March 17, 2005 4:00 AM PST
Will Ajax help Google clean up?
- Related Stories
Fight over 'forms' clouds future of Net applicationsFebruary 17, 2005
Open source's next frontierNovember 22, 2004
David vs. Goliath vs. GoliathNovember 18, 2004
Firefox fortune huntersNovember 17, 2004
IBM cranks up client software pushNovember 9, 2004
IE--embraced, extended, extinct?September 30, 2004
Macromedia flexes Flash muscleMarch 29, 2004
(continued from previous page)
threat posed by Microsoft's plans for the proprietary XAML/Avalon Web and Windows application coding system that, if successful, could marginalize standard approaches.
"Microsoft published an outline of what they were trying to achieve, which is using markup languages to build applications," said Hakon Wium Lie, chief technology officer at Opera Software, that company's representative on W3C's advisory committee, and a WHAT-WG founder. "We thought we could do the same thing with existing Web languages. People were writing applications like Amazon and Hotmail and Google search, so why not have a specification for it?"
"For a company serving that many people at that scale, Google is taking uncharacteristic risks on their front end to do things that other companies with old infrastructures in place don't know are even possible," said Laszlo's Temkin. "I'm incredibly happy that Google is taking this step, because it's forcing the market to realize what to us has been incredibly obvious about rich Internet applications. It's forcing the portals and others to notice the value here. That's tremendous for us."
By the same token, Google denies any ideological attachment to its standards-based approach. Instead, the company says it has evaluated all the options before it and will continue to do so as new technologies become available or existing ones get refined.
"We've considered these other things, and we've talked about some of the other options, but thus far the technologies haven't gotten to the point where we feel the need to switch to them," said Paul Buchheit, the Google engineer who spearheaded the Gmail project.
"If something like Avalon or Mozilla's XUL (Extensible User Interface Language) were to become powerful and common enough, that would be interesting to us," Buchheit said.
"Google is a first step or second step, not an end point," Temkin said. "The successors to Word and Excel and Powerpoint are not going to be written this way. It's just not going to happen."
72 commentsJoin the conversation! Add your comment