Hugh Winkler holding forth on computing and the Web

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

RIA can really suck

Rome Reborn is somebody's Flash wet dream. The content is spectacular (if you're into Roman history, as I am). But some lame brain has encapsulated all the content behind that one URL. I can't give you links to the interesting parts. I have to give you verbal instructions for navigating to different parts of the site. "Wave your mouse over the initial image until the Colosseum is mostly in view, then click, then...." In other words, it's like any desktop application -- which seems to be the idea behind rich internet applications -- "improve" the web until it sucks as much as Windows.

It's maddening, because the site contains tons of useful information -- but none of it is on the web. It's a black hole from which no information can escape.

If new RIA tools don't encourage authors to expose linkable resources, they're just going to continue to be irrelevant to the web.


John Dowdell said...

A document can have an address. An application has a state. The application's developers make the choice whether to expose serializations of that application state within the format of a web address.


hughw said...

Thanks for your comment. (Good) web app developers make the choice to serialize application state into hypertext documents that are addressable by URL.

Not a pattern we see a lot with Flash.