"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Stone Age of the Web

Tim Bray writes...

"For actual business apps, the kind that our servers spend most of
their time running, the war for the desktop is over and the Web
Browser won. I just totally don't believe that any combination of
Flash and Silverlight and JavaFX is going to win it back. AJAX is
increasingly central and we need to make sure that our Web Suite and
its tools support it well. But as for GUIs and the client side, let it
go already."


It's early still. Observe that almost all energy for the last few
years around the web browser has been aimed at overcoming its many,
serious deficiencies and making it seem more like a desktop operating

I don't know much about silverdoodle or javafx, but "any combination
of flash" includes the AIR combination, which incorporates "the web
browser" and then some.

There are certainly great things about web browsers, html, and even
javascript. But there are great things beyond those as currently

In the history of the web, it's still the Stone Age. We have not even
discovered metal yet. We're just beginning to maybe glimpse what the
Bronze Age might be like.

The choices ten years from now will certainly be neither "2008
Desktop" nor "2008 Browser".



Bernard said...

That reminds me of a "bronze age" web analogy by Jonathan Rentsch (http://rentzsch.com/webobjects/introTo5). He argues that WebObjects was then (around 2001) at the most advanced level of web-distributed apps (the Bronze age was represented by JSP, PHP, etc). With WO the same ORM could be used to drive web apps and thick java client apps (and in both cases the either app could be generated in its entirety from a rules-engine without a line of code). Avi Bryant is quite explicit about the influence that WO had on him (http://www.infoq.com/news/2008/07/bryant-smalltalk-dabbledb). There's still been little advancement over WebObjects in the decade or so since it was released.

Alx B said...

Let me go out on a limb:

At least one very large web service that users rely on will fail, taking its utility with it, leading to -

"Cloud Storage" will be quickly seen as a scam ... fortunately most users will have backups and will quickly "rightcloud" their data.

Binary Wikis will startup as users seek to manage larger and larger amounts of binary data, with automatic file organization.

Parrot will start to see use as an intermediate language for C/C++ and have some support as a VM language in Linux. ( Parrot )

BumpTop will see some form of GPL implementation and be merged with hacked versions of Microsoft Surface devices. ( BumpTop , Microsoft Surface )

TiddlyWiki/MediaWiki will morph into Ubiquitous PnP Wikis, and there will be a shakeout between MediaWiki and the Creole markup languages as providing a default wiki with operating systems becomes de rigour. ( TiddlyWiki , WikiCreole )

Wikipedia will become a "Cloud"pedia on a BitTorrent like protocol. Individual users will subscribe to categories. The admins will operate on the main site containing the trackers.

WikiBooks and Wiki Magazines will see more growth as Wikipedia encounters an infowall and article authors seek a new creative outlet. Wiki Magazines will cater to schools and small groups of people with little interest in hosting a wiki online, and more interest in producing periodic "stable" and book form editions.

HDTVs will be overtaken by Laser Diode Projection TVs, because a huge HDTV surrounded by tiny palm computing devices feels odd. They will be wireless enabled. LDTVs will push HDTV into the realm of UHDV. ( Super Hi Vision , Laser TV Forum )

Thousands of virtual radio stations will specify huge lists of songs (that a user might not even have) and interoperate with MP3 players. Users will be able to branch stations with additions to the playlists, and voting which songs belong to which station will be commonplace.

There will be an implementation of symbolic links on steroids to deal with very large (~4TB) media devices that will tie into binary wikis.

"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.
- Tom Lehrer

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.