Thursday, October 4, 2007

Does The Web Deserve Version 3.0 ??

Yesterday, I was reading about the "Official Definition Of web 3.0", and I thought what a wannabe. I couldn't stop thinking does the web even deserve the version 2.0, forget about 3.0!

Many people would say that the world of the internet has drastically changed in the last couple of years, specially after the dotcom bubble burst that it deserves the newer version. Things like Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal and other free CMS systems have made it easier for anyone to have a web presence. Then came AJAX and people thought it was some new language (it actually isn't) for the web. Then we had YouTube, Flickr and host of other media websites. And then came a lot of social networking websites. And then you have bookmarking and websharing like Digg, Delicious, Technorati and the rest!! According to the media, the internet had changed. The marketing and show organizers wanted something new to camp around... and they called it the Web 2.0

Analyzing the Web 2.0 Moniker
Google will tell us the different existing definitions to Web 2.0 here. You can call it "participatory web" like Bart Decrem or "as a platform" mentioned by Tim O'Reilly. Yes, today most of the activity on the internet is participatory. Social networking, Blogging is the big hit thing on the internet, but then we need to ask ourselves if none of this was being done earlier?? Coming to the idea of "network as a platform". Such definitions have varied and wide implications and wasn't Sun Microsystems saying that in the '80s??

Few other characteristics of web 2.0 discussed by the media were:
1.) Data as the driving force (Database web application have existed for a long time)
2.) Distributed Independent Developers (Collaborated efforts in software development has existed since the beginning of the internet)
3.) Lightweight business models enabled by content and service syndication (Haven't tech magazines and newspapers doing this for eternity??)

Comparison To Other Popular Projects
Who decides the version change?? May be the CTO or Project Manager or the team decides. There are generally some milestones to be completed before a project gets a new version.

Linux is one big old project. There have been a lot of changes since Linus released it in 1991. Quite a few changes in the Filesystem, Process, Memory management... but we are still after significant changes at v2.6.xx. There are many more examples that come to mind. After changes to some million lines or significant percentage change to code, they get new version names like MS Office, Windows, Python.

On the other hand, the internet or web hasn't really changed drastically. If I remember my first days on the internet in 1995, I used to have mailing lists and BBS where I would write some content and other users would share the same. So the "participatory web" was still alive that time. Data sharing was active when the first university networks joined the internet. Like I mentioned earlier, OSS and lightweight models existed long time before the Web 2.0 name was created. To make a gross comparison: HTML is written the same way we used to in the earlier days!!

Still not convinced and want Web 3.0

If you still aren't convinced and want Web 3.0, then be my guest!! How about giving you the definition for Web 4.0??

Definition of Web 4.0: You speak to it and it speaks back. It does all your household work. It can transport you physically from anywhere in the world to a given place in seconds. Web 4.0 is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. Web 4.0 can even... (oops I remembered this is "G" website)

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