I’m very nearly entering the third year of running this blog. We’re also entering 2009 very soon. I try to make some projections when I can on what I foresee happening in the coming 12 months. Having recently attended DevLearn08 and seeing Tim O’Reilly speak, I was even more excited than normal to do so. With Adobe MAX behind us and many other big conferences on the way, this seems like a perfect time to do so.
In the face of a global recession, it’s difficult to determine what may actually come this year due to impending cutbacks, but most of these seem to be likely. Some have even been put in motion already, so it truly is a matter of execution for 2009. I would anticipate that with the slowdown, some bigger projects may be getting pushed off (I know some of my clients have a number of efforts ‘on-hold’, so I wouldn’t be surprised if many are doing just this). I have chosen to leave these more amorphous topics off the boards for now.
- Marginalization of IE6, possibly 7, too. – I sense a rising tide of hatred amongst my web designer/developer friends. Hatred against a nearly eight year old web browser. I know that I am beginning to approach supporting/focusing on IE6 as an “additional cost” of development, rather than a given. IE7 is the “current” version of Microsoft’s browser, but with the trends growing in the industry, even this fact doesn’t make IE7 the dominant client on the web any longer.
- IE8: MS finally gets on board with standards! ‚Äì Currently at “Beta 2″, this browser will make final release sometime in 2009. With the list of features and pre-release buzz surrounding it, I think this will get much quicker acceptance amongst users and a far more rapid deployment by corporate IT departments. Hallelujah! It’s performance on the Acid test at least makes me hopeful!
- Rise of Webkit – Perhaps bringing a CSS3 usage increase? Webkit is the rendering engine behind Apple’s Safari browser. It also powers Adobe’s AIR runtime. It also now is the core rendering engine for Google’s Chrome. Each one of these by itself is a small chunk of the market for web visitors, but when combined, it looks to be comprising about 15-18% of the audience share on most of my sites these days. This share is just about equivalent with IE6 or IE7 at this time for me. I would expect that this will grow throughout 2009, with Chrome getting a Mac and Linux release sometime this year.
- Continued growth of SaaS (Cloud Services, Data/Apps) – Many many players have thrown their hat in the ring in this area. Even small shops are starting to build in the Amazon and Intuit platforms. I have used a steadily growing number of sites build on the Google app engine as well. With the APIs available and the scalability and great uptime, it is really only going to grow. What does this mean for the end user? Well, beyond the typical privacy concerns, etc, probably not much. However, for the developer, this brings a new set of tools to learn, but hopefully also a significantly increased boost in productivity.
- Yahoo’s Near Certain Demise – Is this a true sign of the flip from the original static web to next gen tech? With Yang’s departure and nary a suitor to come it’s rescue, this web stalwart looks to be faltering big time. I can only hope that Delicious and Flickr weather the storm!
- Semantic Web tools/progress - Drupal 7! – RDF FTW! The heralded “Semantic Web” has been discussed and pushed for some time. Here is where 2009 is a tad different… there are actually projects and vendors set to release semantic web citizens. CMSs and blog software that produced well formed RDF content. This is a huge first step! Drupal is poised to release a major revision to the venerable open source content management tool that will be a full fledged RDF generating CMS. Nice!
- Flash Platform’s Continued Dominance in the RIA space – Flash Catalyst, Flex 4, Mobile Flash,The Open Screen Project and on and on… Adobe is really on a roll right now and everything MS seems to be doing with Silverlight is either playing catch up or just a shot in the dark. With a number of key content providers lining up to use Flash as the delivery platform things really seem to be headed in Adobe’s favor here.
- Microblogging goes mainstream – Twitter has certainly hit critical mass amongst the geeks. It’s nearly hit the average web user as well judging from the talk I hear from friends and family. The scalability issues seem to be resolved. I am guessing that the next milestone will be for the average SMS user to get wired up for Tweeting. Facebook’s status message has primed the pump for many of the Social Media/Networking casual users. I venture that 140 characters will be the new IM for a lot of people over the next year. Will the dominant player be Twitter? Maybe, maybe not. With Twitter having no real business model to speak of, it is uncertain how they plan to monetize it and make it a sustainable business. I would recommend Twitter look at charging access for it’s API for commercial Twitter clients/services, rather than put ads in your private timeline, but that topic could fill an entire blog post on it’s own.
