Few days back guys at Folck released a public beta of their much awaited Browser . It was an exciting news for me for two reasons. One i happen to meet with Chris at barcamp Bangalore and attended his presentation on Micro formats . it was awesome . he was till very recent past associated with this project . Now he is a freelancer doing consulting work .
secondly this project was making a very different and somewhat dramatic bet on the future of browsing as we know it . Since the inception of browsing technology ( Mosaic Onward ) the approach to developing a browser is pretty much standard . browser was more of a gateway. it was done in a more and more generalised fashion . there was no optimization for any application specific or domain specific usage pattern . there was support for ActiveX,XML,Frames but they were not aimed at any particular user base . that means there was no application level optimization there was no specific browser for E-Commerce or for Usenet or blogs or for video . there was a business sense in doing that .of course if you optimize your browser for one user group you run the risk of alienating with the rest of Internet users . since no single user base was big enough to make this kind of effort commercially viable so it was in the best interest of developer to make it as Horizontal as possible .
folck is the first browser with this application layer optimization . they have positioned themselves as a browser for web 2.0 crowd who are neck deep in to social networking and tagging and other such stuff . their tag line says "Browser for You and Your Friends". with its feature for Blogging, Feed reader and photo sharing it surely have some appeal to this user base . i am hooked on it right now and plan to do so in future but i really wonder how long i can keep up with the inconvenience of using multiple browsers . Maintaining History , Book Marks ,feeds,passwords at two places is too much of work .
its really an interesting experiment . do we really need a separate browser for every kind of browsing we do ? can we all the features of folck be pushed in to FireFox by some extension or some plug gin . is it just an heck an experiment or this is a start of a new trend .
well time ahead will be the judge of it . but right now i am captivated by the sleek interface and new features of folck . Kudos to the team .
good luck ...may the force be with you .