Treehouse

Bold Web Predictions for 2010

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With another year coming to a close, it's time to look toward the near future. The following are my predictions for the web in 2010.

Twitter will steal a bit of Google's search thunder.

Twitter challenge Google search? You bet. The advantage twitter has over Google search is that Twitter provides almost to-the-second search results so if you want the most recent content, you can hit Twitter. While Google analyzes static content, Twitter provides you the "buzz", or most recently/frequently talked about links/information in a condensed format. Sometimes fewer options and information is a good thing.

Gmail and GChat will slowly become Google Wave.

Wave is clearly Google's successor to vanilla email (via Gmail) and instant messaging. Don't look for Gmail to disappear completely during 2010 but I expect Wave to completely integrate email capabilities by the end of 2010.

Facebook will grow in popularity despite continuing to disappointing its own users; Your mother will join Facebook.

Unfortunately Facebook will continue to add features that make their site more difficult to use and, in doing so, will continue to disregard the fury of its users. Facebook will continue to "out-think the room" in the features it adds. Facebook will also push its "Lite" version more toward an older audience. Your mother, in turn, will join. MySpace will continue to become the Geocities of social websites.

Internet Explorer 6 support will finally be dropped from 90+% of websites.

Many websites have already dropped IE6 support, which I feel is too soon, but we should all be able to rejoice by the end of 2010. Windows 7 will have been out for over a year and IT departments will be pushed into upgrading from XP so as to not allow employees to be two operating system versions behind. Persons with older PCs will also opt to upgrade to a newer system due to highly competitive pricing by Dell, Compaq, and Toshiba.

Webkit-based browsers will overtake Firefox; Mozilla will face a Web Designer/Developer rebellion.

Google Chrome has quickly become a developer favorite during 2009 and there's no reason to believe that affection will slow during 2010. Expect Chrome to debut a flexible plugin system during 2010 which will meet or exceed the flexibility provided by Firefox. As a result of Firebug's bugs and memory problems, Mozilla will start to draw the ire of the developers that made them so popular.

Windows 7 will be a giant success (on a Windows level).

Due to the garbage OS known as Vista and continued successful marketing by Microsoft, Windows 7 will become a huge success. Lets not discount the improvements made by Windows 7 though -- its UI and functionality improvements are to be recognized. IT departments will most definitely be pushed to update their outdated XP machines, begrudgingly or not. Mac fanboys wont notice a thing.

The MooTools JavaScript framework will boom in popularity thanks to the plugin forge and MooTools 2.

Having a central repository for quality MooTools plugins will increase the usage of the JavaScript framework. MooTools 2, with its improvements in every piece of the framework, will turn the heads of developers using other libraries. I also foresee users of other frameworks, looking for a more advanced OOP approach, giving MooTools a solid shot.

Digg will completely lose its developer/designer userbase and become "just another funny pics/vids" site.

Diggers' habits of promoting stupid pictures and videos will essentially ruin that last shreds of credibility the site has left and users will continue to leave. Kevin Rose will take "less of a role" with Digg in an effort to distance himself from Digg's direction.

The David Walsh Blog will continue to ascend.

More sweet MooTools, jQuery, CSS, PHP, and AJAX tutorials on the way...but then again, you already knew this.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Are these easy predictions? Tell me!

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Discussion

  1. John Smith

    Your idea about Twitter is interesting!

  2. John Smith

    Testing ajax comment.

  3. Alejandro Rascon

    amen!
    and dont´t forget the PHP in web 2.0 like PDO ;) or the MVC

  4. So many things on this list really shocks me or make me very happy!

    – Twitter, ha.
    – Gmail, eh!? I don’t see that happening really.
    – I’ve got both FF3.5.5 and Chrome. Due to the lack of plugins and tools for Chrome I am forced to use FF for the webdev bar, firebug and other reporting. Chrome’s javascript engine just kicks major ass!
    – Got Win7 myself and I like it!
    – The dropping of support for IE6… that … ‘thing’ is a monster.
    – MooTools will bloom, no doubt.
    – I don’t give a crap about Digg so I couldn’t care less.

