Thursday, March 12, 2009

Future of the Web 03/13/2009

  • InfoWorld's Tom Yager makes the case for the WebKit visual document model over AJAX. The problem with AJAX as he sees it is that it's JavaScript heavy. And that breaks precious Web interoperability. He makes the point that if something can be done in CSS, it should. He also argues that WebKit is the best tool because the document model is that of advanced HTML5 and CSS3.

    "... These [WebKit] browsers also share a stellar accelerated JavaScript interpreter that makes the edit/run/debug cycle go faster. They are also the only browsers that deliver on CSS4 and HTML5 standards (with some elements that are proposed to the W3C standards body). Sites that are visually rich may start sprouting "best viewed with Safari" banners until other browsers catch up. The banner would also let users know that your site is optimized for iPhone....."

    Humm. Did you catch that? CSS4!!! I guess he's referring to the WebKit penchant for putting advanced graphical transitions and animations into CSS instead of relying on a device specific or OS specific API.

    Placing the visual interface instructions in the documents presentation layer (CSS4) is a revolutionary idea. The WebKit model will go a long way towards creating a global interoperability layer that rides above lower device, OS, browser and application specifics. So yes, by all means let's go with CSS4 :)

    Tags: webkit, web-applications, web-design, Safari, Chrome, Tom-yager, Ajax, JavaScript

    • You’re still waiting for me to explain what I meant when I referred to JavaScript as a last resort. I hinted at it in the preceding paragraph. Not the part on JavaScript debugging, but my reference to CSS and HTML. These do a lot more than paint screens. They are a browser's client-side framework. Everything they do is handled as native code. In other words, they're fast. CSS3 and HTML5 are too inconsistently implemented (if at all) across browsers to design to unless you're specifically targeting Safari, iPhone, or other WebKit-based browsers.
      • Tom makes the point that the use of AJAX JavaScript breaks Web interoperability. He further points out that HTML is a static layout language, where CSS is dynamic and adaptive. (Use HTML5/DOM for document structure, and CSS4 for presentation - layout, formatting and visual interface).

        It is the consistency of the WebKit document model across all WebKit browsers that makes for an interoperable Open Web future. I would not however discount the importance of Firefox and Opera embracing the WebKit document model (HTML5, CSS4, SVG/Canvas, JavaScript, DOM2). That's our guarantee that the future of the Open Web will actually be open.

        Tom goes on to suggest that instead of "AJAX", developers would be better off thinking in terms of "ACHJAX": Asynchronous CSS4 - HTML5 - JavaScript and XML ..... with the focus on getting as much done in CSS4 as possible. - By Gary Edwards
  • Chris Walker provides some interactive demonstrations of the powerful webkit-transforms that are placed in CSS. So, what can we do with all this magic? Well, the culmination of the Chris Walker demo is a Mac OSX style Dock menu, using no Javascript...

    ".....Yes, that’s right a bulging docked menu, with no javascript. Just so you remember, there no javascript in the demo. Check out the Javascript free OSX Dock Menu Demo.

    This demo actually proves an important point Tom Yager made earlier about Ajax; Will JavaScript inconsistencies break the Web?

    Taking AJAX literally makes lousy Web apps: "As little as possible should be the rule for JavaScript, which must play a supporting role to CSS and HTML". Tom concludes that it's best to follow the WebKit model, putting everything possible into first CSS4, then HTML5, and then JavaScript. I would argue that the proliferation of JavaScript libraries is a good hedge against the non interoperable future Yager warns of. But hey, why stop the guy when he's on a roll. CSS4! I guess the webkit-transforms have been officially christened. Thanks Tom.

    ~ge~

    Tags: webkit, webkit-transforms, webkit-animations, CSS4, JavaScript, HTML5


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Future of the Web group favorite links are here.

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