After the presentation we had an open discussion for an hour or so, talking about circumstances surrounding web developing and what the future might hold. A question that came up hit the nail on the head: if everyone abides to web standards, no more, no less, what’s the gain for them?
Let’s break this down. There are two possible scenarios:
- Not fully and/or properly implemented web standards.
- Fully implemented web standards and some extra features on top of that.
When it comes to the first bullet, I think the answer is pretty clear. We need some kind of minimum ground to stand on, the least common denominator where we start developing. So far, so good.
The second bullet is more interesting. If software makers aren’t allowed to implement something extra to get that competitive edge, what’s their incentive? For instance, why would companies put a lot of time and money into developing a free web browser? For the good of the world? I don’t buy that. I think Microsoft have a web browser to make it function perfectly with, as well as promoting, other products in their product family.
On the other hand, offering something more than web standards will result in product-specific proprietary solutions and add-ons. And we don’t want that either, that will bring us back to 1999.
I guess a natural follow-up question then would be: Is Microsoft on to something with XAML and WPFE? Should we expect software companies to start delivering products that will give a richer experience for some and downgrade automatically to others?
I don’t really have a good answer to this, but I believe in two things:
- Companies will want to deliver something more than their competitors.
- We will see a need for emerging technologies to give users a richer experience on the web. If that’s open like SVG or something company-specific, I have no idea.