Which is a totally bass-ackward way to engineer anything. How on Bob's green earth does it make sense to have a lame, powerless server that requires hundreds of beefy clients? Servers are easy to manage, clients are hard. Clients are heterogenous, servers are exactly what you want them to be, and stay that way for every visitor unless you decide to change them. The thinner the client, the happier I am, both as a developer and as a user.
If, for certain operations, I can drop a simple txt file into the cache of the most popular browser by far on the planet, and I can enable the user to go offline to work on the data for whatever solution I've developed for, and so de-couple the client from the hindrances of bandwidth and potential server problems, then it seems to me that I've provided a beneficial service to the widest audience that otherwise wouldn't be attained if I had to constrain my options to minority browser abilities.
Talkin of servers, I think it's interesting to note that many Windows-based servers provide support for Perl, PHP, CGI and ASP, ASP.NET blah blah... the same breadth of options cannot be said of *nix based servers.
As a user, the thinner the client, the more likely I can use it on my three year old PDA that I don't want to replace, or my eleven year old laptop, or the public machine at the library that hasn't been updated since the last time someone had time to write a grant, or the internet cafe in Darkest Peru.
I agree, but the fewer your options are too! That's technology though isn't it. I knew full well that whilst I vehemently objected to XP that one day I would be dragged into it's clutches.
Though standards may always be on a "catch-up" mission, there comes a time when even the likes of NN4 etal are left behind.
As for developing internal apps for IE - can you say "proprietary lock-in"? I can
So did I, in a round-about way. Thing is, if I develop any app that by virtue of it's multitude of features, leaves under-resourced competitors behind, then by extension there can't be cross-technological support for features that aren't within the realms of those same competitors... and yes, that is leaving out the "access to M$" intellectual property court battles, the protection of which, quite frankly, is a condition of the market forces we live within today.
Heck, how many places have you seen a group of users within an organization who all had to have *two* computers, one of which was suited for their real job, and one of which existed only because there were one or two internal tools that only ran on platform X?
Yep, I agree, it's crazy and is again, a result of the democratic market forces that gives our great free nations the luxury of havin, choice... A choice which is as much debilitating as it is liberating.