Alex Barnett blog


On Web Dev Trends in 2007

Richard MacManus et al have published their web predictions for 2007 (prompting me to update the list I've been collating).

Great post and lots covered, so I'd like to comment on some of Read/Write Web's crystal ball gazing relating to web development.

"RSS will go mainstream in a big way"

It's funny, but we've been saying this for years now. However, with the integration of RSS in IE7, Vista and Office 2007 and other mass-use consumer products, it might actually happen (even if users don't realize they are using RSS). Arguably, it has already gone mainstream in the online publishing world and web development space - almost every commercial site I've visit these days provides RSS feeds.

"structured data will be a big trend next year"

Beyond the reasons given (such as microformats), a key driver to a more structured web of data is the increasing availability of web APIs into the content and data sitting on the network. Many of the APIs are not just exposing functionality...These web Content and Data Programming Interfaces will continue to be key feature of the modern commmercial internet. By the way, I don't think Google's recent decision to deprecate their API is a sign of things to come (what an opportunity for Yahoo! and Live Search! ) - this is counter to the megatrend.

So, more APIs = more structured data on the web. And the more structure there is to the data on the web, the more semantic the web will become, another trend R/WW sees for 2007. But it is still early days...I agree with Dan Farber's take on the Semantic Web for 2007:

"the Semantic Web is going to be an important element in the evolution of the Web, but next year will still be about planting seeds, not harvesting crops."

"The consumerization of the enterprise trend will start to infiltrate corporate IT"

Dion Hinchcliffe's review of Enterprise 2.0 in 2006 sums up the progress made this year and highlights some of the cultural issues inloved here. I agree with R/WW and Dion that we'll continue to see the technologies and trends of the consumer web bleed into the behind-the-firewall space. Specifically, more lightweight development and web orientated design patterns (such as REST) will rise in popularity amongst the professional developer community in the coming year. Devs are lazy - they really do want to do more with less and do it quicker.

"Rich Internet Apps will be a major force in 2007"

Yup, but still early days here. As I understand it, the RIA meme has the Occasionally Connected Computing (OCC) theme running through it - think of this as hybrid of desktop / web apps. I think the buzz will certainly be there for RIA in 2007 but it will take time (years) for development tools that enable these scenarios to become even close to mainstream for the developer communities. Lots of experimentation, no doubt, but the number of implementations will be few and far between compared to the progress in the delivery of rich experiences delivered purely via the web. Ajax for 2007 - my bet here is that pure play brower-based app development will be the winner of 2007, 2008 and 2009 :-) 


TrackBack said:

That may be a stretch Alex. Have you browsed any law firm websites?
# December 21, 2006 12:30 AM

TrackBack said:

"I agree with Alex Barnett on the prospects for “occasionally connected computing” and rich internet apps in 2007..."
# February 13, 2007 7:53 PM