Saturday, March 6, 2004

Web vs. Desktop

Tim Bray:

Application interfaces (VB, win32, X Windows, Mac OS) used to be “richer environments,” and the users abandoned them by the millions, in favor of the browser, the moment they got a chance (granted, the browser was an advance on previous online-service interfaces).


Which is not to say that the browser is the right answer for everything. Here’s an overgeneralization which I think works. Computer applications, excluding games, fall into one of three baskets: information retrieval, database interaction, and content creation. History shows that the Web browser, or something like it, is the right way to do the first two. Which leaves content creation.

Some interesting ideas, but the point is a little murky since he considers NetNewsWire to be a browser, when it’s both a “richer environment” for information retrieval and also a tool for content creation.

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