So recently Google was noted for putting out "gadgets" that could be syndicated across the network (ref: Cnet ). The direct link to this being at: http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open/.
Now combine this with something like the W3C CDF efforts. CDF allows a developer to place multiple XML formats into a common document.
The collision of all this reminds me of something from Apple from way back. Those that know me know I still haven't gotten over OpenDoc. systems could begin to However, CDF + remote web apps like AJAX Esqdevelop the kind of application that currently is still restricted to the true rich client applications. I don't know where web based applications will stop in terms of being reasonable approaches. Email, RSS aggregation, content management and many other types of communication based efforts have done very well on the browser platform. Lately word processing, spreadsheets and other attempts have started to crop up. I doubt we will see an AJAX based GIMP (or ever want one). For the most part, if I am working on data or creating data local like in a GIMP image there is no need to send that over a network. However, Writely has shown that even word processing can benefit from network aware ability, in its case in the form of real time collaborative editing of documents. (Apple Knowledge Navigator)
Imagine though a document with a SVG canvas being written to by an embedded ajax application communicating over XmlHttpProxy and then locally updating the SVG canvas through inter DOM communication. How about an OpenGL canvas? (Java 3d and applets is perhaps a bit of a digression for this posting, but not much).
I am encouraged and interested by where an open format, open standards based approach will go that mixes interactive applications with the DOM and graphics languages like SVG and perhaps even OpenGL.