I was going through my podcasts today when I saw an interview with John Resig on Floss Weekly 55 (By the way, FLOSS Weekly must be one of the best podcasts out there if you’re into open source). It had a link to his Processing.js library which is an early attempt at a cross-browser compliant version of the Processing language. This led me to discover the Canvas element which I hadn’t previously known about. As you might expect, Processing.js looks a lot simpler to use then the default syntax that you have to use.

But what really blew me away were the following demos:

RayCast70er (Canvas demo at Mozilla)
Molten Bar Chart
Snake
Substrate

As a business developer, the one that really stood out for me was Molten Bar. Couple that with some Ajax calls and I reckon you could probably implement a system like BloomBerg Terminal completely in the browser.
Bloomberg Terminal

If I were a gamer, it looks highly possible to implement a game like Wolfenstein 3D.
Wolfenstein 3D

Pretty soon, we could have Web UIs that can have complex interactions without the need for Flash/Silverlight/JavaFX. What a joy. Designers/Developers also have the added bonus of been able to take their skills to and from the web and use it in straight standalone apps.

With javascript performance only improving, in future we could see a whole class of applications being moved into the browser without any vendor lock-in. Looks like a win to me.

EDIT 10/02/2009: Ask and you shall receive