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Re: Ajax Back/Forward History problem - saving document state by document.save()

From: kenny heaton <kennyheaton@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 07:37:15 -0800
Message-ID: <65b4e01f0511230737h74f93f00m79a973fc5d134d4@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-webapi@w3.org

  Karl Pongratz  wrote:
>
> I am not sure if you can make such a clear cut. Take i.e. Google Reader
> or Google Maps, they fit in my opinion into the browsing model, yet
> these are web applications. Or aren't they? In my opinion it really
> depends of the application type, Google Reader, Gmail and a CMS text
> editor are three different applications, each of them may need a
> different approach.

I don't think Google has done a very good job of making web
application that look and feel like web application. All of the
application that I have seen of theirs still look and feel pages,
separate documents. I will not hold it agents them because we are all
still trying to figure this or we wouldn't be having this discussion.
But a book is different form a calculator, just like a word doc is
different from Microsoft Word, just like a web page is different from
a web application. I know it can get fuzzy, what happens when you have
a multiple page application, or multiple mini-applications on one
page, etc...

But I hope most people will agree that they need to be treated
differently, because they are fundamentally different. The back button
was introduced by web browsers as an aid for navigating through
documents. (let me know if anyone knows of an application with a back
button that pre-dated web browsing) We are entering into a new state
of the web were we have paged documents, and application that are no
longer bound to paging. I think the questions we should be asking
ourselves is "how can we we develop application that work the best as
application" (with all the good and bad that comes with that), not
"how can we make application conform to the conventions of paged
documents".

Of course keep in mind that we also need to develop application that
will still work even when the user dose not have JavaScript or
xmlHTTPrequest capability, which means we must make applications that
fall back on paging and server side logic. (But that's another topic)

Maybe for applications we need a whole new set of tools on the browser
toolbar that web developers can tie into, like the undo button for
example. This would put certain fundamental controls always in the
same place, always where the user expects them (like the back button
is now) but they would be able control the web application in a way
the developer appropriately defines. Again for an existing example of
this, Opera has a "Navigation" toolbar that provides controls to the
<link> tag. But that might be a discussion for the Web Application
Formats Working Group.

I just wonder why we have to hold on to the idea of the back button
just because it is what has been done in the past and it's what we are
used to? Our way of presenting information on the web is changing,
shouldn't our way of interacting with it change to fit the new
paradigm better?

Kenny
Received on Wednesday, 23 November 2005 15:37:40 GMT

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