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RE: Ajax Back/Forward History problem - saving document stat e by document.save()

From: Sylvain Hellegouarch <sh@defuze.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 23:07:37 +0100
Message-ID: <1133993257.43975d290e8e3@webmail.defuze.org>
To: public-webapi@w3.org

Hello Bill,

(Sorry for cross posting)

> The real 'semantic web' - tagged information for retrieval - needs to be
> linear, and accept all of the things that the current Web paradigm provides,
> like stable URIs and use of the back button.  'Web 2.0' - web applications
> like Google Maps or Outlook Web Mail - frankly don't.  Load up MapPoint - do
> you see a back button?  How about in Thunderbird?  The paradigms are
> different.

Agreed.

>
> This points to two different solutions.
>
> Browsable sites might just not be as well suited for the Ajax model because
> of the open nature of the web.

Good question.

>
> Web applications, however, are well suited to the Ajax model, and the Back
> button can be expected to move the user to the previous section of the
> application, or out of it altogether - it is already semi-accepted behavior.
>
> So I submit that the addition of a tag or DOM method to handle history in
> Ajax is a non-issue, and Mr. Heaton is correct, "Maybe we just need to be
> smart about the way we design and develop our applications, and a set of
> best practices perhaps."
>
> Thoughts?

I agree overall but the problem is:

Web application such as GMail, Flickr or else are already widely used, most web
site developers want or are required to intoduce bits and pieces of Web
applications without actually being tagged as truely web applications (they can
just be community portal or static pages with a twist of Ajax stuff) but the
bottom line is that they are all hosted by the same browser. They are not
considered by regular users as different.

I mean, ask someone not in the IT field to define "Web application" and I don't
think you'll get something as precise as we want to define here.

My point is that we should be careful when we try to put a distinction between
web sites and web applications. As long as people will have to go through the
same browser to use them, I think they won't see a fundamental difference
between the two.

- Sylvain

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