The Web API is becoming increasingly popular because it simplifies development - users go to one place and get the latest code. Developers only have to be concerned with one server site where code needs to be updated and managed. Additionally, the interface is simple and universally used with browsers and even mobile/phone applications, but one of the biggest complaints about the Web API is that it does not have as rich a set of UI components as Macintosh and Windows applications. Finally, the Web API is gradually starting to disappear now that systems such as ASP.NET, JSF-Java Server Face, Java Swing , Struts and other UI software deliver more powerful components.
There is one problem that web development tools have had less luck in dealing with - the network delay associated with the send-and-respond interaction required in most Web user interfaces. This problem is also affectionately known as round tripping or return-to-sender delay. Return-to-sender is especially problematic in forms and data input processing where UI designers want to give users immediate feedback as they enter values or customize their screen layout. Just about every press of a button or entry of a data value requires a trip back to the server, a validation and/or formatting change and then a screen refresh sent back to the user. On Intranets the delay is not as pronounced as on the Web, but it can still add 2-5 second delays.
Jacques Surveyer is a consultant and trainer; see some of his graphic tips and tutorials at ThePhotoFinishes.com
Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: October 12, 2004