- 17 Jan 08, 16:43 GMT
Web 2.0 may have become old hat/ a cliche/ superseded depending on your point of view. But there is a lot of work still to be done in this area as we move from a rather static web experience to one that is richer and more interactive.
Far from it.
I've just been at a very interesting talk given by Rod Smith and David Boloker, from IBM's Emerging Tech labs, to BBC development staff and they made it very clear that a lot of work around standards for Web 2.0 work has yet to properly started, let alone finished.
Why does this matter?
Well, we live in a cut and paste digital world. For example - we all take it for granted that a piece of text that you copy in one web page, for example, can be pasted into a Word document, or a text-entry box on a website.
But in the Web 2.0 world it is not so simple. Standards are needed so that data from one website can be moved into another, added to a third site and then spat out the other end. It is what makes the Web 2.0 world so exciting.
Some of this work has happened. Things like RSS feeds, XML etc have made it simpler for computers to share complicated bits of data. But it hasn't gone far enough and it's not just data.
The Web 2.0 world needs to work across browsers, across mobile phones, across emerging connected devices like televisions, set-top boxes, gadgets like the Chumby (See picture)
For example - widgets have been the poster-boy for the Web 2.0 world. These mini-programs delivering news or weather, traffic details or cinema times can be used on your Google homepage, or your Vista desktop, your Mac and your personalised Yahoo page.
But a widget for Dashboard on my Mac won't work on my Google homepage and vice versa. Why not? Because we haven't got standards in the Web 2.0 world for this sort of thing.
IBM, along with other companies, is working on solutions that make this a lot easier. The company is also working on standards to make the Web 2.0 accessible for all.
There are standards that websites should adhere to, for example, to ensure that someone who is visually impaired can use a site.
But these standards only apply to the Web 1.0 world. What happens if someone is visually impaired and is using a hip Web 2.0 site? Will they get text information about the pop-up boxes, or drag and drop features inside the page?
Possibly not. And it's hard to web developers to know what they should implement in terms of technologies to support people with disabilities.
So when anyone starts throwing around the term Web 3.0, remember that Web 2.0 is a long way from being a fundamental part of our daily web experience.
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