Having experienced multimedia development in a "programmer free" Macromedia Director environment undergoing constant expensive version release offset by a quarter from Microsoft's self serving version releases of new bug suites ... it is my prediction that a simple, robust, multimedia integration framework with a somewhat orthogonal yet demonstrably complete (i.e. what the artist wants the artist can do) scripting and programming capability would quickly spread throughout the industrial artist community, providing it can support most of the pervasive commercial and open standard file formats.
Artists (and entrepreneurial producers paying the same) do not like being locked into proprietary or special, expensive, difficult to use, tools anymore than hackers. They do, however, like to use expensive, powerful, commercial, highly leveraging, tools after they get successful enough to afford them and can apply sufficient time to learn to use them effectively.
Particularly after investing years in learning to use these tools effectively and having invested hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars worth of time and sweat equity in libraries of components reusable in future art projects, artists and producers are resistant to abandoning old proven tools and environments for new ones. A transition path back and forth is attractive and essential.
Allow me to repeat my conclusion: Excellent, bug free, import-export tools, utilities, or functional features will be critical in attracting established artists, firms or production integration efforts to new environments or presentation media or tools. These are also critical to allowing open/free community artists learning or plying their trade by helping create the commons to transition into prosperous commercial delivery of the portion of their work they choose to use to support themselves. The artists should be free and empowered to choose business models and delivery mechanisms which work best for their personal approach to business and life.
Okay, what would a rich web client look like? Would it end up being an IP-based player? Kind of a Winamp with every clod and his idiot brother making skins for it? Would it be a channel to other desktop applications like word processor, spreadsheet, database, or other local processing?
The discussion of art and all doesn't tell me much. Perhaps some more concrete examples might serve to better define both the flexibilty and limitations of a rich web client. Eh?
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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