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For better or worse, the web browser has become a widely-used target platform for software applications. Desktop-style applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, calendars, games and instant messaging systems that were written earlier for specific operating systems, CPU architectures or devices are now written for the World Wide Web, to be used from a web browser by anyone, anywhere, anytime. The original design of the web browser dates back to the early 1990s. Given that the web browser was originally targeted at displaying static, page-structured documents, it is not surprising that the web browser is not an ideal execution environment for desktop-style applications. This paper summarizes the experiences in using the web browser as a target platform for real applications.
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