Re: Helpers for enhanced UI and protocols? (was WWW UI events)

Paul Burchard (
Mon, 23 Jan 1995 04:04:49 +0100 (Nick Arnett) writes:
> even for applications that are destined to be pervasive, I
> don't think it's an issue that they may start life as
> helpers and presumably the strongest ones migrate into a
> more tightly integrated and standardized implementation.

The problem with that approach is that it tends to result in
solutions which only address one problem, while a more
forward-looking design could transform the same basic capability into
a general enabling mechanism. Standardization of overspecialized
solutions will just hold back the Web.

> Those that aren't useful in the context of the Web just
> won't get implemented in a mainstream browser... Does
> anyone think that Telnet will migrate into the browsers?

Exactly...and look at WAIS for an even more poignant example of a
useful, but complex and overspecialized protocol which is gradually
being de-integrated, and will probably be used mainly through HTTP
gateways in the long run.

The lesson I draw from this is that getting _any_ new protocol into
browsers is going to be very difficult, unless it has a truly broad
and diverse constituency. What is the likelihood of a helper
application being designed with a protocol that's more generally
useful than Telnet or WAIS? My guess, very low.

Competition may choose superior solutions, but it doesn't create
them. For that you need foresighted people.

Paul Burchard <>
``I'm still learning how to count backwards from infinity...''