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The Web Is Always A Beta - Articles Surfing

I'fve been reading a while back an article about the so popular concept of 'gWeb 2.0'', written by J. Zeldman in A List Apart. I loved the irony and as much as I admired him before, my admiration increased as I found him expressing the same thoughts that I never took the time or courage to express in writing. Most of all I liked his 'gI'fm cutting out the middleman and jumping right to Web 3.0. Why wait?'h

Today while checking back on that article I took a few moments to read the discussion that followed. To my surprise, even though the irony was obvious in that article, most of the posters started talking about Web 3.0 and forecasting its features. Peachy! Mr Zeldman, you shouldn'ft have given them the idea, now 'gall the cool kids'h will start talking about Web 3.0, blogging about it, finding ways to define it and we'fll only end up having one more overused concept.

Because that'fs what Web 2.0 is. A concept. Hell yeah, Mr. O'fReilly himself calls it so. Still O'fReilly - the one who has thrown this concept in the hands of the 'gcool kids'h- gives an extensional comparative definition. Unfortunately either by the fault of the writing or the fault of the readers, nobody has a clear view about what this 'gWeb 2.0'' does, therefore failing as a definition in being above a certain level of chaos.

I'fll tell you the truth, I'fm not an AJAX hater, I don'ft despise collaborative applications, I am all for the rich user experience. What I hate is gibberish talk. And you probably heard a lot of it related to Web 2.0. Collaboration? Usenet, IRC- these were amongst the first web collaborative systems. AJAX? The XMLHttpRequest wasn'ft invented one-two years ago. It was here way before some marketing guy thought about new ways of selling software. Only that the programmers knew its downfalls and the risks involved. Yes, great web applications were developed lately and all my respect goes to those who built them. What I dislike is the marketer that has thrown a whole enchilada of terms and names to define something that never existed. Myspace was here before, so where Napster, Bitorrent and Wikipedia. I remeber using Napster about eight years ago when nobody cared about the version of the web. Collaboration was here before, only it was called forum or, for the professionals, it was called CRM. So you will excuse me if I say that to me this term, 'gWeb 2.0'' is a form without substance.

In the O'fReilly network I found this

"Web 2.0 is the era when people have come to realize that it'fs not the software that enables the web that matters so much as the services that are delivered over the web. Web 1.0 was the era when people could think that Netscape (a software company) was the contender for the computer industry crown; Web 2.0 is the era when people are recognizing that leadership in the computer industry has passed from traditional software companies to a new kind of internet service company. The net has replaced the PC as the platform that matters, just as the PC replaced the mainframe and minicomputer."

Great, so now Web 2.0 is an era. And web applications are replacing software. And aren'ft web applications still software? Cause they sure don'ft fall under hardware. And the net replaces the PC. So now we can throw away our PCs and wirelessly connect our heads to the modems while we test around the beta of teleporting. Engage Picard!

Yes, I admit, 'gWeb 2.0'' gets on my nerves.Not only because it lacks definition and substance or because it is overused. But because of its lack of definition people feel entitled to use it everywhere. You'fll hear about 'gweb 2.0 designs'h, 'gweb 2.0 logos'h, 'gweb 2.0 colors'h, 'gweb 2.0 fonts'h without people even knowing what they are and how they are supposed to look like. Next thing you know at the Deli they'fll sell Web 2.0 coffee, all collaborative, updateable and full of rich user experience.

So yes, I'fm starting the Web 2.0 Haters Club. I'fm the only member of it for now. And it feels good. Because to me the web is always a beta.

Submitted by:

Emma Dobrescu




Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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