Until now, most sites creating their own UI widgets in DHTML have been slow, not to mention distracting – the non-standard scrollbars and buttons clash with the rest of your system. Oddpost.com changes that, creating an incredibly dynamic application that raises the bar for acceptable DHTML work. Frankly, it makes many of our page-based web applications look juvenile. But it comes at a cost: Windows MSIE 5 only.
Which brings the question: Is this a good thing? With Oddpost, MSIE 5 becomes the platform for your application, and many of the advantages of what we traditionally consider a web application are gone (any machine, any operating system, any browser). Which is fine. But at that point would Flash, with its richer interfaces and broader platform support, be a better choice?
From a technology standpoint, traditional web applications haven’t changed much since the CGI days. With sites like Oddpost, and all the Flash MX interfaces that are sure to come our way in the near future, maybe we will see a gradual shift. The work that KnowNow has been doing is relevant, also.