Aye, I recall... hmm..dates might be a bit off, very very late 80's/early 90's using x-windows and having a method of a server rendering data to send to a dumb rendering client. Was a horrible binary mashup of the bare minimum RTF we wanted, some terrible in-house curses library and voodoo I think. We got something working for what we needed (make some remote x terminals show very very basic graphics/simple text formatting), but as soon as we saw a browser/html "Oh, that's what we've been using, but far better, lets change to that!" (well, as soon as the guy who wrote the hacked in house version of curses we used bogged off so we had the excuse of not trying to understand his mess).
Tech often seem to be "Oh, that's what we were kinda doing in house, but working! With better documentation than our stuff!"