Browser Wars Over, Browser Wars Start

The eternal search for new features and one-upmanship in Web Browsers has come to a close. Now, developers are focusing on Web 2.0 and the Browser as an application platform, according to Computerworld.

At the OiReilly Web 2.0 Expo, developers of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Google Reader converged. The panel agreed that the time for one-upsmanship in cool Browser features is over, and the industry is now transitioning to the Browser as a basis for rich new generation of Internet-based applications.

"Weire moving from putting up [on the Web], iHere are me, my mom and my cati to iHere is a rich application,i" said Charles McCathieNevile, chief standards officer at Opera Software ASA. "As the Web itself grew, you had these little communities building these cool things. The explosion was enough that these little communities were running into each other. As the Web has become a really big platform to build on were seeing a lot of sharing that wasnit happening before."

That brings up the issue of security. Browsers have to work hard to create a moat between the Internet and the useris file system. As Browsers become the mediator of applications, the job gets tougher.

"When you use JavaScript as it is used today, it is very hard for browsers to optimize," Brendan Elch, chief architect of Mozilla said. "If youire going to have [a Web] application crash ... you are in trouble because that can be exploited as a security hole."

In fact, a suitable architecture for security may just not yet exist. Thatis sure to trigger a new round of feature wars.

TMO notes that in terms of the old Browser feature wars for the user, there may still be some room for fresh thinking left.