While traveling yesterday I finally caught up with the stack of industry magazines I’ve been carrying around for the last few weeks. (I find I still prefer to skim through the trade pubs in actual printed editions – if I find something interesting I just rip out the title page, knowing I can always find the full text online.)
One feature that caught my attention was a piece in Information Week titled Under Construction.
Could have been called “currently in Beta” of course, to be more in line with the Web 2.0 meme,
but overall it’s a pretty decent piece, pulling together segments on the evolving infrastructure of Web 2.0 applications in terms of:
As well as an Interactive Timeline.
The piece on “Content Management” is probably the strongest of the bunch, noting that “what makes content management more difficult for many Web 2.0 companies is the need to deal with user-generated material,” while the major content management systems aren’t designed to handle high volumes of intake and meta data from external users.
Most content management systems were architected and programmed for a world in which people inside the firewall create content, and those outside the firewall consume it. The article quotes Jesse James Garrett on this: the Web 2.0 “definition of content management was completely outside what the vendors were considering when they created their software.”
The section on “Lightweight Development,” on the other hand, stretches credulity to claim that:
Other than both being four letters, in what way is Ruby “similar to” Ajax?
I assume the attempt is to identify all three as “lightweight development frameworks” – though how does Flash fit into that model? Is Flex and its MXML really a lightweight framework?
The real point seems to be just to link the examples – he’s trying to talk about BackChannelMedia’s site and the Nike Store – the former is developed in Ruby, the latter in Flash (really, one assumes, it’s developed in Flex).
Second, in what sense is Ajax new compared to Ruby on Rails? As far as I can remember, Rails went 1.0 in late 2005, and was only publicly available in mid 2004 at some point.
Nevertheless, the article overall does a pretty decent job of explaining how all these various changes are linked together into a broader paradigm shift.
(Yes, I’m sure I’m not the first to make the comparison between “Under Construction” and “Perpetual Beta” – the title was a cheap excuse to use “under construction man” in my blog).