Agreed, there is value in standards, and the web browser as a platform is necessary, important, and relevant. That does not mean that there isn't
value in more power-efficient stacks from competing vendors. Also, we need
a least-common-denominator platform to reach the broadest audiences possible, and one that allows us to deliver ephemeral applications to users who otherwise don't want a persistent footprint on their devices, or have low-power/low capability devices. That being said, I still find the web stack to be lacking even at doing that.
As to the resource question, if you have 10 million users (or even 100,000), the resources to write one app or three is irrelevant (even not considering shared server-side code). Still, there are plenty of cross platform frameworks for back-end and view logic, requiring only platform specific view customization. And if you can't afford a couple UI platform specific front end teams, how much is your product really worth? Apple users bought iOS for the iOS experience. Android users don't want the iOS experience. Writing generic UI for no platform in particular helps no user.
When the hardware catches up (but remember that battery technology isn't benefiting from anything like Moore's law
), the web stack will finally be able to run 10 year old apps as well as they ran on 10 year old hardware. What will native apps be doing with all that new power, and where will the bar be for those? For example, by the time you can play Call of Duty 4 on the web, native games will be lifelike/ray-traced. (Case in point today: Quake finally runs at almost 60fps on the web stack while native apps are running Call of Duty 4 on a Core i7.)
Why don't we have an actual view language as part of the web technology stack? HTML is not (and should not
be) comparable to XUL, XAML, MXML, Glade, etc. Why do we have to implement such things in terms
of the broken underlying model?
. Still, the web seems to have a special low bar, and celebrating things like this just perpetuate the problem of low expectations. We need to demand much more if we want the web to be what it could
be. Maybe we're just too used to "giving everyone a gold star" to manage that.