  5. I agree with most of these. “Facebook Lite” is going to become increasingly important as the average Facebook user’s age keeps increasing. I wonder if we’ll see a new social network pop up to support today’s young teens – maybe social network preference will become another component of the generation gap.

    As for browsers, ditching IE6 support is a definite yes for the US, but I think we’ll still see strong IE6 use around the world. If Webkit dominates Firefox, it’ll be because of the rapid uptake of Webkit-powered mobile devices. I find it a bit hard to believe that the average user will be picking up Safari or Chrome for their desktop machine anytime soon. Among developers, though, if Webkit keeps improving their inspector tools to match Firebug, I do think we’ll see a mass exodus in that direction. The speed of change in Webkit and the availability of two really strong implementations makes it almost certain.

  6. The one I really hope is the drop in IE 6 support. I had dropped already in most of my websites, but recently I got a client where she has that s*** and I it took me hours to make the website look perfect for HER BROWSER.

    That is tedious and ridiculous. Glad she was paying the extra hours and work

  7. I’m surprised you think Google Wave will take over that quickly. I’ve admitted my addiction to Google products, but Wave left me pretty dissatisfied. I can see myself using it for maybe 3 or 4 work contacts, but unless they create some really groundbreaking new features as they progress through their interminable Beta stage, I do not see it replacing Gmail for me. Already I can’t get friends or co-workers to give it anything but a passing glance and a “What the heck is Wave?” The person I have the longest wave with right now? My next-to-computer-illiterate wife ;)

    The ability to add people to a wave and for them to be able to replay the history is pretty cool, but again, with my need of communicating with 3 or 4 people regularly…. an email thread with “Reply-All” needs no improvement. Email hasn’t changed much in years because there’s no need to improve a good idea.

    From an instant messaging perspective, there is too much “overhead” with Wave. Even with the shortcut keys making replying and threading easier (and I will say I really like their combination of shortcut keys), it still seems to go against the real strengths of IM. I need to ask a contact a quick question. Using Gchat, if they aren’t online, they’ll see it next time they check their Gmail. If they’re online, but away, all they need to do is come back to their desk and see the new tab/window and reply instantly.

    Hopefully Wave becomes that ubiquitous and people will start a browser tab with Wave as regularly as they start an IM client, but you’re still left with a substandard interface for instant communication. Again, the only really cool feature is being able to add a new contact and have them be able to see the history. Embedding images/videos is convenient, but honestly not that much of an improvement over current IM client abilities.

    Like I said, I hope Wave makes great strides and does meet your predictions. I want to like it, but so far I just can’t get into it. It’s a cool Labs experiment, and I’m sure some cool features will come of it, but replacing Gmail and GChat? I don’t see it, at least not as soon as you’re projecting. Then again maybe I’m just too set in my ways. I’ve used Gmail since 2005 and couldn’t ever see myself using another free email service.

    On the subject of Google and their Labs projects, what do you make of Google’s announcement of releasing their Javascript library, Closure Tools? I have downloaded the sources from svn, but have not had a chance to play with it at all.

    That was a long comment, sorry ;)

  8. badscene

    I think Digg’s been heading in that direction for a while now.

  9. @badscene: Agreed, but I think 2010 will be the year we’re all completely done with it.

  10. Good list, seems pretty plausible. The digg prediction is spot on – I would go as far as to say it’s already happened. 99% of the content on digg is pure garbage.

  11. ColdFusion, be it from Adobe, Railo or OpenBlueDragon will double it’s market-share all over the world, as CFML is finally recognized by the rest of the world as the killer language and app-envirorment it is ;-)

  12. I’m thinking that IE 6 isn’t going to be dropped nearly as much as we would hope.

    Once Chrome gets a good extension base, a lot of people will flock to Chrome.

    Digg is already there, dude. It’s dead to me.

  13. @Sebastiaan: Now THAT is bold.

  14. Angelidarling

    Spot on, What do you think about the Mozilla supported browser “Flock”
    I’m using it now, It is a social Networking browser, I think it has huge potential

  15. I actually don’t quite agree with most of the topics.

    Twitter
    Twitter’s user base is probably less than 0.01% of the user base of Google. Sure, there is a lot of buzz in the media about Twitter, but it will take a while before Twitter actually steals a bit of Google’s market share.

