News: App Stores, XML flaw, Browser developments

Well, interesting times. App Stores are currently the rage for mobile devices. Apple's store seems to be fairing the best, despite apparent attempts to reduce the popularity by arbitrarily rejecting apps. This may be causing developers to move to more open platforms. It is fairly obvious that developers will go for the platform with the least uncertainly about reaching potential customers. Android's platform may be more open, but ultimately it is still less open than web-based apps. Native apps may be more powerful, but they are restricted to the platforms they can run on. Closed (or OS-native) platforms may be more featureful and powerful initially, but eventually the most open platform will improve due to the nature of the platform - if anyone can chip in, if anyone can access it, there will be motive to develop it.

Meanwhile, serious flaws have been found in popular implementations of XML libraries. And here I was thinking that by this time we'd have XML sorted. After all, it was first developed in 1996, and the spec is now in its fifth edition. How could vulnerabilities go undiscovered for so long?

Finally, browser developments are coming thick and fast. Which is excellent, after years of stagnation. Google just released a new version of its Chrome browser, which claims to execute javascript faster, allows customisations through skins, and adds some support for HTML5. Google also recently acquired a video codec company, which might help break through the blockages on decisions over which codec will support the HTML5 video tag. Another couple of steps on Google's path to the OS-in-a-browser.

In hopes of pushing this development even faster, the atni-IE6 movement has stepped up efforts to inform users of the uselessness of their IE6 browser. It may not do much though, since IE6 is really only used in the corporate world, where upgrading is to many more trouble than it's worth.