I'm an advisor to Bungee Labs and am spending the day with the company (along with other advisors from Sun, Amazon, etc.). I'm not a developer myself, and so focus more on the community-building activities of the company, but they mentioned an incident at the eBay Developers Conference that I found fascinating.
eBay developed a new eBay Shopping Web Services WSDL. They stopped by the Bungee Labs booth and asked what the company could do with it.
By dragging and dropping components and objects, [Bungee] had a simple application running in minutes. The application had an input field to specify a search query. When you clicked the search button, the query results (item title, gallery URL, View Item URL, etc.) were displayed on the form.
Start to finish, this all took less than 20 minutes. Not bad for working with a new API. And, as [Bungee] pointed out, we never left the web browser!
Now, obviously, I'm somewhat biased on this. I think it's very cool. It allows you to build a highly connected rich Internet application in minutes. It's also because of all the open source licensing questions raised by such development (and, indeed, all SaaS).
But forget my bias (Others with more expertise than I are also enthusiastic. Forget Bungee. Think about this: Applications are moving to the web. Now, the development environment is also moving there which, to me, makes sense. Build where you live. Always on.
Even more interesting, watch how open source is moving with this trend. Adobe open sources Flex. Microsoft open sources parts of Silverlight. The tools to build the rich web are moving open source. Bungee is taking this a step further by applying these same offline rules to online development, and I'm positive that others will follow suit.
It will be fascinating to watch the open source world evolve to abide by the same 21st Century development and deployment rules that software is following. We need a new breed of open source attorney to help us grok this shift. Luis, when do you graduate again? :-)