    Wave
    Probably true. But I disagree. Mail hasn’t changed any bit (except introduced conversations by GMail) in the last 20 years. There’s no way mail will be taken down in a year, year and a half. And let’s not forget mail != gmail

    Facebook
    Agreed.

    IE6 and Windows 7 (combined for obvious reasons)
    We all know what the problem with IE6 is – legacy systems. And those systems are unfortunately there to stay, unless the CFO approves some millions to be spend on upgrade – developing, testing, inegrating, testing = long running projects = risky projects on critical systems. This ain’t going to happen. IT departments won’t be pushed to upgrade to 7, because they don’t care if they’re two versions behind. What matters is productivity. Now combine Win7 with IE6′ legacy systems. That’s a no go. Unless MS offers a stand-alone IE6 under Win7. But I don’t see this happen because of MS’s efforts to drop IE6 and XP at some point in the future.
    But in the open web field IE6 will be dropped. And the drop will be pushed by us, the developers.

    WebKit and Firefox
    Maybe, maybe not. V8 set the bar higher, but that’s the competition, Mozilla won’t quit the race even if losing 2 to 3% market share :)

    And one last thing. There is a nasty bug in Chrome on the behavior of the ‘bottom’ button: if the viewport is at the top of the page and you click the ‘bottom’ button, the viewport jumps back at the top when done scrolling. And here’s the nasty part: it happens on every second click :)

  16. Kevin D Smith

    As much as I like MooTools, I don’t think it’s going to grow significantly until the demos on the web site improve to the level of the MooTools 1.11 demo quality. That demo section of the site is where most new users come to first, and right now it is a poor showing.

  17. P.S. an indicator that the comment is being submitted would be great if for whatever reason it takes more than a second :)

  18. @Nikola: I’ll be adding my “Dotter” plugin tonight — thank you for the feedback.

  19. I definitely agree with the last one!

  20. “Internet Explorer 6 support will finally be dropped from 90+% of websites.”

    lol.

  21. Great list. I switched from Digg to Reddit over a year ago and I love the change.

    Sidenote, every character that I type makes this box grow bigger and bigger. Safari 4 (ha webkit)

  22. @cancelbubble: Hmm yea that’s a bit too bold. Maybe it’s just bad wording. Perhaps David meant it’ll drop from newly created websites? I don’t see existing websites that work well with IE6 to suddenly reformat their site just to break it in IE6 heh.

  23. @James Lin: Yes, that’s what I meant. I wont go back to old sites and remove IE6-specific code.

  24. Jimd

    Mootools will increase in popularity also because Joomla 1.6 is updating to Mootoos 1.2. I just hope that future Mootools versions are backward compatable!

  25. Jesus DeLaTorre

    I never once had a problem with Vista. Never saw a blue screen or anything.

  26. Иван

    In the quiet words of Virgin Mary … come again? I mean I do see stuff a bit different.

    Bold claims (not likely to happen) :

    1) Twitter will take jack shit from Google. Tell one thing worthy to search for in Twitter?

    2) I see no reason for that to happen. Why? I can read my Gmail on a Outlook Express on a Windows 98 SE on a PII 300 MHz PC. Meaning that both are two very very different things.

    3) So let it [facebook] grow. Who cares? Besides, the second my mother joins Facebook, I am leaving it (and probably closing my site).

    5) How much are you willing to bet on that [IE support]?

    6) Not likely. I don’t see why would one switch to Chrome (even provided it’s mini task manager) since it eats almost the same MBytes of memory. And, you have to agree that Gecko and Presto based browsers have much more appealing look for ctrl+A than the rest of the browsers ;)

    Not bold (hopefully will happen) :

    1) Ain’t bold ;) And it [win7] better be successful or I am SOL and JWF.

    2) I see one way of that [MooTools domination] happening and that is killing John Resig. As long as he is out there with his jQuery — the rest of the libraries are bound no to be popular. So let’s make the claim — common sense prevails.

    You are an english man. Think of MooTools as the Gunpowder plot (and Bonfire night) and of jQuery as halloween.

    3) Who uses digg anyway? It was a huge hit when quality content was existing in the web. But now any bookmark thingy with tags is doing much better.

