Web as Platform

When you speak of software evolution and bring the developers with decades of experience, you can talk about the good ol’ days when desktop was the number one platform. Windows applications and cross operating system projects were the norm 20 years ago, and is still true for many application genres. 3D design will probably stay desktop for a long time, software development tools will stay desktop-centric for a little less longer, but the humble business application is now firmly established as a staple of web. The mobile hasn’t dented it either, the mobile has accompanied, or is an additional entry point, but not a replacement. In this article we discuss the past, current and future web trends.

Enter the trinity, HTML, CSS and JavaScript

HTML, CSS and JavaScript has been slowly gaining features and their growth has slowly enveloped the staples of the web that came before it. JavaScript capabilities have abounded, and native applications or Flash applications are dwindling since the increased capabilities of the trinity.

Since then, HTML5, CSS3 and various JavaScript innovation are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved on the web. This in turn is providing business with a wide variety of functionality. Twenty years ago, the humble pie chart was coded again and again by various developers. Native JavaScript was limited and debugging it was even less friendly. Today, we have developer tools, JavaScript debugging and a variety of productivity libraries such as jQuery and Angular. The three technologies have moved from a basic piece of tech to leading technologies in the web.

Functionality of the web

The web offers that cliche 24/7, accessible from anywhere, but its finally grown up. We can have data online and available to, and with HTML browser notifications, we soon won’t need custom apps to bring us messages. Video, which was the domain of desktop, webcams and flash, is becoming more built-in with the browser. Browsers are implementing HTML5 video, Websockets enabling video streaming and real-time communication.

Technologies like websockets are making realtime web data and communication in the browser more accessible and more robust. We recently built a live real-time auction, with live auctioneer chat and auction controls. Users can place bids, talk to the auctioneer and its all realtime.

The growth of the web technologies is even making 3D in the browser possible. Just have a look at these awesome experiments

What’s happened to Flash?

Software is always on the path of destruction, and the trick is to stave the final apocalypse off as long as possible. Flash, native code on android and iPhone are all numbered. The trinity technologies are increasing in value and capability monthly and every time it does, it adds another nail to a wide range of technologies.

Microphone control, video playback, video capture and real-time applications are slowly improving and will take over the technologies that we depended on for such things.

Technologies have to evolve or die. Flash is now part of Adobe Animate and has rapidly expanded beyond the tool for websites to add some animation and video. It has made itself new again, but it won’t occupy the same niche it had before.

The future is here

The browser is finally becoming the generic and ultimate client-side tool. As it improves and does more, the requirement for a custom desktop or native application reduces. The humble website based on document speak, and document formatting, is growing into application speak and thus the platform is spreading from a single domain, into inter-connected applications, where we will be able to share client-side databases, and customise websites based on user-preferences stored on their own devices.

You need to catch up. You don’t need a website any more. The 5 page website with a contact page is dying. Instead a pure application, a custom software solution, a productivity application, a centre for communication, a portal to your business, a web platform for interaction and connectivity has begun.