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If compatibility with user habits, expectations and multiple platforms is the goal, then HTML is the only approach to delivering a web application.
The term is browser
After all, it is a browser, not a menu system. Many approaches to delivering terminal session on the Web use web technology as a menu only. Once the user has clicked on the link that connects to the host, a dedicated window appears containing yet another standard terminal emulator.
This approach fails in exploiting many of the benefits that have made the web such a success. When a user is launched into an environment not based on HTML, the user interface changes.
Consistent and effective
Delivering host sessions using HTML provides the user with a consistent interface and provides developers a highly effective medium for presenting information. As millions of Web devotees have demonstrated, HTML works. Given that much of the flow of information is out of hosts, isn't it preferable to deliver it in the most effective medium?
Ideal for expanding cryptic screens
One of the major usability problems with the fixed format host screen is that over time, many applications have sacrificed prompts and other textual user cues in favor of more data. As business and organizational processes add new informational requirements, the data expands and the "fluff" is pushed off of the limited screen real estate.
Unfortunately, that fluff is the difference between an easily understood display and a cryptic mass of data requiring training manuals and frequent help from co-workers.
The freedom of a text markup environment
One of the first things an HTML author learns is that once a good information presentation pattern is established, the size of the page can expand well past the constraints of the user's screen. The dynamic formatted characteristics of browsers coupled with the dynamic scrolling of the page frees developers from prior contraints which applied to graphical user interfaces as well.
For rapidly reformatting information screens for superior understanding and reduced training requirements, HTML offers the best medium to developers.