Web Applications - The Wave Of The Future

Rakesh Pai’s article Web Applications - The Wave Of The Future goes into the why and how of web applications, mentioning the mature use of JavaScript as what makes them possible.

The key here is mature, which to me means browser and operating system independent. Older web applications were/are all too often tied to a single browser and operating system (almost always IE/Win), making it impossible for me to use them. Let’s hope the developers of future web applications know better than that.

And I really need to check out Bloglines, which the article mentions as an example of a web based application.

Posted on January 7, 2005 in JavaScript, Quicklinks, Web General


  1. Bloglines isn’t a very good example of a Javascript driven web application. Basically, from what I as a user can see, it is built in the same way that older webmail services like Hotmail are (i.e. not like Gmail, Oddpost). Still Bloglines is a great RSS aggregator, though.

  2. As a web app developer I have to disagree with comment #1. It is javascript used in it’s ‘mature’ form that you don’t even realize. In bloglines case, javascript is used for things like loading the right side of the frame, and changing the number of ‘new’ items on the left w/o reloading the page. It also updates the left hand side with a ‘new’ item when you check the ‘keep new’ checkbox in the right frame. For crying out loud it even writes everything you see on the left to the page. It’s there, just look for it.

    As for my javascript development, I recently re-did this award winning photo album which was originally in flash with the same thing in javascript. All I can say is that the javascript version has been more flexible and is more full featured.

  3. I think there was an article with this title in the 1996 edition of Computer World

    (i.e., this isn’t news…)

  4. If somebody considers Bloglines an example of a ‘web application’, then they must think that Wonkette is the NY Times. Bloglines is great - I use it everyday, all day. But a web app (from my admittedly biased developer view) has so much more complexity with regards to usability, workflow management, and forms processing that to even compare the two means that you haven’t seen a real web app.

  5. January 8, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Looks like the definition of “web application” is different for different people. Perhaps there should be some kind of levels for web applications, reflecting how “heavy” they are. Just a thought.

    Ted: No, web applications aren’t news, but widespread, mature, and platform independent use of JavaScript is.

  6. Bloglines is an amazing service, anyone who uses multiple computers during a single day should switch immediately.

    As for Bloglines as a web app discussion, the thing it’s really got going for it is that it’s possible to forget you’re using a web app. For the most part it reacts quickly to user actions and is very responsive and intuitive.

    I think that should be the goal of all developers working on web apps, make people forget they’re using one.

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