- USA gets a CTO/CIO – We can only hope he/she is a good one, right? While it may not be “CTO” as the final title, or in post, I think that the revisions planned for the FCC and the web may be what we need to put this net neutrality crap to bed (among a ton of other thorny issues). Forbes recently published an article listing Bill Joy as a front runner. He or a number of the other candidates look great. Though not listed, Lawerence Lessig would be excellent choice, too, IMHO.
So that’s it… not a 10 item list, but I’m running low on time here. What do you think? Emerging trends for the comining year? I’d love to learn what you are keeping your eyes on.
Awesome! Check this video out…
Can’t wait until this show travels through Chicago! Via Phillip Kerman.
Came across this widget, thought I’d give it a try… A pretty cool way to keep up with what’s going on at Adobe MAX this year.
I’m a huge fan of Phillip K. Dick and really thought that the adaptation of Minority Report to the big screen was an excellent movie. Tom Cruise starred in it, but many people remember the technology depicted in the movie more than the story itself, or so it seems when talking to friends.
The retina scanning, computer vision, highly targeted ads and sounds, jetpacks, sick-sticks, mag-lev track vehicles and of course the beautiful larger than life gestural interface that they used for piecing together the clues and crimescenes were great science fiction technology. Useful, seemingly unattainable and of course super sexy! Remember this:
Well, that style of computing is a little bit closer to reality now, thanks to Oblong’s g-Speak. Take a look and prepare to be jealous of these guys:
g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.
When will something like this be in your home? Well, it might be a while. But tradeshows/exhibits could get this very soon, it seems, judging by the overall completeness of the design. Beyond that, large scale systems, like logistics, medical imaging or perhaps spatial/environmental design would probably benefit most from easy visualization/manipulation as seen in g-Speak. There is a little more information at engadget on this, and I found a pretty useful bit of information at Manual Override.
It’s a brave new world! Let’s just hope we don’t get pre-crime departments along with this.
Admittedly fishing here… but man is the new Flip Mino HD cool… you can even customize it… I made one with my CoolerKreator images on it. Hot! Check it out.
We have been heads down at work. We have 3 interactive exhibits set to go live this month. One at a corporate headquarters that uses Red5 for multiuser sync, motion detection and high definition video and moton graphics on 3 52″ LCDs. One that broadcasts live data streams detailing savings gained from a grey water reclimation system and overlays the infographics on high-definition video on a huge 1080p 120Hz display. The other project is a pair of kiosks set to be installed in Bermuda (no, I don’t get to go there to install ).Once we have some photos/videos of the installs, I’ll try and post them.
Beyond that, we are exiting a first round of usability testing on a great new elearning development application we are building at doctumlearning.com. We used Silverback for our testing. It’s a really really cool tool for Macs that records a screencast and a video feed from the iSight to create a record of the test. Hard to argue with video evidence, after all. The app is coming along strong, feature complete and ready to build some training. We’ve put together a great interface and the Flash based content it outputs is pretty dang nice.
Related to that, I will be attending DevLearn ’08 next week. You can catch up with my twittering and possibly blogging from there. Tim O’Reilly is giving the keynote. Dan Roam is going to be there speaking, as is Dr. John Medina. Should be really really cool. We’ll be demoing at demofest, showing of the work we did with the International Society of Arboriculture that uses the Doctum platform. Psyched!
There is a one day Adobe elearning summit going on there, too, I’m definitely hitting that one. Are you planning on attending? Let me know! I’m interested in meeting up with other developers out there, so track me down.
Prior to working at The Iona Group and spending time freelancing doing flash game development and other assorted web design tomfoolery, I designed websties for Rollingstone, Downbeat, TheSource, Tunes.com and Emusic. It was a great gig. Lots of fun. Fun people, great music, awesome subject matter. Then the dotcom bomb hit. I was laid off along with virtually everyone in my Chicago office. That said, I (was) am a huge music fan. Love the feel of a new set of tracks. Love buying tunes, love downloading them love the feel of a new, well packaged disc when I get one. I have a iTunes library that would span a couple iPod classics. I am a completist. I have all of Nine Inch Nails stuff. Suicidal Tendencies. Pavement. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Poster Children. Guided By Voices (I’m not sure if I actually have all of this… does anyone?) TRS-80, Muse, Radiohead. I also love when a new music site launches. Pitchfork, Pandora, Last.fm, all of em. I like music blogs (music for robots ftw) and love to watch videos online.
You get the picture. I love music.