquitous, usable user interfaces,... [Read More]

» [Web Apps] Adam Rifkin on "Weblications" from The Farm: The Tucows Developers' Hangout
In his blog, Relax, Everything is Deeply Intertwingled, Adam Rifkin [Read More]

» links for 2004-12-30 from Word up - It's the A-Dawg note to self: taking a little from many is inspiration (categories: dhtml layout ui) Reflex A remake of a puzzle game called Reflexion. Guide the ball with 'mirrors'.... [Read More]

» links for 2004-12-29 from Word up - It's the A-Dawg note to self: taking a little from many is inspiration (categories: dhtml layout ui) Reflex A remake of a puzzle game called Reflexion. Guide the ball with 'mirrors'.... [Read More]

» More On Web As Platform from
Weblications "I'm still stuck on the notion that in less than two years Google will have a million-node computer operating... [Read More]

» Wiki Macros Are a Key Component of the Web Platform from Olivier Travers
Christopher Allen has a good summary about the wiki application that can't decide whether it's called Jot or JotSpot but already raised $5.2M (they must have taken branding lessons from us at MarketingFoxOnSpeed (sorry for the insider joke). Anyway, he... [Read More]

» Weblications from Lockergnome's Web Developers
Part perspective, part history lesson, this look at what the Web is now and what it was once upon time is quite an interesting read. Check it out!... [Read More]

» the rise of web applications from Timmie TV
A very interesting but even more geeky (I warned you) article on the rise and future possibilities of web applications. [Read More]

» Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 2-8 January 2005 from Read/Write Web

I thought I'd trial a new feature on Read/Write Web, a weekly summary of news and views relating to Web 2.0 (Web as platform)...

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» More weblications - and real world sematic web from Notes from Classy's Kitchen
If you develop anything for the web, or even if you're just a user at the geeky end of the... [Read More]

» The world is the web to the end of it from Lorcan Dempsey's weblog
Adam Rifkin's long Weblications post is a richly suggestive rumination on where we are and where we are going network service wise. At one stage he maps the trajectory of Adam Bosworth's career as exemplary of a more general direction:I believe Adam's ... [Read More]

» Web 2.0 Definition and Tagging from Read/Write Web

I'm trying to figure out what 'Web 2.0' means to people. So in this post I provide some definitions and analyze two popular articles about The Web as Platform, by looking at what tags people stored them under in

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» The Web Way from genthelvite
Ping Back来自 [Read More]

» Future of web applications from The Zen of me
This is dead on regarding what needs to happen for web applications in the next decade. I really have to agree with the author that I like where Google is going. The great thing is I don't think the media,... [Read More]

» The Rich Web Client conundrum from John Reynolds's Blog
Flex, Laszlo, Java Web Start, JSF, Tapestry: What's a poor programmer to do? [Read More]

» The Rich Web Client conundrum from John Reynolds's Blog
Flex, Laszlo, Java Web Start, JSF, Tapestry: What's a poor programmer to do? [Read More]

» Life In A TEXTAREA from Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled
Eric Anderson said to me, [Read More]

» Ajax: 99% Bad from Johnnie Manzari
What is Ajax? Ajax was coined by Mr Garrett of Adaptive Path in his essay Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications. This was on February 18, 2005, and even though it's only been under three months, the term has... [Read More]

» And so, Web 2.0 from Preoccupations
Doc Searls and Robert Scoble opened Reboot 7. By good fortune, I caught up with both of them a number of times over the days I was in Copenhagen and I'm delighted that Doc Searls has now posted this about [Read More]

» GoogleOS? YahooOS? MozillaOS? WebOS? from
Before we get going, here are some alternate titles for this post, just to give you an idea of what I'm trying to get at before I actually, you know, get at it: You're probably wondering why Yahoo bought Konfabulator An update on Google Browser, GooOS ... [Read More]

» links for 2005-08-24 from LifeBox
Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled: Weblications (tags: ajax webapp dhtml google)... [Read More]

» More on the WebOS from Padpaw Blog
Interesting post at on WebOS. Lots of references to another post on by Adam Rifkin - check out both of them. A lot of what they're talking about I've been see on SymphonyOS.... [Read More]

» Wanted: DHTML, PHP, Python, and even (um) Java talent from Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled
Wow, Silicon Valley has been so quiet the last 48 hours. John Battelle, Om Malik, and Silicon Beat have taken much-needed breaks after an exemplary year, and even the tireless Michael Arrington has slowed his posting down to a trickle [Read More]



Jun writes about the Web of Applications:

The idea of The Web of Applications goes along the same line but on a different level. We don't really integrate at the data level but rather at the application level. Think of applications as small pieces of logic (services) that work on data. In the example of the calendar, a subset of the whole web should be the global calendar. Each small calendar (personal, group, etc.) has permlinks to other events in other calendars. The interfaces between the calendars are of the service nature, not just at the low data level.

