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Mon 09 Feb 2004
Build Your Own Browser
Category : Technology/buildownbrowser.txt
Try this exercise at MacDevCenter, if you have the OS X Developer Tools installed (and have upgraded to OS X 10.3.2 and Java 1.4.2).
In five minutes, without writing a single line of code, you would have built your very own web browser. Wait, that's not all. Log on to the bank where you do your Internet banking. In my case it's at the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS). Be prepared to be amazed as your very own web browser does Internet banking. It's jaw-dropping, eye-popping time. For good measure, I transferred some money from one account to another. It all worked, flawlessly. And fast, too. And all without having written a single line of code.
This is going to enable a totally new class of web applications. I'm not sure how it is all going to work out, but there's going to be a hybrid between client/server and webserver/browser -based applications.
If you've ever used 4th-Dimension before, you may be aware that its client-server architecture was, for some time, quite ahead of its time. But it wouldn't scale across the web. Web-server-based applications will, of course, work across the web, but the browser cannot come close to matching to the kind of end-user interactivity we used to be able to build into client-server applications.
I've often wished I could get the best of both these worlds (e.g., get the web-based application to do some pretty complicated computation as I tab along from one field to another, without having to do a POST everytime). Now, I think there may be a way to do it. But how? Not sure, but I believe it'll work in combination with the technology called Web Services. And I believe also that the breakthrough will appear first on a Mac, if only because Mac developers can now cut the crap and start experimenting.