rhinobookthumbnailDouglas Crockford, purveyor of the JSONRequest spec, is cranky in a polite sort of way. He also happens to be right! Check out the video of his recent talk on The State of AJAX.

Crockford takes us through a brief history of computing reminding us, as we’ve been reminded before, that the Web interaction model is practically the same as the mainframe 3270 interaction model circa 1972.

The most potent moment in the talk however, is when he shows a shot of a mermaid rendered via a run of the mill nvidia subsystem and dryly points out “look, rounded corners”. The upshot: the 1984 Macintosh had rounded corners — browsers were obsolete from the git go and there is a huge and widening gap between what you do in a web app and what you do in a non-web one.

Oh and I’m making Crockford my Personal Hero of the Month for pointing out that not only are our web technologies based on eight-year-old standards (HTML 4.0.1, ECMAscript ed. 3, CSS 3) started in ‘98 and still under development but that of those, CSS is the worst of the lot and should be replaced with urgent haste. Refreshing respite from the usual CSS love.

“Don’t take any crap.”

update: watch this space for my growing list of web standards revolutionaries: