Friday, June 29, 2007

The Dodo, The Turanian Tiger, and The Browser

One day I hope to see the Web Browser included in the web page of extinct animals. I want to re-iterate my opinion that The Web Browser should be an extinct technology in the near future.

No... let me correct that. The existence of a text-entry box where you type a URL will (should) become extinct. I keep going back to the conversation that Cartik and I had in the pub a few nights ago, that he captured in his blog entry. We were talking about AOL keywords, but also about bookmarks. The reason that we have bookmarks is not only so that we can re-find a resource that we want, but also so that we don't have to remember, or type-in, its URI. The Browser interface design has already shown us that people really don't want to have to deal with URIs, nor should they have to.

One of the things we are "promising" from the Semantic Web is that it will be more "human friendly" - able to locate information in a more intuitive and "human" way. Well, clearly, the first step to that end is that we do not expect our "humans" to type-in URIs.

So, I say again, and explicitly, that we should not be designing Semantic Web architectures with the constraint that typing-in a URI should cause information to be displayed in a browser. That's like designing a cell-phone system specifically to support a morse-code tapper! Old technologies should not be dictating the behaviours/architecture of new technologies.

Please, everyone... let's move on! Embedding Semantic Web inside of task-specific, non-browser applications is surely the future... or?

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