Mozilla is exhorting users to "upgrade the Web" with Firefox 3.5 and variations on that better-browsing theme can be found with Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari, and Opera.
The hope is that the Web will evolve from a series of relatively static pages to a lively home for Web applications--everything from today's e-mail to tomorrow's spreadsheets. But it could take awhile for reality to catch up with the vision.
It's indeed a bright, shiny future for browsers, and the avant-garde is advancing rapidly. Web developers eager to invigorate their Web sites or build fancy Web applications have to reckon not only with the massive, slower-moving army of ordinary Web browsers, but also with inconsistent support for the latest technology.
Browsers of the future Many of new browser features stem from HTML 5, the still-not-finalized next iteration of the HyperText Markup Language standard that defines how Web pages are described. HTML 5 has spurred the arrival of built-in video and audio, local storage that Web sites or applications can use, "Web workers" that can perform background processing tasks for a Web application, drag-and-drop for better user interfaces, and other technologies. … Read more