Byte: Web UI On The Cusp Of Change; Core Standards — And Components — Essential

“There’s tremendous pent-up demand for “real” Web
applications that you can bookmark, rather than install.
Peter points out, vertical markets are desperate for this kind
of solution.
But, he sadly concludes, “cross-browser GUI
Utopia seems as remote as cross-platform app Utopia with Java.”

“But cross-browser native-GUI technology, in the form of the
browser, has achieved a larger installed base than any software in
history. It works. It’s what everybody uses every day. And I think
that’s because it strikes the right balance between
content-authoring and programming. What will it take to move
portable cross-browser technology forward? I can hardly think of
anything more vital to the future of software and the Net.”

“The core standards are necessary, but not sufficient, for those
“real” applications. I’m convinced browsers need a richer set of
standard, hardwired widgets that go beyond HTML 3.2’s widget set,
and deliver what’s been long standard in the GUI realm. Things like
menus, tree controls, and grid controls. Look at how much mileage
Zope gets out of its tree tag. This should just be a native widget!
Of course, these things would be DOM-wired and scriptable.”