Significance: It's in web's distributed, decentralized, P2P model and you can only expect huge growth out of this model unless you are a Google. If each little piece (in this case, it's the calendar; in other cases other applications) can be as easy as a blog (Web2), then the growth of The Web of Applications can be exponential, just like when people started to created HTML pages (Web1) and link to each other.

Our vision: People will create small applications of all sorts and link to each other. This is the Web of Applications.

This reminds me of what Rohit used to call application-layer internetworking:
Bags of bits will routed hop-by-hop through whatever application-layer protocol is available, from source to destination. We call this insight Application Layer Internetworking, or ALIN, named by analogy to IP Layer Internetworking done by today's Layer 3 Routers (slides, notes).
Jun has a nice chart describing the Web of Applications, and writes:
The web has been extremely successful. Web1 is a web of HTML pages, some broken, but mostly useful and robust. Web2 seems to be at least about a web of blogs, linked by permlinks. Web3 may be about a web of applications.

Result of webservices may be cached. The web of applications is the biggest implementation of Forward Propagation Model (otherwise known as dependency caching).

One common feature of these 3 generations of web is the units are all small, can be created by mere mortals and yet number in millions. The user model of web of applications should be very simple...

Sounds compelling, I look forward to hearing more...

Vinod Kulkarni

Perhaps it will become possible for google to allow us to create applications that could be delivered using its platform?

For example, it will allow this type of application to use a specially designed UI markup that would be rendered by google. It will allow the app to store its context in user's gmail mailbox (and access using standard API). And allow special RPC calls for extended use of AI. And take care of supporting multiple browsers by offering a uniform widget interface such as laszlo .

The difference between traditional ASP applications, and the ones allowed to be served by google would be that the massive computational, UI and service infrastructure which a data center can't possibly provide.

Adam Bramwell

Adam you've written this a bit late in the year to garner any 'post of the year' accolades, but you've tied it all together very well into a cohesive piece. Nice summary!

I was once told that writing can be therapeutic for the author as well as informative for the reader. I certainly found reading the above very informative, i trust you found writing it therapeutic.

dHTML'ers please gather round for a warm fuzzy this New Year.

John Dowdell

"...The Three M's Of UI Lock-in (Macromedia, Microsoft, and Mozilla), all of which aim to fatten up the client and lock some users in and lock other would-be users out because they don't have Flash or XAML or XUL or any other doesn't-work-on-some-platforms complex soup...."

fwiw, one of the things I like about the Macromedia Flash Player is that it will work invisibly in a great range of operating systems and browsers... getting the engine is quick, simple, and doesn't change the viewing environment or user habits.

(DHTML is cool, and its range-of-use will increase year-by-year as browsers converge, but as this multi-engine approach gains ground, single-engine approaches stake out yet further ground. The development/testing costs come into play too. Could go either way... having complementary approaches helps.)

John Dowdell
Macromedia Support

You expect my wife to work the way she does with images and stuff using DHTML and stylesheets? Forget it.

She needs a full multimedia platform, Flash Studio.

Peter Eddy

This is total crap. Yes, the web is okay for some applications that can get by with minimal interactivty. But, you'll never see a viable Microsoft Word HTML application (unless it uses browser or OS specific functionality, then why bother?) Same goes for PhotoShop and a bazillion other apps. For corporate applications, the only people who are better off with web apps are the people in the IT department. It's much easier for them, but end users suffer.

HTML is great for linking text to other text. Other than that, it's the worst application platform I've used in my 20 years of application development. It's time to acknowledge that hypertext does not a viable platform make.


The problem is that is very difficult to write real Web Applications because there isn't a real UI framework. Maybe XUL could be the answer. Take a look here for some real remote XUL application:

Mozilla Amazon Browser:

XUL File Manager:


Thanks for the comments, folks; you've given me a lot of interesting food for thought.

To the point of real UI frameworks, I forgot to mention that OSAF's Application Project is doing some interesting work in that area as well.

