Web Technology Trends

Today I gave a talk to a group of my peers at the Internet Briefing group where I examined some of the trends in the areas of:

A lively discussion followed. Judging by the number of questions, there was a lot of interest among participants about the potential of the semantic Web. I highlighted two of the standards, RDFa and SPARQL that are available today e.g. in Web Content Frameworks like Drupal. Semantically marking up content can also lead to better search experiences using for example Yahoo's SearchMonkey.

An important component of Tim Berners-Lee's vision of the semantic web is to enable more automated processing of information. This would allow us to start thinking about the web as a giant database which is what makes SPARQL an interesting standard. See Tim Berners-Lee's talk about his vision for linked data in this TED video

One of the participants reminded us that Microformats were also an available option for semantic markup. Microformats are "Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards." (source microformat.org) and support standards for people, events, tags etc.

It was pointed out that once a cloud platform is selected, especially if one picks a service as a platform offering like Google's AppEngine or Microsoft's Azure, the choice of other tools becomes severely constrained to what the vendor supports. In contrast Amazon's Web Services offers raw computing with few constraints on the operating system, tools and technologies. It was observed that cloud offerings like Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure compensate for this constraint by offering automatic scaling and backups.

If you are interested in the presentation, contact me here or write a comment requesting it (no registration required).

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