Kottke’s Future

There is an article over at Kottke.org that is quite interesting for the geeky out there. A few weeks ago he asked his audience where the web was going. My answer was to a cross platform, browser/desktop application. Today, it seems he agrees, mostly. It’s a long article and gets kind of technical at points but worth the read.

Here’s the idea…

So this is my best guess as to how an “operating system” based on the Web (which I will refer to as “WebOS”) will work. There are three main parts to the system:

  • The Web browser (along with other browser-ish applications like Konfabulator) becomes the primary application interface through which the user views content, performs services, and manages data on their local machine and on the Web, often without even knowing the difference. Something like Firefox, Safari, or IE…ideally browser agnostic.
  • Web applications of the sort we’re all familiar with: Gmail, Flickr, and Bloglines, as well as other applications that are making the Web an ever richer environment for getting stuff done. (And ideally all Ajaxed up to provide an experience closer to that of traditional desktop apps.)
  • A local Web server to handle the data delivery and content display from the local machine to the browser. This local server will likely be highly optimized for its task, but would be capable of running locally installed Web applications (e.g. a local copy of Gmail and all its associated data).

One response to “Kottke’s Future

  1. Sloejackhttp://www.sloetimes.com/

    Oddly enough to some extent this is already happening within Windows. Many of the components you see when using say Word, Excel, or Money for that matter are exploiting the flexibility of the ‘browser’ component for presenting information. This is also why data from one application to another has become more portable. Pretty soon all apps will be web apps some will have local back ends where others will have back ends on the Internet. A good example of this for me is that I used to be die hard Outlook user. Now, gmail suits me right down to my boots and all the other ‘stuff’ that outlook did was either unneccessary or is being handled elsewhere. So now my email is now online and managed and supported by someone else and it’s infinantly more useful to me since I can get at it even when I’m away from home.

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