Burnham's Beat: The Death of Compiled Applications

Burnhams’ Beat describes The Death of Compiled Applications:

Data was the first and most logical component piece to be pulled out of applications and from that a giant industry was created, databases.  Later, client-server architectures broke applications into muliple pieces and separated applications functions, but they didn’t actually pull a lot of functionality out of compiled code.  With the birth of the web though, applications started to change dramatically.

The web browser changed applications forever by substituting a generic GUI front-end and structured text (in the form of HTML) for a compiled GUI.  In this way the browser became merely a generic execution engine.  It requested non-compiled text and then translated that text into a unique GUI according to a pre-existing industry standard.  By pulling out the presentation logic from compiled apps and making it open and accessible to not only other programmers but basically anyone who could view text, browsers launched the massive wave of innovation and creativity that in turn made the Internet a true “web”.  HTML “programmers” swapped HTML tricks and tips liberally.  They cut and pasted code from each other’s sites and as time progressed they began to use the power of HTML and HTTP to create composite sites that actually borrowed both content and styles from other sites.

Thus, in just 10 years, the presentation layer of the web has become an incredible laboratory for innovation and creativity with people using the power of HTML’s accessibility and portability to create radical new services, many of which people simply had not thought possible beforehand.

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