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2007 was undoubtedly the year of Social Networking, but what of 2008? Will '08 be the year of "Unified Communications" or the year when CMS comes to stand for "Community Management System" - or even "Collaboration Management System"? Or will it be the year of a giga-merger, to beat the mere mega-mergers of 2007? As usual at the end of each year, SYS-CON has been informally polling its globe-girdling network of software developers, industry executives, commentators, investors, writers, and editors. As always, the range and depth of their answers is fascinating, throwing light not just on where the industry is going but also how it's going to get there, why, because of who, within what kind of time-scale. Enjoy! RIAs versus AJAX . Ruby on Rails . PHP . Facebook Competitors  TIM BRAY Director of Web Technologies, Sun Tim Bray managed the Oxford English Dictionary projec... (more)

Who Are The All-Time Heroes of i-Technology?

I wonder how many people, as I did, found themselves thrown into confusion by the death last week of Jean Ichbiah (pictured), inventor of Ada.  Learning that the inventor of a computer programming language is already old enough to have lived 66 years (Ichbiah was 66 when he succumbed to brain cancer) is a little like learning that your 11-year-old daughter has grown up and left home or that the first car you ever bought no longer is legal because it runs on gasoline in an age where all automobiles must run on water. How can something as novel, as new, as a computing language possib... (more)

Rich Internet Applications: 2008 is the Year the RIA Category Accelerates

Steve Borsch's "Connecting the Dots" Blog If you don't know about the category of applications dubbed "hybrid" or "Rich Internet Applications" (RIAs) then you need to learn more since 2008 is the year this category accelerates. RIAs are functionally like desktop applications but arguably the most significant feature of them is the ability to interact with "the cloud" or computing that occurs with hosted applications on the Internet. Though not explicitly an RIA-type application, the easiest way most people understand the category is to think about iTunes. This application is a de... (more)

Bringing Excellence to the Field of UI Engineering

"My mission has always been to bring excellence to the field of user interface engineering," says Bill Scott, Director of User Interface Engineering at Netflix, which has 8+ million users, in this Exclusive Q&A with SYS-CON's AJAX & RIA Journal in the run-up to his session on October 20 at AJAX World RIA Conference & Expo in San Jose, California (October 20-22, 2008). AJAX & RIA Journal: When asked to prove to doubters that user experience matters, also to the bottom line of a company…what companies (in addition to Netflix!) do you tend to reference? BILL SCOTT: I love Pandora. ... (more)

Jobs to Adobe: ‘Yer Stinkin’ Flash is Over-the-Hill. Get Over It.’

iPhone on Ulitzer As a diversion from its high-profile “who-knows-where-it-will-end” dogfight with Gizmodo over an errant iPhone prototype, Apple has posted a longish open letter on its web site over the signature of its CEO Steve Jobs reiterating all the reasons why Apple has no use for Adobe’s Flash technology. Steve – or his ghost writer – says Adobe mischaracterizes the Apple ban when it says it’s business-driven and only meant to protect the Apple App Store. He claims it’s technology-driven. “Flash,” he says, “was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a su... (more)

Form(ing) Standards - Recycling Old Stuff Can Be Incredibly Painful

I am on my favorite soapbox - "standards" - standards around form filling. Generally speaking, no discussion of standards could be complete without an assessment of the state of play of the not so humble Adobe Portable Document Format or as most of us know it, PDF. I debated the merits of the PDF back in the late 1990s (an astonishing 14 years ago) and with the passage of time, a few things have changed but in some respects they are the same. The reason this topic is quite focal for me at the moment, is the fact that I continue to see customers and prospects take a hard line in wa... (more)