Repurposing something I wrote for a mailing list a few weeks ago. I was responding to some cheerleading for rich internet apps:
With browser based apps we’re all permanent beginners. Always restricted to the mouse & keyboard without the ability to customize keymapping (Sure sure, some sites give you very basic key commands but they’re so idiosyncratic.) Want to work with both a RIA and a non-browser based app? Here are some awkward manual integration steps that were tiresome even in the pre-web 90s. Same goes for working with other browser based apps that aren’t part of the same suite, more misery.
It’s great that it’s getting easier to write fancy looking browser screens but RIAs are really going to have to step up if they want to be taken seriously. Still novelties for the most part. Which is just fine—I’ll gladly spend hours playing with Fantastic Contraption.
I think the tipping point will be when all these alpha geek early adopters have replaced their desktop emacs/vim with web-based versions. And Skynet is making sure everything is running smoothly….