Edd Dumbill on Web 2.0

Edd Dumbill has a cool post on what the future of the Web is.

What’s hot:

  • Intellectual property and privacy law. If exchange and manipulation of data is key to the future web, then we need to understand that and be the ones in control. If corporations have too much control of data, as they are striving for, that’s the equivalent of API lock-in, and we’ll all suffer. But on the other hand, we want to tightly control the data about ourselves. An interesting conflict, about which I’d like to write more in future.
  • Transformation and annotation. Nobody’s going to own a unique hold on the form of expression of the data flying around in “web 2.0”, but they’re certainly going to want to transform between those forms. From the crude “emergent keywords” of del.icio.us to the intensive but scope-limited integration done by Google and A9, there’s going to be a lot of value in joining together previously isolated data islands.
  • Network engineering. Dumb, happy protocols that give quick results are on the rise. Look at the RSS madness, servers being pummelled. And RSS isn’t even mainstream yet, though it’s about to get that way. It gets messier before it gets better.

What’s not:

  • Complicated web service standards. Forget the WS-I lunacy. Web applications for computers were happening before the web services standards junk. Amazon would still be providing their interfaces with or without SOAP, WSDL and UDDI, and indeed all the evidence is that their users prefer to use the simpler HTTP/XML APIs anyway. As far as the web is concerned, the WS-* work is about sprinkling XML pixie dust on a failing idea.
  • Frameworks and silos. Don’t believe anyone who claims to have a wonderful new framework that’ll solve your problems if only you’d migrate everything you do to it. The web is all about separate pieces, loosely joined. The really clever businesses know how to manage uncertainty, they’re not looking to eliminate it. Circling the wagons will not integrate you into the web, neither will it promote web-like innovation inside a business.

Daniel Lemire, "Edd Dumbill on Web 2.0," in Daniel Lemire's blog, November 30, 2004.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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