Sunday, January 02, 2005

Predictions for 2005

I am making this post for two reasons.

  1. Everyone is making similar posts.
  2. It’ll be fun to come back to this list at the end of the year to see how correct I was.
So, here are my predictions about the web for the coming year.

People will understand why IE sucks

We know why IE sucks, but the regular user doesn’t even know of his options. Alternative browsers that provide a better surfing environment will make users turn to them. Firefox will lead this bunch, probably breaking the 50% browser share barrier.

Developers will still not take to XHTML

Developers will realize that XHTML validation is a lot of work and not really worth the effort. Web pages will continue to use HTML. We will use the lessons we’ve learnt from XHTML, like semantics, separation of code and content, CSS based design and accessibility driven design, but the web pages will continue to be invalid XHTML, and people will discover that the validation doesn’t really matter at all. XHTML will be used only by purists. It will remain a great idea that we can’t use yet.

JavaScript will take the stage

2005 will probably be remembered most for the use of JavaScript and related innovations. Yes, that happened in 1999 too, but it will be different this time around. Developers will understand how to use JavaScript in a fashion that keeps the page accessible to even incapable user agents. XmlHTTPRequest will probably be the hero of the show through this year.

More Web Applications

There’ll be more applications running off a browser over the Internet. I can already feel this happening with me – I probably use fewer desktop applications than web applications. More and more system independent applications will run off the browser.

Brower independence will be in vogue

Sites that work only in one browser will be looked down upon. Most such sites will alter their code to accommodate multiple browsers or otherwise be totally browser independent.

Mobile browsing will be more important than ever

In the long term future, I don’t see people using a desktop computer just to check mail or send an IM. Instead, such things can be done faster and more efficiently on a mobile device, like a phone. Good browsing capabilities for such phones will be very important, and we’ll see crucial steps being taking in that direction this year.

Most of these are rather obvious. But then, not always is the obvious the necessary consequence. Let’s see what happens at the end of the year.

Happy new year to one and all. Hope the year is great for you.

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