What’s Next for Browsers?

Paul writes that innovation in the browser ain’t dead yet. I agree. From a distributed systems POV, I think there’s two important things that need to happen to the browser, in addition to the richer languages that Paul talks about (and don’t forget about RDF and OWL!);

  • making the browser a peer
  • allowing the browser to own application state

The former deals with integrating a Web server into the Web browser, enabling the “Two Way Web”, like KnowNow and Idokorro (my company) do.

The latter, related to the former, suggests that cookies can be replaced by purely client-side application state. What this would look like, is that you’d drag-and-drop items from a browser window into a desktop-located container – for example, a shopping basket – and then to check out, you drag the container back to the page. This keeps the session state – the basket – on the client, per REST’s Stateless constraint. This would require an extension to HTML/XHTML to support draggable objects, as well as a means to support file upload via a drop action (i.e. targetted at some element on the page).

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