The Future of Browsers

Web 2.0 Expo Conference

This was a panel discussion with representatives from three of the browser companies (Chris Wilson – Windows Internet Explorer, Brendan Eich – Mozilla Firefox, Ojan Vafai – Google Chrome). The moderators were Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith of Ajaxian

I’m not sure exactly what I heard during this session. They talked about what is going to be the upcoming HTML 5 spec. More mentions of canvas, background threads, cross-domain messaging, builtin widgets for menus and toolbars.

One thing that was frightening was that the date of 2022 has been set as the date when the spec will be ratified and there will be at least 2 browsers supporting the complete spec.

On the topic of the canvas element, Chris was very tight lipped about IE’s plans to support it. It seems like because Microsoft has so much invested in Silverlight they don’t intend on supporting canvas at all. Yeah, I know. “here we go again”.

The topic of Scalable Vector Graphics came up, or more explicitly: “How dead is SVG?”
Quite frankly I’m not sure that I heard a definitive answer to that question.

What about debugging tools?

  • Mozilla: firebug
  • IE: IE8 beta 2 has built-in debugging tools
  • Google Chrome: V8 Javascript debugger, webkit debugger

Why hasn’t everyone adopted Flash for RIAs?

  • Bad search engine optimization
  • Single vendor
  • More complicated than HTML/Javascript

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