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Once upon a time, Apple implemented a technology called OpenDoc in their OS. The idea is simple, everyone write a piece of app, an applet. The applet contribute to the overall function of a container. If you need a word processor, buy a container program with this function. You could just add the spreadsheet functions easily with other applets. Most importantly, the files saved by that container should be readable by other container program,  and editable if same function applet existed.

It is a technical idealism just like Java; the file format becoming an open standard, interchangeable among programs. The problem is that such approach required many abstract layers. The speed and the response of the container program suffers.

Today’s internet is the new OpenDoc ! Website / web-app is the new applet. The sites or web-app is created with specific function. The function, however, is not narrowly defined in turns of what you can achieve in your PC. It is by the imaginations and experiments. Daring venture by some capitalists. Google, Yahoo, youTube, Flickr … You can make your Blog could be container, inserting the applet in your blog.

The new OpenDoc combines the power of computers out there — the servers process the data and serves the html and manage all XMLHttpRequest , Your PC may only need to be fast enough to run a modern browser, that is, good enough to effectively run Javascripts and sometimes Flash. Now, “running an app” is shared by both server and the home PC together.

To remind Apple, the container is the Safari or Firefox. For better or worse, the data is not in your Mac, neither in “tangible” files. The underlying structures of this Internet “OpenDoc” are not designed by some programmers. It responds to the needs of popular demands; evolving over time. An organic evolution that is.


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