April 6, 2000: XML Data Islands, combined with XMLHttp is just plain rad! First the bad news: IE 5 only. The exciting, thing, though is that this is a big step away from page-based web applications (which suck) towards multi-state, single-page apps. The ability to manipulate data (including communication back and forth to the server) without switching pages means we can finally start moving beyond clunky wizard interfaces. But, well, did I mention that it's MSIE 5 only.

As much as I want an alt.browser and pine for standards with teeth, part of me definitely respects Microsoft's strategy of making IE so incredibly much better that people are forced to develop for its extensions. Basically they see the lack of adoption of proprietary extensions like Netscape's <layer> tag as evidence of inferior design and implementation rather than as condemnation of the strategy of extending the browser beyond accepted standards. And, wow.. look at what they've built.