Don’t call me DOM

3 August 2010

What is a Web application?

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I was asked recently by Andy Favell from mobiThinking what is exactly a Web application? What distinguishes it from “just” a Web site?

(in that discussion, I distinguish Web apps, i.e. “applications” that run inside the browser, from widgets (in the W3C sense), and in general, Web-technologies based applications: a widget is a packaged/downloadable/installable Web application; as such, it’s closer to a traditional app than a Web app; they share with Web applications the use of HTML/CSS/JavaScript and access to the network as a primary feature.)

Picture of Dominique Hazael-MassieuxDominique Hazaël-Massieux ( is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Staff; his interests cover a number of Web technologies, as well as the usage of open source software in a distributed work environment.