A Brave New World
I really am beginning to think the idea I posted a few days ago is very real. In Freeing the Internet from the Web 'jail' I talked about how The Internet can be so much more than The Web ever was. I mean The Web to be confined by The Browser with the capabilities offered by The Browser. The Internet has a whole range of other protocols besides HTTP, and The Internet can transfer tons of other data types.
Let's look at a couple examples:-
Adobe: Online Photoshop coming this year ... it appears from the article to be functionality inspired by Photoshop, but implemented as an AIR application.
WebTools: eBay Desktop (desktop.ebay.com) Is a slicker UI into the eBay universe than you get in the traditional HTML version. I haven't tried it, but the demo in this video looked like better UI responsiveness and featureitis than could be (easily) implemented even with the fanciest of DHTML techniques.
Well, most of the growth in 'Rich Internet Applications' are based on the FLEX/AIR platform. However as Weiqi Gao points out, there are other platforms which can easily take a role here. He suggests JavaFX and of course we are still working on developing that platform.
JavaFX is a new language (JavaFX Script) with some runtime components including greatly improved graphics and animation layers. It is supposed to run on "the three screens" (desktop, mobile and TV settop) etc. It looks really slick.