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What would be really great to see is someone putting a HTML client/DOM implementation/etc. inside a PNaCL application. This is after all how things ought to be: ideally you implement your DSL/document viewer inside your general-purpose runtime, instead of kludging your document-format specification up into an application runtime. None of the big browser vendors (including Mozilla and Google itself) is going to welcome such an idea though, as it threatens their de facto control over Web standards.



instead of kludging your document-format specification up into an application runtime

So glad to see somebody else saying this. I think you are absolutely correct. The current state of web applications / web browsers is an absolute kludge. Whatever happened to "separation of concerns" or the idea of building tools that do one thing and do it well?

But what "one thing" does a web browser do these days? One might think "browsing hypermedia content" but what does that have to do with becoming the universal application runtime?!?!??

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think "clusterfuck" would be an even more apt term than "kludge" for what we have now. But I largely blame Sun: IF they had bothered to ship something like the Consumer JRE about 7 or 8 years sooner, and IF they hadn't screwed the pooch so badly on security, we could have something like Java / JNLP for hosting "applications" while the actual browser could stick to, well, browsing.

I'm actually waiting for something to come along and become "the next Java / Flash" but done right. :-(

I'm curious to see to what extent PNaCL can fulfill some of that.


> What would be really great to see is someone putting a HTML client/DOM implementation/etc. inside a PNaCL application.

Yes! We'd need a bunch of tooling re-built for each platform, but we could do it with static compilation :)

> instead of kludging your document-format specification up into an application runtime.

Seriously. It's a mess.


This is a similar idea to the MSR Embassies project: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/embassies/


Looks like it. It's also similar to ideas which were (iirc) prevalent in the mid-to-late '90s about a modularised/componentised browser as the future of the Web.


There are apps that use Canvas to such extent that it's kind of like a distinct UI layer.


You mean WPF?


I assume that the content-to-presentation stack would include something XAML-ish (or indeed XUL-ish) near the presentation end, sure.




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