In the course of writing an upcoming cover feature on Google Chrome and its
impact on Google's Web platform aspirations, I had a 30-minute talk with Brendan
Eich. In addition to being the chief technical officer of Mozilla Corp., the
commercial entity behind Firefox development, Eich also happens to be the creator
development for proprietary rich Internet application (RIA) frameworks like
Silverlight and Adobe Flex.
"The thing against those platforms, which have their advantages for sure,
is it just seems the Web is going to innovate over time and disrupt those single-vendor
platforms," Eich said. "It may not have all the tooling at first or
even eventually. It may not have all the platform coherence that a single vendor
can make happen by throwing a lot of engineers and a team at the problem. But
it will have the reach, provided the browsers are upgraded."
coverage over the past few weeks, Eich and his team have been hard at work perfecting
a JIT compiler of their own for Firefox. The TraceMonkey
currently deployed in Firefox 3.1.
These projects, combined with a similar project for the Safari browser, mean
that all the major browsers not named Internet Explorer currently have an aggressive
suit with IE 8?
"I think they will," Eich said. "They have lots of people. They
colleagues at Microsoft on the Ecma [standards] committee and just the body
language and casual conversation makes me think they will. I just don't know
Eich said Microsoft may be constrained by IE's longer update cycle and the
need to preserve older versions of IE for existing corporate applications. But
ultimately, he expects Microsoft will have no alternative but to arm developers
momentum of Flex and Silverlight.
"I would just be interested in hearing from your readers or whoever, if
over time the Web is actually creeping in and disrupting those stacks. I think
it is. Certainly it is the big consumer play," Eich said. "I don't
see a lot of startups saying I am going to use Flash as my UI because I really
need to go that extra distance with glitziness, or I really need Silverlight
for that extra data-binding magic and language integrated query in C#."
me at [email protected].
Posted by Michael Desmond on 09/23/2008 at 1:15 PM