For all its ubiquity, the Web browser interface went through a few years where it evolved very little. At one point Microsoft IE was about the only game in town, and it set the baseline for the browser. That began to change with updated versions of IE, Safari, Opera and FireFox browsers.
The browser segment seems even more competitive as a result of Google's recent release of a multiprocess Chrome browser beta. Enterprise architects will watch emerging benchmarks in order to see if Ajax has really been juiced enough to meet their expanding needs.
This work could help the infant market for business Web mashups, or composite applications.
While browser multiprocessing ala Chrome may have benefits, true threading may yet be required to keep Ajax HTML pages competitive with so-called Rich Internet Application interfaces such Flash and Silverlight.
"We have had a bottleneck in the browser," said Ben Galbraith, CIO and chief software architect of MediaBank and Ajaxian.com co-founder. "We have to find a way at the application level to handle it. A problem is that we don't actually have threading right now."
Galbraith said coders are finding ways around this by using background work processors, as supported in the Gears toolkit and some upcoming Web interfaces. Meanwhile, there was evidence at The Ajax Experience that better vector-style graphics execution is something people are pursuing.
Why did Google build the Chrome browser? "To create competition," said Google Software Engineer Ojan Vafai. "Browsers have been developing slower than Web applications' needs."
"Applications should become first class citizens in Web browsers," said Vafai. "I think we will continue to see performance change." He suggested better DOM performance metrics in the future will lead to further performance enhancements.
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