Monday, May 05, 2008

Future Web: 2013

In 2013 the web will be a different but still very similar to the web of 2008. Since the web is built around the people using the web and people have a tendency to not change all that fast, so will the web change: not very rapidly. We will still likely have almost all of the technologies we use today with only a few additions, if any. Technologies always take time to catch on, even major breakthroughs. It took time for things like MySpace and Facebook to catch on, and it will take time for other technologies to catch on.

One technology that will exist in a more advanced form is the semantic web. I believe that Semantic Web technologies will play a role in the future web but not in the web that will exist 5 years from now. The semantic web is a complicated idea that will be revolutionary when it catches on, but cannot possibly catch on until it has been perfected.

AJAX will be a driving factor in the web of 2013. It already plays an important part in many web applications and is progressing very rapidly. As more developers learn to use it and understand how easy it is to implement, and how easy it makes their applications to use, AJAX and similar technologies will become far more prevalent. I do not believe more advanced technologies like semantic web technologies will be common in 2013, they will exist in a more advanced state than they currently do but will still not be widely use, but, current technologies like JSON, AJAX, and many of the web frameworks currently employed in Web 2.0 will have made significant advances.

Another key enhancement that will come about within 5 years is an increase in bandwidth. Video and flash applications are already becoming quite common on the web and their content and quality is limited only by the speed of the average user’s internet connection. Internet2 helped to create the high speed Abilene Network and the National Lambdarail project that is a start to much higher speeds than were previously possible. It is only a matter of time before technologies like those make it to the internet.

It is my opinion that the every time an advancement is made with web technology and usage, a bad aspect of this new tech is introduced but is immediately countered by a good as aspect that that same technology introduced. Facebook and other social networking applications allow unscrupulous users to ‘spy’ on people, but also allow people with similar ideas to congregate together in groups and share ideas and experiences that they otherwise would not have previously been able to share. The world will be no better or worse but things will easier for everyone; people with good and people with bad intentions.

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