1995-07-20 - Re: Netscape the Big Win

Header Data

From: Ray Cromwell <rjc@clark.net>
To: pfarrell@netcom.com
Message Hash: a0490282c837e83147ebc9c778eafe582332e69725b5b4ff8e561095d49e4a68
Message ID: <199507201631.MAA18946@clark.net>
Reply To: <40697.pfarrell@netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1995-07-20 16:32:10 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 09:32:10 PDT

Raw message

From: Ray Cromwell <rjc@clark.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 09:32:10 PDT
To: pfarrell@netcom.com
Subject: Re: Netscape the Big Win
In-Reply-To: <40697.pfarrell@netcom.com>
Message-ID: <199507201631.MAA18946@clark.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> The current trend is to bundle all types of functionality into huge
> monolithic programs. Add mail to netscape, add encryption, add ...
> Yet most of the computers people use are multi-windows, and soon most
> will even be multi-tasking.
> Why are all-in-one programs so preferable to using the windowing

[why favor the browser approach of sticking all the client functionality
for various protocols into one program]

   The answer is: integration. While TRN is a great newsreader, and 
Eudora's a great mail reader, etc, if I read a post in TRN or a message
in Eudora, there is no hyperlinking. If I see a link or reference,
I have to cut-n-paste it into an ftp session or a web browser.
If "helper applications" for web browsers could talk bidirectionally
with the browser in a meaningful way (display output in the window for
example, and use the browser to open and fetch data), there would be
no need for all this. Isn't it much better to have inline jpeg viewing
in a page rather than launching 10 jpeg viewers externally?

   Since not all operating systems have a standard cross-platform technique
of interapplication communication, it makes porting these helper apps and
browsers all the more difficult.

   The future is in component systems like OpenDoc and HotJava. With HotJava,
you can once again return to "shopping around for the best mail reader
application", however this time, it will be a program you can run from within
the browser. Not only that, but you can automagically download it just by
going to a home page, or placing the mail reader application in your own

  It used to be that each media type was stored in a different document,
and a special tool had to be used on each file. Now, all media types
can coexist in the same document, and the "handlers" for each media type
are packaged into the document too (or, links on where to find them)

  I wouldn't be surprised if in 5-10 years, your operating system basically
looks like a cross between Netscape, OpenDoc, and HotJava. The "browser"
would be ubiquituous, and local/LAN/WAN data would be treated transparently.