Arrgh! Get your facts right!

Posted on July 20, 2008. Filed under: Technology, Thoughts | Tags: |

A guy walks into a room, starts his geeky computer converstion, and proudly adds “I know Web 2.0 language”. At first it didn’t register, but after a few moments i understood what he said. I was speechless! And this isn’t the only incident i’ve come across. People think Web 2.0 is a new language, computer institutes proudly announce they teach Web 2.0, job seekers show it off on their resume, yada yada.

Once and for all – Web 2.0 is not a programming language! Wikipedia quotes :

Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users

The term was coined by Tim O’Reilly and he describes it thus

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform

So it is more about the way and means through which web content is delivered. Typically, it has come to be a very user driven technology, where the users have the power to select, promote and publish content that they like. It focuses more on user interaction, making it more interactive, and fun to use. Web 2.0 is more about all these factors, and not about being an entirely new language.

One factor that has lead to this misconception is the advent of AJAX – Asynchronous Javascript and XML, which is a set of rules that makes a website more responsive, and without the need for constant refreshes. In a way, Web 2.0 sites are driven by AJAX. A site can implement Ajax using many of the scripting languages already out there – php, .net, coldfusion, jsp etc. It is possible to create an ajaxified site without it being web 2.0.

One of the many features of Web 2.0 sites is ready availability in a variety of platforms – computer, mobile phones, pda, ucmp etc. Popular sites like Youtube, Twitter etc have clients for multiple platforms that allow users to access their content from virtually most platforms. That in essence, is driven by the sudden boom in Internet connectivity, 3G networks, and other wired/wireless technologies the world over.

So please, Web 2.0 is not a programming language. Nor is Ajax.

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