The Future of Web Apps

11 February 2006

I thoroughly enjoyed my day out at the Future of Web Apps Summit put on by Carson Workshops last week. It was an opportunity to listen to some of the industries leading minds, and hear their experiences of building web applications and their thoughts on the future. I won't go into detail about many of the panels, as that is covered elsewhere if you're interested, but I'd like to mention a few highlights of my own from the day.

Joshua Schachter of Delicious fame, started the day with the most practical and useful presentation of the lot. His experiences of building Delicious were succintly delivered along with practical advice and tips he's learnt along the way. I, along with many others I guess, were scibbling furiously throughout the 45 minutes he was up there, trying to get down gem after gem of this advice.

The other speaker who captured my attention from start to finish was Tom Coates of Yahoo!. Tom gave the most insightful and sensible explanation of what Web 2.0 might be that I have heard. He didn't just list technologies, or compare old sites to new; he captured the essence of where the web is heading in terms of aggregation of information, and the concept of isolated resources being built on top of one another to create a bigger and better whole.

He even mentioned Microformats, and although he didn't seem that in to them right now, he did acknowledge that they could play a leading part in the story of the aggregated web if things continue to develop in that arena.

Maybe it's because he captured everything I think about what Web 2.0 might be myself, that I enjoyed this so much. For me, the idea of Web 2.0 has always been about doing things the 'right way', and allowing the inherent power of the web to come to the fore. But that's for another post I think.

Of course, the other great thing about these events is the people. I got to meet up with some friends I don't see so often, as well as put a few more faces to blogs which is always nice. Much beer was consumed towards the end of the night, along with much chat about Maps, other maps, and the best way to achieve Variable fixed width layouts, amongst other things.

It was a good night. The next morning: less good.