Do you do web apps professionally?
Yes, for the past 5 years. As I said I'm no expert, we have other people doing the fancy client stuff, I mostly do server-side/database development. But I do work on the client from time to time, it's too easy tbh after the initial framework is in place. Anyway, unfortunately yes, I've been doing ajax-powered rich client web apps for too long.
Because I do, and I completely endorse the statement that the web as it stands is a complete and utter mess. Writing HTML containing server side scripts to write data out for client side scripts which output HTML to be interpreted by the browser is ugly beyond belief.
That's because most of the current paradigms are utter crap and people have been writing web pages the wrong way for too long. Most web developers don't even have a clue on how to separate data/logic from presentation. There are so many options nowadays for where to put your data and how to do your logic, it's embarrassing how many people screw this up.
HTML is fine for a static web, but all the dynamic content that people want to host on the web just does not fit into the current paradigms. Dynamic stuff should be handled in an environment which is designed for dealing with that dynamism - and that *ain't* HTML. Not by a long shot.
I think I've provided enough interesting links that contain examples showing how dynamic and rich HTML can get. (again, I don't like talking about "HTML" the markup language, it's the whole browser package that counts)