Whats New with Browsers

By eweek  |  Posted 2005-12-25 Print this article Print

?"> OK, then how do developers do a better job of addressing the issues we know about?

Going forward, theres an important need to use more standards. Its surprising how the standards that we have like SVG are not used in the latest browsers, and thats a bit disappointing to see.

Whats new in the browser space that really excites you?

A lot of the things Im excited about are changes in the way that people think about browsers. People have thought about the desktop and laptop, but you have all these news devices coming out with high resolution screens and a choice of downloadable browsers.

Some of those browsers support html and SVG, and Nokia has a phone that has the same engine as Safari. So, one of the things thats happening is that the whole browser development space is moving to these smaller devices.

How do you help ensure compatibility between the Web that people know now through their PC-based browsers and this new emerging Web for mobile devices?

The W3C has the Mobile Web Initiative to make sure that the one, same Web is usable by all kinds of devices. Thats been the mantra from the start, device independence and making these things so theyll work on any device that comes out. Weve got people working with the browser developers to make sure they integrate the right way, and giving advice to Web site builders because theyre going to find that soon the number of browsers on phones will exceed the number of browsers on computers.

With the smaller screen, does the browser experience change in that it takes up less space and isnt as prominent a part of peoples Web usage?

I think that youll still be browsing, searching for things and following links, but there will be things like voice input so that you can jump quickly by giving only a voice command, and youll have these systems without screens at all that just talk back to you like in your car.

There will still be this challenge of presenting this information in a really abstract space as effectively as possible.

If you look at some of the things that people are doing with AJAX, theyre very much data-driven applications. Theyre things like Google Maps and all the mash-ups built off of that. That will be based on data interactivity capabilities, and thats what the Symantec web is about, allowing people much more power to access data and combine it. Click here to read about Microsofts plans to improve Internet Explorer security. I think well see a lot of user interfaces where you can graph or tabulate things together, like throwing a bank statement against your calendar application and gain some valuable insight from that. Thats a very powerful user interface system that needs underlying data interoperability to look at information across applications.

So, the information space will get a lot more complicated and rich, compared to the sort of things you see now as documents that look sort of static. There will be much more of these interfaces that you can manipulate.

How do browsers need to change in order to support the development of the Symantec Web as you see it?

Unlike Web pages when you have data that can be joined with other data across the Web, it means that the number of views you have of the data are mind bogglingly different. I think that weve got this huge explosion of interest in the user interface which comes with the Symantec Web which comes with the challenge of allowing you to cruise through the tie and space dimension of it all.

It will still be to a certain extent about how data is repurposed, and there should be some really interesting user interfaces. But people will get more power to access and work with data.

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