Archive for the ‘Jeremy Keith’ Category

The difference between Web sites and Web applications?

March 2, 2008

There is a lot of discussion these days about the Web moving from being document-based to application based.  Here is a section from Jeremy Keith’s book Bulletproof Ajax which talks about this:

In discussions about the difference between Web sites and Web applications, you’ll often hear about how the Web seems to be in a state of transition.  It appears to be moving from a document-delivery platform to an application-based system.  But this is a disingenuous distinction; it implies that applications aren’t centered on documents.

In fact, documents are at the heart of applications as well as Web sites.  A work processor is useless without a document.  A spreadsheet application requires a spreadsheet.  Even a complex desktop application like Adobe Photoshop works on documents; the documents just happen to be images.

The difference between Web sites and Web applications lie in how malleable a document is.  A traditional Web site simply displays a document.  A Web application lets you interact with — and change — that document.  But make no mistake: the World Wide Web is based on documents, no matter how interactive they become.

An easy-to-use technology is a double-edged sword

January 24, 2008

A technology with low barrier to entry can be a double-edged sword.

A technology that people can speedily and easily use will probably be adopted very quickly.  However, there is likely to be a correspondingly low level of quality control.

HTML’s Explosive Growth

HTML’s ease of use is one of the reasons behind the explosive growth of the Web.

Anyone can learn the basics of HTML in a short space of time and create a web page very quickly.

It’s even possible to use WYSIWYG editors to make web pages without ever seeing a line of markup.

The downside to this is that most pages on the Web are badly formed and don’t validate.

Browser vendors have to accept this state of affairs by making their software very forgiving and unfussy.

Much of the code in browser software is dedicated to handling ambiguous use of HTML and trying to second-guess how authors want their web pages to be rendered.

HTML’s low barrier to entry has been a mixed blessing for the Web.

DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith