Both Rich and Thin

There's an ongoing battle between rich and thin applications. Rich client applications like iPhoto are powerful and productive. Thin client apps like Flickr are easy and connected.

Lately, it seems like the industry is going thin, but I think eventually both application styles will converge. Internet applications with rich-client frontends offer the best of both worlds, and they're already in wide use:
  • iTunes is rich client, but its embedded music store is thin
  • RSS readers
  • Weather and Flights on the OS X Dashboard or as Vista Gadgets

    I love these applications! Thanks to the NewsFire RSS Reader, less than half the time I spend online is in a browser. I think we developers have a golden opportunity to create compelling rich clients as an improved way to access the Internet:
  • A Flickr browser is inevitable, thanks to the service's liberal use of web services.
  • Bugzilla as a rich client embedded in Eclipse, Netbeans and IntelliJ would be sweet for developers
  • The first person with a rock solid MySpace rich client may make some cash!

    I'm sure these ideas may already exist in the wild, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to encourage rich client development!