Ryan Stewart made a recent posting with similar title, with a question in it … Should Rich Internet Applications be cross platform by definition?
RIA combine the best of desktop and web. As Web does not exclude anyone, RIA automatically should be cross-platform. How else would we distinguish a RIA from a platform native application that simply has enhanced interface accesses certain web API?
RIA could easily become Rich Interface Application, if it misses the spirit of Internet, which is to be available to all.
Frankly, “Rich Internet Application” is a tricky combination of words and with many different interpretations. I quickly looked at Wikipedia (collective knowledge?) and find a very different interpretation:
Rich Internet applications (RIA) are web applications that have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications. RIAs typically transfer the processing necessary for the user interface to the web client but keep the bulk of the data (i.e maintaining the state of the program, the data etc) back on the application server.
* run in a web browser, or do not require software installation
* run locally in a secure environment called a sandbox
* can be “occasionally connected” wandering in and out of hot-spots or from office to office.
Some of the candidate RIA platform including Microsoft WPF, Adobe Apollo or Parakey, don’t exactly fit the Wikipedia definition.
Given that we are in the early days of RIA platforms, we could be seeing many classifications, like
- Served off the desktop OR Served off the web
- Uses Web browser OR Standalone client
- Platform native OR Cross-platform
Ryan also seems to rule out the role of browser, as he says …
In the end, I think it’s about creating those great experiences and breaking out of the browser that defines a Rich Internet Application.
Is Ryan assuming that ‘Rich’ stands for ‘Experience’ alone?
As Ryan himself say .. “I think there is far too much innovation in the space to limit the definition like that.”
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Technorati Tags: RIA, Rich Internet Applications, User Experience, Platforms