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1. As if it wasn't enough that GNU/Linux has become a clusterfuck of decisions made with the buzzword gleam in the eyes. Much of the time in front of the computer is spent using the Web these days, and it is crap. If a higher version number is supposed to be an improvement, I will take Web −2.0 over Web 2.0. It is not that I am opposed to “Web applications”, i.e. programs that are run in the browser, as such. On a fundamental level, I in fact like the idea, but only for things that are used only occasionally, and do not have to depended on. For many uses, however, Web applications are too unrealiable, and the interface leaves much to be desired. Such applications are also fundamentally incompatible with privacy.
Flash, Java applets, and the like, should, however, not be the only option as media players or, more generally, for viewing documents in other formats. In such use cases, sites should merely provide a default implementation, that users can choose to replace with applications that they prefer.
I also do not like using Flash or other such things for fancy links and such: that is best done with CSS or other such style sheet mechanisms alone. Please use CSS: it is a nice technology that is still used too little. Much of fancy layout and other effects could be done with CSS alone, without breaking the semantic structure of documents. I find it odd that the home pages of the text mode Links as well as Links2 browsers, for example, use awful table hacks instead of CSS, and yet alternative browsers in particular would benefit from a decent Web that does not assume much from the display capabilities of the browser.
Sometimes the line between an application and a document can be a bit blurry. A sidebar can be seen as part of the document, but it could just as well be part of an application containing the document, or even documents. I would tend towards the latter interpretation: the sidebar consists of controls to affect the actual displayed document(s). Documents are simple, applications are complex. Electronic media also offers for the possibility of embedded applications, and there are blurry lines between these and the containing document and the outer application as well. Sometimes the embedding amounts to nothing more than “linking” to the containing application. Dynamic HTML hacks are in a limited sense an extreme example of this, where the application has no permanent interface at all, but is only activated by linking. There are good uses for such linking, such as in application documentation or “configuration documents”, but more caution is needed than is applied in this age the barbwire Web.