"View Source" and Rich Internet Application misconceptions

Today at the Web 2.0 Expo, I sat in on a panel with Richard MacManus, Kelly Goto, Chris Messina and .

Today at the Web 2.0 Expo, I sat in on a panel with Richard MacManus, Kelly Goto, Chris Messina and . They talked about the "hybrid designer" and touched on some points about the web and the richness that has really created the "hybrid" notion. In one bit, Chris said he was lamenting the fact that a lot of RIA technologies are taking away the "view source" and he got applause from the crowd.

I think this is the perfect example of how misunderstood the RIA world is. Chris used the example of Apollo and Silverlight as two technologies that are killing view source. Apollo is meant for desktop applications. We don't have "view source" on the desktop, but that doesn't mean we couldn't. Apollo uses Flex and Ajax to create the desktop applications, and BOTH of those allow for view source. It's true that Flex developers can turn off that feature, but really how is that any different than obfuscating your JavaScript in an Ajax application? When people want to share, the RIA tools out there have mechanisms in place to let them do that. Can you ask for more than that?

I was also surprised to hear Chris complain about Silverlight in that group. Of all the technologies, I think Silverlight actually has the best "view source" support. It uses JavaScript as the programming language behind the hood, and the XAML is just text based, so you can view source just like any other web page and see both the XAML and JavaScript libraries. That's pretty open I think.

View source had a huge impact on the web because it made easy to explore things. You could see something interesting and then instantly see how they did it which fostered a learning environment. As RIAs continue to evolve and expand, people will want to learn from them. Everyone understands that, which is why both Adobe and Microsoft have made it possible. We just need to get the word out.

sorry, the wifi here at web 2.0 expo is terrible, so links and pictures are hard to find.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All