We need a Moore’s law for web development

We need a Moore’s law for web development. I think it should go something like this: Within two years time, it will become within reach for the average developer to re-create the 50 out of 100 of the top sites on the internet in a matter of 6 month.

For instance, from a purely technical standpoint, many of my students are perfectly capable of building Flickr, Del.icio.us, YouTube, MySpace and the like. This is not to say that they can create those sites, just that they have the skills to build them. By create, I mean the incredible amount of work that it takes to get the requisite number of users using them and visitors visiting them and other special sauces that go into making a successful web venture.

(This is also not to say that they can build them from scratch, thankfully for them, many open source projects have taken on much of the burden and gotten them past some of the more technically tricky portions. In fact, open source is a crucial part of my argument.)

So, what’s so special about Flickr, YouTube and MySpace that keeps people coming back?

Well, momentum is one thing.

Flickr certainly wasn’t the first photosharing app, YouTube was no where near the first online video aggregation site and MySpace is among a series of hot social networking sites that have gone into and out of vogue.

While the fact will remain that the average developer will not re-create these sites, the possibility is there.

So what will my students build?

Why should you care?


Analysis of this page..

created at TagCrowd.com

Wow.. RIA’s are all the rage and things are definitely moving forward..

So.. I took a break from anything but PHP for a while. Didn’t really focus on learning any new browser based technology for the past 6 months or so. Today, I took a look around.. Am going to be using the the Flash Media Server in my class this semester and thought I would checkout the Flex SDK (which is pretty nice I must say, much much better than developing in Flash).

Looking through that got me to wonder what people were thinking of Silverlight, Google’s Chrome and finally JavaFX.

Talk about eye-opening.. I think RIA’s (rich internet applications) have arrived!

Silverlight, Microsoft’s Flash competitor impressed me initially with their cross-platform push. It was a nice change and the streaming of the Olympics looked great.

Chrome with it’s revamped JavaScript interpreter seems as though it will be a pretty big game changer as well. (Wonder what that means for FireFox.) WebKit seems to have electrified the browser space (cross-platform and device (iPhone, S60, Safari, Chrome and so on)).

JavaFX looks like it *might* be something.. (This is my secret wish as Java is my first love but Sun has let me down so many times in the past with video support that I am not going to even bother until they support H.264 cross-platform)

Flash with it’s new H.264 support is what has me the most interested..

In any case, I don’t think I will be doing anything more than playing with most of the features of any of these. I will be using Flash for it’s video support and controlling it through JavaScript and using AJAX with PHP for the time being..

Ok.. Time to get back to FMS..

Open media statement of principles

Open media statement of principles We believe in the creative power of the individual. We all
have meaningful stories to tell. Individual lives and opinions are
interesting, important and worth sharing.
Media is not just something done to us by big media and
the entertainment companies. People are hungry for authentic voices and
the immediacy and intimacy of personal media. We want to encourage the
public to take up the tools of personal publishing.

We support open media, open standards and interoperability.
It’s not about walled gardens. The Web is about openness, connectedness
and participation.
We support open source. In addition, we support any project or
company that supports the Commons, community and the public interest.

Quality matters. We support efforts that encourage and teach
people how to create high-value grassroots media that offers meaning
and context.

The public benefits from long-term archives that preserve grassroots media for future generations.

We support remix culture. We believe in the idea of giving
people access to video, audio, music and images for them to mash up and
remix in a way that’s easy, convenient and legal.
We believe in fair use and sensible copyright laws. Creative
Commons and the GNU Public License enrich the culture while preserving
creators’ rights.
We support the right of long-tail artists, like all artists,
to profit from their creations. We do not support unfettered file
sharing of others’ works without their permission.