    Don’t know (subjective from my point of view) :

    Your blog is subjective thing. But I bet you anything, that if you get hit by a meteorite during a MooTools conf and there is a headline “MooTools developer killed by a falling star” we’ll see MooTools usage going sky hi and your blog breaking the charts of Google Analytics

    And a side question — when did you turn 26? It must have happened during the last month or so. How is it that you get older, you (probably) got presents but we got nothing? Haven’t we [your loyal readers and critics] deserved to see David “Party Animal” Walsh?

    Anyway.

    Cheers.

    — Ivan

  27. Иван

    Speaking of Facebook lite… Do you consider a lite version of DW? Single stylesheet page, no JS (tracking and banners are ok), white background, black text, blue links, gray buttons…

    Just a playful thought…

  28. @Jimd: MooTools + Joomla FTW!

    @Jesus DeLaTorre: Because you never used it! :)

    @Иван: I thought about that but then remembered…MooTools FTW!

  29. Spencer Fuston

    I’m counting on that fourth one.

  30. Great post David.

    Re Twitter, I believe it’s very possible due to the dramatic increase in the development of widgets/plugins powered by Twitter’s API. I’m noticing a lot of Twitter API projects on elance etc.

    @Kevin Zurawel: thanks for sharing your thoughts regarding facebook lite. Interesting!

    My prediction for the web in 2010 is rapid development in mobile ecommerce and mobile multi player gaming. Good Flash, PHP, CSS, XML, SQL and of course MooTools developers who network and share content will always have work :)

  31. Ben

    You’re a bold, bold man, Walsh…

    – Twitter: I already search on Twitter before Google for breaking news from the last hour or so, but I hear Google has been working on some improvements under the hood to catch up… should be interesting.

    – Google Wave: I hope you’re right, but the more I use Wave the more I just want Gmail and GChat back. It takes far more attention to do anything on Wave.

    – My GRANDMOTHER now has Facebook. :(

    – I don’t think we’ll drop IE6 support completely just yet, but I think we’ll see a lot more conditional stylesheets serving up painless, text-only sites to IE6.

    – Yep, the plugins are the only thing that have held me back from Chrome. Give me an equivalent to Firebug, Adblock and Twitterfox and I’m there!

    – I’ve never had a problem with Vista ;) it did suck when it came out, but the Service Packs fixed that all up. It’s a pity so much marketing damage was done beforehand, as it’s a very capable OS now.

    – David I’d like to see a post from you giving us a clear, punchy outline of the differences between jQuery and MooTools. I’ve only used jQuery, but I’m definitely up for experimenting if there was some well-written article out there that compelled me to do so ;)

    Keep up the awesome work!

  32. Very Nice.. Awesome

  33. @Иван: I really think that the big deal with Twitter search its that is almost real time, and Google keeps a open eye on it.

    You asked what is about to search in twitter, and in my opinion it has done a great job to expand and build authority of some websites and blogs, while is helping us to classify and organize the huge flow of information we are having.

  34. rloaderro

    Regarding the comment “as CFML [Coldfusion] is finally recognized by the rest of the world as the killer language and app-envirorment it is”

    Ah yes, basing a programming language on HTML syntax was such a killer idea that they added a second syntax (CFSCRIPT) using ECMA-like conventions. Except it’s not ECMA because it still uses Coldfusion particulars like “is”, “neq” and “gte” instead of “==”, “!=” and “>=”. Oh, and you can mix both syntaxes in your code. Oh, and it’s case insensitive so you will read code like: “” or “” or (scripted) “if (MYVAR Is True)” that all mean the same thing.

    You will understand why XML was phased out in favor of JSON when you read statements like “private $x = function($name = “”, $age = 0)” written in Coldfusion as:

    What’s that? Still no conditional operator yet? The open source initiatives are nice, but Adobe still drives the language and closed source is on the road to nowhere.

  35. rloaderro

    Oops, sanitizer removed CFML examples cause they look like HTML – that must be frustrating CF devs! Here they are for posterity:

    http://pastebin.com/f1fba22ce

  36. My feedback on your predictions (because you want to know so bad):

    Twitter will steal a bit of Google’s search thunder: No, not really. Actually, I would assume that Google will use Twitter to their advantage. By introducing their caffeine engine they will allow users to search real-time information such as Twitter. So, although Twitter has an edge Google will profit as well.