On the lighter side, Star-Telegram listed what it thought were the most interesting innovations of 2004, and many of them are web-based:

While I'm posting, I'll note that Richard MacManus has a great weekly wrap-up about web-based applications, in which he cites the Mitch Kapor gem,

For 25 years, I've preached the superiority of the PC as an application platform, but times change and reconsideration is in order. The web browser and the infrastructure of the World Wide Web is on the cusp of bettering its aging cousin, the desktop-based graphical user interface for common PC applications.
Nicely stated...


John, Flash will never play here until Flash the proprietary server requirement goes away. I should be able to code a Flash app in a text editor that interacts with my web server running PHP.

One reason these richer dhtml/javascript apss aren't more prevalent is because it remains criminally unclear how to make post/get calls with JavaScript in the browser (using XMLHTTP or whatever). This should be trivially easy and yet no where does there exist a plain english explanation of how to do this.

Espen Antonsen

My views on web-applications


"In 2004, Google's applications like Gmail and experiments like Google Suggest demonstrate that we can have robust, interactive, useful web-based applications." I really think that Gmail was a big leap ahead. It will let Google become even more popular, as it use to lose in comparison to Yahoo or MSN for the lack of additional services.
Jane, web designer

Joe Peffer

Now that data is shared via XML, it opens up all sorts of doors for data exchange, and service attachments. Specific processing of key data attributes could be a service provided by a 3rd party, that adds value through extra intelligence. I think we are starting to see Google move to the a company that offers services, that are extensible pieces or specific processing abilities that can be leveraged.

Also, I believe that we are going to see the advent of Neural SOA, the ability not only to attach services, but the ability to discover, configure and consume. Many of these moves are already underway through UDDI, and other emerging standards.


Nice article by Christopher Allen on Google Suggest Dissected and how this could be the way many web-based applications get built in the future:

As a former Macintosh developer, I've always been disappointed with the user-interface of web pages. The state of the art of UI design moved backwards with the advent of the browser -- we traded connectivity for ease-of-use. With the advent of pages written in Flash, some better user-interfaces were created, but at the important cost of things like being able to copy text, have semantic and meta-data information imbedded in web pages, searchability, etc.

So I keep an eye out for innovative ideas that preserve the essence of what is so powerful about web pages, yet also offer a good ideas. My posts on Map Mashup and TiddlyWiki offer some interesting web UI exemplars.


To this list of exemplars I now add Google Suggest by Google programmer Kevin Gibbs, who wrote this as part of Google employee's ability to work 20% of the time on their own projects. Google Suggest replaces the browser's default auto-complete with one specific to Google searching. As you type each letter of your search request, you are shown the most popular requests for that term, and how many search hits are available for that search term. You really have to try out to understand how amazing and intuitive it is.

Blogger Chris Justus has dissected and documented how Google Suggest works. If you are a web developer, I recommend you read his analysis and I hope it will inspire you.

This specific technique is probably not useful for all web sites -- the amount of load that even a small number of users can place on a database using this technique requires a large server infrastructure, as basically every time you type a letter a database is being hit. Google can do this as they understand server farms and how to scale large loads. However, as inspiration for other ideas, I think it is marvelous.

For instance, I didn't know you could take control over your browsers auto-complete functionality by setting autocomplete="off" in your input field. Given this and the other techniques for display and cursor control, you could create dynamic auto-complete functionality on your own web pages, but skip the bandwidth intensive XMLHttpRequest by either caching the data in your web page, or in a user's cookie, or both. An example of this is BitFlux blog's LiveSearch functionality (which is also documented here).

The technique for retrieving the data using XMLHttpRequest is also marvelous. This functionality has been around for a while but this is one of the cleanest examples of how to do it on the client side.

I've got some other ideas on how to apply some of these techniques to Wiki pages -- hopefully in the next few months I'll have some proof-of-concept examples for you to play around with.

In addition, Google Suggest is now, in a sense, a new web service from google that can be used independently. For instance Adam Stiles has written about a hack to help suggest keywords for AdSense.

It definitely inspires me. And by the way, using Google maps definitely inspires me, too. I'm getting the idea buzz...

Via Matt Haughey I found this very cool article by Jesse James Garrett of Adaptive Path called Ajax: a New Approach to Web Applications. I got very excited when I read Jesse's article because I thought to myself, "Yes! Yes! He's saying what I was thinking but unable to articulate. This is it -- the thrill of the potential of next-generation web-based applications! Jesse wrote:

Instead, the challenges are for the designers of these applications: to forget what we think we know about the limitations of the Web, and begin to imagine a wider, richer range of possibilities.

