Jumpin' Jack Ajax!....err, I mean Jumpin' Jack Flash!
Entitled "The State of Web Development 2006/2007," the 25-page preview provided some insight into what Web technologies developers and organizations are using now, and plan to use on into next year.
Most interesting was how quickly AJAX has gained traction among Web developers. This time last year, we'd hardly even heard about AJAX, and yet some 30% of developers have indicated they're already using it in their efforts. That's a mere 9 percentage points (39%) behind Flash, which has obviously been around much, much longer.
When asked to identify what technologies they were planning to use in future Web projects (over the next 12 months), the number for AJAX rose to 45%, while the intent to use Flash dropped to 27%!
Content syndication (RSS) came in around 36%, although I would agree with McManus that that number is surprisingly low considering the state of RSS development opportunities. I would imagine Microsoft Vista's embedding of RSS into the OS will help drive RSS adoption forward...(that is, assuming you buy a legal licensed copy of Vista...if not, you may find your Web access being limited to an hour at a time, or find that you can't open documents from your desktop. Read more about Vista's new anti-piracy measures here. Arrrggh, Matey!)...but clearly plenty of room to grow here.
The most exciting findings addressed "the next big thing" on the Web, which include things like "real-time visual 3D view and navigation of a site." Our customers wrestle with navigation roadblocks every day of the week, telling us in survey after survey they can't find what they're looking for on our Web site. (Considering we have a few million pages on our site, that's not altogether surprising.) Anything we can do to help you visualize and better navigate ours' -- and other enterprise Web sites -- will be a big step forward.
Part and parcel of providing for more effective visualization, however, is more "responsible use of technologies and semantics." That is to say, how are you classifying things on your site -- or, as the case may be with more folksonomic approaches, how are you allowing yourconstituents to classify things -- so that they can find their way to them in a manner most meaningful and useful to them. I think we're going to need to hire more information and library scientists, ethnographers and anthropologists before we make too much more progress in this area.
Finally, the "paradigm shift" thought of you not having to search the Web for information, but instead defining what you want and having the Web collect it for you (much like you have your Dominos pizza delivered to your customized specification). I've been preaching this one inside IBM for some time now, but I'm not sure we'll see the sea change until we have the tools that make it easier for people to "subscribe" and filter their information.
Hey, for years you got your newspaper delivered, right? Why in the Web should you have to go out and hunt for your online news every day???[Read More]