Saturday, November 22, 2008

Web browsers and RIAs

With smart and good looking AJAX sites becoming more prevalent on the web . The only restriction for Ajax developers now is browser compatibility and when it comes to Internet Explorer 5 ,6 and 7 its has became a nightmare for Ajaxians . As Web 2.0 mainly relies on Ajax and complex JS libraries the speed of a web browser's JavaScript interpretation and rendering is becoming more and more important . According to various web benchmarks for w3 standards all of them shows IE slowest browser when it comes to JavaScript and CSS interpretation and rendering(http://acid3.acidtests.org , http://www2.webkit.org/perf/sunspider-0.9/sunspider.html). With Google and Yahoo having most of its stake with AJAX based applications these days , Microsoft has also turned a bit with AJAX implementation of Live.com and according to this post http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/08/28/728654.aspx they are also trying to improve their JScript engine due to world wide criticism of the browser. Anyways with powerful Javascript engines like Tracemonkey for FF3 , V8 for Chrome and Safari's SquirrelFish in the market , AJAX is never going to die.

But when it comes to RIAs I sometimes feel that web browsers like IE are not the best way to deliver the RIA experience . Also value addition of rich experience has got a bit overhead in loading these kind of applications on web browsers . But I hope that probably in future the line between web applications and desktop applications will surely vanish if we clearly understand the enormous powers of RIA platforms like Flex, Silverlight and JavaFX outside of web browsers.