    Gmail and GChat will slowly become Google Wave: Yes and no. Google will likely introduce much of Wave into its other services at a slow pace, allowing users to easily adjust. But, their services will not become Wave. Google understands that many users just want to see their mail, or just want to do whatever the service says it does. Too much can be a bad thing, depending on the person using it.

    Facebook will grow in popularity despite continuing to disappointing its own users; Your mother will join Facebook: True. Facebook has been annoying people for some time now. With every update there is backlash amongst users. But there is not real competition in sight.

    Internet Explorer 6 support will finally be dropped from 90+% of websites: Depends. For the average user this will likely be true. But for many large organizations (pharmaceutical companies, campuses, etc) the transition will not be easy. Especially when the IT staff does not have direct access to their locked-down machines. Meaning that they will delay an upgrade as long as humanly possible.

    Webkit-based browsers will overtake Firefox; Mozilla will face a Web Designer/Developer rebellion: Not really. Chrome does rock. But developers have become so adjusted to Firefox. Smart developers will use what is best for them. But on average developers will fear change.

    Windows 7 will be a giant success (on a Windows level): You are right that many IT departments will shift from XP to 7, but I don’t believe it will be on the level that you suggest. It will be a slow process, although better than that of Vista.

    The MooTools javascript framework will boom in popularity thanks to the plugin forge and MooTools 2: A bit of a biased view. Walsh is a MooTools core developer. But I do think MooTools 2 will add larger userbase, but (sadly) jQuery has become another kind of animal. I’m a big fan of MooTools, and don’t really like the jQuery syntax, underlying code or documentation. But I understand why a developer would choose the framework with the largest (by far) userbase.

    Digg will completely lose its developer/designer userbase and become “just another funny pics/vids” site: This is already happening. Some may suggest it already has happened. As for Kevin Rose, I doubt he would turn away from Digg.

    The David Walsh Blog will continue to ascend: a bit of self-promotion.

    As for my own prediction, I believe that developers will start to make richer application-like websites on the web. This will likely involve a lack of support for IE6 even if IE6 retains the same userbase. There has already been a large shift from traditional websites to those that have a great deal of dimension and flexibility. The whole “web 2.0″ movement. 2010 will be a step between 2.0 and 3.0. As developers become eager for HTML5, CSS3 and other improvements they will continue to improve the quality of their work with the existing frameworks and protocols.

  37. @Timothy: Ummmm…should I have said “I think I’m going to keep doing well?” I’ve already “got you” so why would I preach to the choir if self-promotion was my goal. Odd comment.

  38. Twitter would work quite well as a search engine I think. Not as efficent but it would be good. And yeah facebook will continue to grow

  39. @rloaderro: you obviously haven’t seen CF9 ;-)

    Ignorance is bliss ;-)

  40. rloaderro

    @sebastiaan

    Oh…. so you’re saying it took 9 versions to get it right?

    I have not looked at CF9 – but unless they completely removed the HTML syntax I don’t see why I would.

  41. @rloaderro: I just think it’s incredible how the platform has evolved and how everything that was easy was made even easier, how all things connected just got more connected, how integration has moved up another 10 notches and the speed at which I can develop something so robust everyone gets tears in their eyes just hearing about it ;-)

    I guess every language has its forte, but CF just has so many fortes I wouldn’t know where to begin… And as pricing or closed source no longer is an issue (Railo and OpenBlueDragon) everyone can now do CF.

    CF has been my passion since 4.5 getting better with every release. Having gone thru PHP, ASP, .NET and others I keep coming back to CF. Let’s not turn this into a love/hate this or that language (as CF is so much more!) – it was just my bold statement for 2010 ;-)

  42. Ben

    @Nikola: thanks! guess I could have tried google…

  43. Webguruz is an IT Solutions Company providing fully integrated multidisciplinary web services. webguruz.co.uk provides complete internet solutions including web application development, web design and development, internet marketing, search engine optimization, graphic designing, content development, multimedia presentations, domain name booking and web hosting.

