July 24, 2010

Why Browsers?

I've read it somewhere that if Karl Benz was asking people at the time what would they want in terms of mobility, they would probably say "a faster horses". Why horses? Because this is what the knew at the time.
Faster horses can be "created" if you somehow breed them and mess with their genes, but what Benz did was to create a different thing altogether - the car.
The reason I'm telling you this geeky story is because I feel we're kinda behaving like those people back in those days. "In what way?" you might ask. Let me elaborate.
Big companies are asking us what do we want in terms of Internet browsing. What would enhance our experience, what will make it richer. They are asking us all they can and we answer according to what we know and understand - we want a better, faster, more interactive… browser.
Lets add to the pot the whole HTML5 saga. You've probably asked yourself why is HTML5 appears to be the future of web technologies, right? No? ok, anyway, the main reason for people to believe that HTML5 will rule the future of the web is that it will make our browsing experience better, faster and more interactive and it will be a standard for all the… browsers.
Again, browsers.
Here is a thought - given that the browsers are the standard for web browsing today, do they all interpret JS the same way? CSS in the same way? HTML? The answer is no. so what kind of a standard is it?
The W3C is setting up the standard for the web but can't really enforce their standard to be fully respected with no differences among the browsers on the market. Cause eventually it all comes to whether your browser supports it or not. That's all.
But if we're putting HTML to the side for a sec, let me ask you this - don't you feel a bit caught in the past when writing an HTML tag? No really… I mean, Body tag again? Header? This must be extra painful for the Flashers/Flexers among you guys, don't you feel like going ten years back in time? Do you feel that writing ASP,JSP is writing in biblical glyphs?  Well, I do.
So we're coming to the question that hangs on the top of this post. Why browsers? Is that the way we should be consuming our web content in 2010? I may be naive but I don't think so.
I think that HTML on all it's variations had it's time and it is high time we moved into something that fits our web needs better.
I don't have the answers to what can be the "car" for us horse riders, but I feel that our horses don't do the job anymore. We need more speed, more interaction, more abilities, more.
HTML5 is a faster horse, but still - a horse. It is not the answer. As long as it relies on that same old engine, our web experiences will never go past and meet our needs, until the web Benz will come and create something that will blow our minds out into thinking - how the hell we didn't think of it until now?! I will even go as far as saying that having us depend on HTML is kind of having humanity depend on Oil. We all know that there are many far better alternatives out there but somehow, we chose (do we?) not to use them. I'm thinking to myself, maybe it's the same as in with the Oil, where global corporation prevent us from using a better solutions for their own reasons and interests. Luckily, the web is not as rigid as the global energy consortium, right?... I sure hope so.
Something to think about...