Sunday, November 16, 2008

Web 2.0

If you surf the Web design sites these days, you can't help but find references to Web 2.0. This is the new and revolutionary change that is sweeping the Web and allowing users to interact with the data available there in ways we never dreamed possible 10 years ago. But is this really the case? How much of Web 2.0 is just marketing hype and how much of it is actually new?

What is Web 2.0
Originally in 2004, Web 2.0 was referred to as this idea of the "Web as a platform". The concept was such that instead of thinking of the Web as a place where browsers viewed data through small windows on the readers' screens, the Web was actually the platform that allowed people to get things done. But this really didn't catch on. In fact, it's fairly hard to grasp what that really means.
Later people started thinking of Web 2.0 as the programming tools used to create the Web pages that were considered "cutting edge Web 2.0". This included
AJAX and SOAP and other XML and JavaScript applications that allowed the readers to actually interact with the Web pages more like you would with an application on your desktop.
Now Web 2.0 is really starting to mean a combination of the technology (like AJAX) allowing the customers to actually interact with the information. Web 2.0 is starting to mean the situation where amateur writers and developers are able to create applications and Web sites that get more credibility than traditional news sources and software vendors. This combination of powerful JavaScript tools like AJAX enabling nearly anyone to contribute to and interact with the data that we are all working with is really what Web 2.0 is.

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