- Web 1.0 – The original couple years of the web, web 1.0 was the initial buildout of what everyone calls “the web”
- Web 2.0 – A subtle change in how things worked on the web, characterized by the following:
- “Web 2.0 is [about] making the Internet better for computers.” — Jeff Bezos
- Applications that talk to each other via standards like XML (SOAP, RSS, etc)
- Major websites with publicly accessible API’s (Google, Amazon, Ebay, etc) made possible by things like XML/SOAP
- Sites being more about drawing strength from their users than from publishing content. In other words, user-generated content
- Tagging — free form keyword association built on top of user communities (Flickr, del.icio.us)
- Using Firefox to create live bookmarks out of tagged del.icio.us bookmark rss streams — very ‘wow that’s a lot of pieces put together to create that’
And then comes Web 3.0. What? Web 2.0 is barely here, you say. Well, this is partially true, but most of the people in the know already ‘get’ web 2.0. Also, what’s coming really has the potential to change things in a ‘new and different way’
Web 3.0 is actually the embodiment of what everyone thought Web 1.0 would be. Rich web frameworks are here and are getting better rapidly, and they’re going to change things very dramatically. Back in 1999, everyone was claiming that, “The browser is the new application platform.” While ideed, there were many web applications created, they weren’t really doing the things that you normally did on your desktop. “Microsoft Word, but in a web browser” is something that people would have talked about. The problem was, you couldn’t really do it, at least not well.
This brings us to the rich web. Web application frameworks like dojo, rico, backbase, etc. are pushing the envelope of what’s possible to do inside a web browser, making the web more like the desktop application. Why is this revolutionary? Well, first of all, we’ll start to see the promise of ‘the browser as a platform.’ People will be able to get at their applications from wherever they are, just like they’ve been doing with their webmail. This has been possible to do using things like network fileshares and content management systems, but that’s crap. That’s a big bloated solution to get your desktop apps to follow you where you go.
What i’m saying is that the data and the application will FINALLY actually reside on the server, and you’ll just pop open a web browser and do your work from whatever desktop you’re at. I know this has been said many times before, but I actually think there’s real technology to back it up, this time.
But, you know what? I think I’m getting WAY ahead of the curve here. Web 2.0 still has a long way to go, and we’re just in the infancy of the new era of web applications, so there’s still quite some time before the rich web takes real hold of things.