  44. Ben

    Haha… guys why do we even bother reading David’s blog? We should just get WebGuruz Technologies to look after all our internet needs.

    Some of my favourite things about their site:
    – Hobo as the logo font
    – The craaaazy spinning globe!!
    – The stock photos of shiny new servers
    – The amazing SEO link spam all over the site (the best is in the footer)
    – The cute way they chose to spell quote. “Get a quato!”

    Did I miss anything?

    I’d say there was definitely a webmaster behind this one!

  45. “Internet Explorer 6 support will finally be dropped from 90+% of websites.”

    Please make it a 100%. Think I´ll put this one on my list for Santa X-)

  46. For those who want to walk on the edge of the web – twitter is the future – i totally agree!

    I think we’ll also see a new trend of websites that will come with the introduction of HTML5 and CSS3.

    Still waiting for javascript 2!

    A review of this article would be nice same time next year.

  47. It’s humour, right? :) You had me at “windows success”, but mootools..

  48. Thank God the Gtalk will dissapear. I have been used Gtalk from the beginning of it’s existence but starting with this year it has been started to be the worst chat tool I ever used: impossible to send files, after you open an email through it it’s impossible to acces the imbox, so on. It just getting me tired

  49. Derrick Nelson

    Come on… Vista isn’t that bad ;) It’s surprising to me how powerful group mentality is. If you turn off UAC and aren’t one of the few people with compatibility issues, Vista is light years ahead of XP. The whole “Vista uses too much memory” warcry is ignorance. It doesn’t “use” that memory; it’s cache, and it’s available at the drop of a hat to be allocated elsewhere when it’s actually needed. Unix variants have been doing this for decades.

    Windows 7 has a ton of UI improvements (that are -excellent-), but it’s still basically Vista under the hood (shhh! Don’t tell anyone!).

  50. @Derrick Nelson: I head Vista for a year and hated it. In a few words: heavy, slow, buggy. I still LOVE XP, and Windows 7 is nice, but my experience with Vista was very negative.

  51. dev

    is mootools that great? than Jquery?

  52. Daniel Buchner

    David the Mozilla prediction, your killing me buddy! Did you consider the redonkulous awesomeness that is Jetpack? Just as sweet libraries like Mootools and jQuery have given powerful tools to developers, so too will Jetpack. Here is my prediction 2010 will mark a very public beginning of the browser add-on arms race just as 2007 was for js libs! – and the great part is that the web will be the beneficiary! :)

  53. @David Walsh: I find the whole Windows Vista thing interesting, I’ve had Vista for about 2 years, and I haven’t really experienced any problems with it.

    I plan on upgrading to a Mac though. :P

  54. Joetke

    @Jesus DeLaTorre: Why not downgrading to windows 98 ’cause I’ve got no problem with it then ?

  55. Joetke

    About Digg: Totally agree with you David. Go and watch what digg’s Kevin had to say on viddler.com about what he’s going to change to make digg more attractive to developers again and regain some serious a credibility.

  56. deviant_developer

    my mom just signed up to facebook! :'(

  57. Fun predictions! Thanks David.
    BTW, my mother is already on Facebook… [sigh]

  58. @badscene: You’re totally right. Looking at the Top 10 now, (or indeed anytime) there is nothing designer/developy. It’s been trash for quite some time.

  59. Interesting what you say about Webkit browsers vs Firefox. I really can’t see them overtaking Firefox as the browser of choice for developers … but they may well dent them a little. Would love them to just take away from IE, if I’m entirely honest …. hey ho ….

  60. David,

    I think Open Data will be pretty huge in year coming forth. Sematic web seems to be on everyone’s tongue nowadays. Though it doesn’t do much in terms of Fx for us Fx junkies.

    Is there a article that says what is good about mt 2.0 vs mt 1.2?

  61. @Mark:
    I support almost everything [about twitter, win 7, ] you have said except the mootools thing. I don’t think it will bloom so fast whereas ‘the-next-big-thing’ is definitely jquery. It’s solely my opinion and I will welcome everything from you at mootools side. I wanna learn what so special is there!

  62. Where do you buy your crystal ball? it’s almost 1 year since you wrote this, and I tghink 75% of the things you predicted, are true

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