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Browsers are too low-level
By Dave Winer on Sunday, October 02, 2011 at 6:36 AM.

An item for anyone who's thinking about new browsers. #

Motivation: You could use a text editor in place of a spreadsheet app. But once they invented spreadsheets, why would you? #

Same idea applies to browsers. When they were invented no one knew what they would be used for. So they had to be generic and relatively low-level. But now we have a very good idea of what they are used for, so we can streamline things. #

A picture named cokeMachine.jpgEasy things should be easy, and hard things should be possible. It should be easy to go across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. But it should also be possible to put your car on the Staten Island Ferry if you want to roll your own trip across NY Harbor. #

Here are some examples of things that are hard that should be easy: #

1. A basic two-column layout. You should be able to say this is the left column and here's the right column. The right one is 225 pixels wide and the left column fills the remaining space. There's 28 pixels between them. And if I didn't feel like specifying the number of pixels there would be reasonable defaults.  #

2. A menubar with dropdown menus. The first menu has this name, and these items. When the user chooses the item named Foo from the menu named Bar go to this url.  #

3. Here's a crumb trail. It's got the following items in it, and for each item this is what it links to. #

4. Comments go here.  #

5. Get the user's name and password.  #

The focus should be on simplicity of interface, both for the programmer and users.  #

Christmas Tree
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