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New Dynamic HTML Technology, Interactive HTML-Based Apps


At the Microsoft Site Builder Conference today, Microsoft Corp. demonstrated an upcoming release of dynamic HTML technology, formerly code-named "Trident." Dynamic HTML gives Active Desktop users unprecedented speed and interactivity with Web pages and provides Web site developers enhanced creative control over the appearance and behavior of Web pages. Dynamic HTML, a central feature of the Active Desktop, will first be delivered to users with Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0. The Active Desktop is the client side of Microsoft Active Platform.

In response to customer demands for faster Web applications, Microsoft proposed an HTML object model to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) last month and is implementing dynamic HTML based on proposals currently under review by the W3C.

"Dynamic HTML takes the Web out of `read-only' mode," said Brad Silverberg, senior vice president of the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft. "It means Web pages can be just as rich, interactive, fun and compelling as any Macintosh or Windows(R)-based application today. Dynamic HTML will drive the adoption of HTML as a worldwide standard for creating user interfaces."

With dynamic HTML, content developers can create Web pages that have the interactivity found today in many applications and CD-ROM titles. This interactivity provides users with a richer and more compelling experience. In addition, dynamic HTML enables developers to create these applications in HTML and scripting without requiring traditional programming languages.

Dynamic HTML provides the following benefits:

* Better performance. Users can interact with a Web page as though it were an application, without having to communicate with the Web server for each specific user interaction. This is possible because dynamic HTML content can be composed on the fly to dynamically alter the appearance or content of a Web page. Also, data manipulation is done locally on the user's system and not on the server, resulting in less waiting for users.

* Integrated authoring and viewing. Dynamic HTML removes the distinction between authoring and viewing. Web users can now do more than just view interactive content; they can create and modify their own Internet content it in situ with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Dynamic HTML provides an active design surface that lets users see their content as it is being built.

* Limitless creativity with HTML. An open, highly detailed object model gives Web site developers unprecedented creative control for building interactive content in Web pages. All HTML tags, style sheets, texts, ActiveX Controls and applets are accessible and dynamically modifiable through this object model. For example, a Web site developer can create a stylized page that periodically displays tabular data sorted in different ways by writing a script to access the HTML table data.

* Rich layout. Web site developers can edit and display 2-D layouts as well as insert overlapping objects into Web pages.

* Open, cross-platform support. The Active Desktop is provided on Windows, Macintosh and UNIX systems, and dynamic HTML will be packaged as a no-cost component incorporated into the Active Desktop. In addition, other application or tool vendors can incorporate the dynamic HTML technology seamlessly into their products and even extend the functionality to meet their specific needs.

"IntraBuilder today allows Web authors to create dynamic content and dynamic Web pages," said Jeff Rudy, vice president of development at Borland International. "Dynamic HTML will enable us to deliver dynamic Web pages faster, more easily and with greater extensibility. It provides a platform infrastructure that makes it easier for us to evolve the functionality and performance of IntraBuilder and Borland's other `Golden Gate' products, which marry the best of client/server and Internet technologies."


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