Rich Clients and Services
I have been messing around with display graphs of blogs again. This time I have designed the system to be a service (the blog crawler) that can be accessed at http://www.mcdowall.com/servlet/crawl?root="blog url". This will return an XML file of all the related nodes this blog refers to. To see a visual representation I have created a simple DreamFactory client here (windows and mac plugin only). If you see the source code on the page you can embedded this in any page of your own and have a graphical view of your local blog neighborhood.
The ability to "loosely couple" the service and the display is a key advantage of the new world of network clients. DreamFactory is a great example as it does not require a server to be deployed. Therefore the service and the display are truly loosely coupled. All the network client and service know is the interface. As I evolve both they will be able to move independently.
Compared to a classical web approach with significant amounts of display logic embedded in the server this is a dramatic leap forward. We are still at the early stage of this shift but have been through everything from character screens to the web I see this as a truly tectonic shift.
Note: software still buggy and the UI is not very elegant