If people got excited about the Ajax vision -- and from talking with friends around Silicon Valley, it's safe to say that they are -- then I have the feeling Dojo Toolkit is going to blow a lot of peoples' minds about what is possible with web apps.

By the way, I love what Matt wrote in his post:

All this talk of persistent connections and javascript powered streaming data reminds me of my brief time at KnowNow back in early 2001. Adam and Rohit discovered and exploited a largely unused feature of the http 1.1 spec that allowed a browser to connect to a server and stay connected. New data would stream in via javascript and they built half a dozen of the most amazing applications I ever saw. I remember being sure that this technology would change web application development forever, and enable web apps that felt more like desktop apps, way back in 2001.
Companies are evanescent but movements have longer-lasting effects. The technology did change web application development forever, just not as quickly and not as directly as we had hoped. In showing those demos to everyone who would listen to us, we got many people to think differently about what was possible with web-based applications. Other grassroots efforts (including, but certainly not limited to, mod-pubsub) were having similar effects, and over the past four years, as the technologies matured, more people started to get it.

This movement -- the movement of dynamic web-based applications -- started very slowly but is finally gaining significant momentum. I have a feeling that the best is yet to come.

By the way, the sooner companies stop asking webdev employee candidates the same questions they ask C++ or Java developers, the sooner those companies will have beautiful dynamic web-based applications to share with the world. Biz Stone and Bay Wei Chang get it. But not all companies do, so far...

Hey, why did this page suddenly get so many hits? (Flips through logs.) Oh. Got slashdotted:

FalsePositives writes "Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications (from Adaptive Path and via Jeffery Veen) introduces their experiences with what they are calling 'Ajax' as in 'Asynchronous JavaScript + XML' aka the XmlHttpRequest Object. It is used by Google (Google Maps, Google Suggest, Gmail), in Amazon's A9, and a few others (like the map of Switzerland spotted by Simon Willison). ... Is this 'The rise of the Weblication'?"
Hmmm. Ajax: making the world more powerful and user friendly or just a household toilet cleaner? You be the judge...

While I'm on the subject of weblications, let me take a moment to applaud IBM's endorsement of PHP. Peter Yared writes,

Congrats to the guys at Zend for having the foresight to make PHP 5 use a lot of the same syntax as Java (try/catch/finally, public/protected/private). PHP 5 will be a very easy transition for people who know Java. I remember when I first coded in Java in 1995 I was productive in minutes because I already knew C++ syntax and Smalltalk dynamic OO principles. If you know Java and BASIC you will be all set to go with PHP 5.
PHP saves developer time, which is far more valuable than CPU time. Jon Udell's "Myth: IT doesn't scale" article reminds us that architecture matters most when it comes to reliability and scalability -- not programming language choice.

As a result, a project manager's main focuses -- functionality, cost, and time -- all depend on the productivity of the project's devs and ops people. I believe that history will show that LAMP/PLAD makes people more productive. We've passed the turning point, and IBM's announcement gives it momentum.

Christopher Vigliotti

Let's hope that this "new approach to web applications" considers accessibility standards for disabled users.

Josef Davies-Coates

The people leading the pack in building the p2p and public domain version of what some people describe as GooOs are the espians, who call it the plex.

Someone should probably give them millions of dollars so that they can poach some their friends that are currently working for google and others who'd help out if it would pay their bills

Check out and join the fun at irc://

Francis Shanahan

You folks might appreciate my Amazon Zuggest tool which uses some of the "Ajax" concepts you're talking about and works similarly to Google Suggest.

Check it out:


She needs a full multimedia platform, Flash Studio.

kostenlose foren

This movement -- the movement of dynamic web-based applications -- started very slowly but is finally gaining significant momentum. I have a feeling that the best is yet to come.


This is an excellent article on [how the web as a platorm], and how moving to a de-centralized working environment is a good thing.


Let's hope that this "new approach to web applications" considers accessibility standards for disabled users.

mikael bergkvist

Nothing is easier than Xin, when it comes to creating serverapplications, it's not even technically possible for anything to be simplier than that I think, so we'll soon find out if this reasoning holds true or not..

Account Deleted

you can look to action script 3 in adobe web site.i made those sites with php javascript and flash
oyun sitesi

Account Deleted

this is really a nice article. i hope this new approach towards web application would be better step.

Account Deleted

Excellent post and wonderful blog, I really like this type of interesting articles keep it up.

Nice job I really like it!

The comments to this entry are closed.



  • John Battelle: The Search

    John Battelle: The Search
    My favorite book of 2005. Period.


  • Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    "Just because two things are correlated does not mean that one causes the other. A correlation simply means that a relationship exists between two factors -- let's call them X and Y -- but it tells you nothing about the direction of that relationship. It's possible that X causes Y; it's also possible that Y causes X; and it may be that X and Y are both being caused by some other factor, Z.

    Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

    Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. The conventional wisdom is often wrong. Dramatic effects often have distant, even subtle, causes. Experts use their informational advantage to serve their own agenda. Knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes a complicated world much less so." (*****)

  • Malcolm Gladwell: Blink

    Malcolm Gladwell: Blink
    A book of anecdotes about the power of thinking without thinking; this book is a more interesting read than Gladwell's previous, The Tipping Point.

    New York Times: "Gottman believes that each relationship has a DNA, or an essential nature. It's possible to take a very thin slice of that relationship, grasp its fundamental pattern and make a decent prediction of its destiny. Gladwell says we are thin-slicing all the time -- when we go on a date, meet a prospective employee, judge any situation. We take a small portion of a person or problem and extrapolate amazingly well about the whole."

    David Brooks, who wrote that review, adds: "Isn't it as possible that the backstage part of the brain might be more like a personality, some unique and nontechnological essence that cannot be adequately generalized about by scientists in white coats with clipboards?" (*****)

  • Paul Graham: Hackers and Painters

    Paul Graham: Hackers and Painters
    I don't agree with some parts of this book, but I truly loved reading it, and it really made me think. I referenced it in my weblications and superhacker and phoneboy posts. Favorite chapter is How to Make Wealth. (Thanks, Ev.) (*****)

  • Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software

    Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software
    Joel is really good at wielding "diverse and occasionally related matters of interest to software developers, designers, and managers, and those who, whether by good fotune or ill luck, work with them in some capacity."

    Joel on Software embodies the principle of "Welcome to management! Guess what? Managing software projects has nothing at all to do with programming." This book, a compendium of the website's wisdom, is useful for everyone from team leads estimating schedules to software CEOs developing competitive strategy. (*****)

  • Bruce Sterling: Tomorrow Now: Envisioning The Next Fifty Years

    Bruce Sterling: Tomorrow Now: Envisioning The Next Fifty Years
    Bruce wrote this book to come to terms with seven novel aspects of the twenty-first century, situations that are novel to that epoch and no other. It's about future possibilities.

    "This is the future as it is felt and understood: via human experience... The years to come are not merely imaginary. They are history that hasn't happened yet. People will be born into these coming years, grow to maturity in them, struggle with their issues, personify those years, and bear them in their flesh. The future will be lived." Here here, well-spoken, Bruce. (*****)

  • The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems: John Vacca

    The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems: John Vacca
    "Science has extended life, conquered disease, and offered new sexual and commercial freedoms through its rituals of discovery, but many unsolved problems remain...

    If support for science falters and if the American public loses interest in it, such apathy may foster an age in which scientific elites ignore the public will and global imperatives." (*****)

  • Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins : Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

    Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins : Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
    I had the pleasure recently of meeting Amory Lovins and hearing him talk about Twenty Hydrogen Myths and the design of hypercar. (He also talked about Bonobos... wow.) I'm a convert to the way of thinking espoused in Natural Capitalism. I used to be cynical about the future, but Amory's work has made me a believer that many great things are about to come. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. (*****)

  • Merrill R. Chapman: In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters

    Merrill R. Chapman: In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters
    In hilarious prose, this book catalogs lots of stoopid high-tech marketing decisions. It offers clear, detailed analysis of many a marketing mishap, with what happened, why, and how to avoid such stupidity. Might just be the best. book. ever... (*****)

  • Paul Krugman: The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century

    Paul Krugman: The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century
    A book exposing the pitfalls of crony capitalism, from corrupt corporations straight up to the executive branch of our government. Krugman is nonpartisan -- what he exposes is foolish short-term thinking on the part of recent United States policies. The patriotic thing to do, he advises, is to fix these economic problems now before they become much harder to solve.

  • Henry Petroski: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design

    Henry Petroski: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design
    "Design can be easy and difficult at the same time, but in the end, it is mostly difficult." (*****)

  • Alexander Blakely: Siberia Bound

    Alexander Blakely: Siberia Bound
    One of my favorite books of the past few years. Xander is a master storyteller. (*****)

  • Susan Scott: Fierce Conversations

    Susan Scott: Fierce Conversations
    How to make every conversation count. One of my favorite books of the last decade. (*****)

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