Emil’s Chronicle - The journal of Emil A Eklund

The List, One Year Later

About a year ago I wrote about Joel Spolsky’s list of things that cannot be well done in web applications.

  1. Create a fast drawing program.
  2. Build a real-time spell checker with wavy red underlines.
  3. Warn users that they are going to lose their work if they hit the close box of the browser.
  4. Update a small part of the display based on a change that the user makes without a full roundtrip to the server.
  5. Create a fast keyboard-driven interface that doesn’t require the mouse.
  6. Let people continue working when they are not connected to the Internet.

Last year Erik established that Item 2, 3, 4 and 5 where already accomplished and predicted that item 1 would be implemented within a year.

Now, a year later it looks like he was right; Rafael Robayna’s Canvas Painter may not be feature complete but it sure is fast.

That leaves item 6 as the only outstanding point, I doubt it will be that way for long though.

The recent introduction of dojo storage could well contribute to solving that, we’ll just have to wait for an application to utilize it to achieve offline usability..

Even more existing is the the implementation of Client-side storage in recent builds of Mozilla, including the preview release Bon Echo Alpha 3, which opens up the possibility to implement more exotic storage mechanisms.

Projects such as TrimQuery may become a lot more useful an relevant now that there’s a mechanism for storing large amounts of data on the client side.

This is going to be a very interesting year in the web development world!

4 Responses to 'The List, One Year Later'

  1. Joel On Software - The Book Says:

    […] A good post on this is found here As Emil rightly points out, everything on the above list has been accomplished bar number 6 which at the rate things are going, it wont be […]

  2. Applications on the Web Says:

    […] Emil gives Joel’s list of stuff you couldn’t do so far in web applications and this list is rapidly decreasing. We will probably get very decently usable web applications by […]

  3. Brad Neuberg Says:

    Emil, it’s been awhile since you made this blog posting, but just wanted to let you know the upcomming 0.4.1 release of Dojo will now have support for using the native storage in Firefox 2. Inside of Dojo Storage, when it starts up, if it detects that you have native storage through the WHAT WG API (which is what Firefox 2 implements), then it uses that; if you don’t have that, it falls back on hidden Flash.


  4. Bashar Abdul Says:

    Actually, Google is already working on number 6. The project is called Google Gears.


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