in The Web

Web3.0 is not about Web

The next web (call it what you want, you can call it Web3.0 if you like versioning) is not about the Web. It is about removing the gap between the desktop (offline at a device (laptop, PC etc)  installed software such MS Office) and the Web. Currently the web is more and more present on the desktop, due to tools like Prism but also due to the immense growth in web application development.  However desktop presence is still key, it is a typical kind of intimacy if you are able to be present on someone’s desktop.

Post-OS era

A trend which is emerging is something like a post-OS era, people use a device, and what the device is running does not matter. It might even go a bit further: the OS has become something like a commodity, people assume that it is part of an ecosystem without realizing that it is something you can choose to install. The next step will be to become more browser agnostic. Browsers are not a yet a commodity, people know there is difference between them, and they are still a separate application which you have to launch to get to your favorite web application. Besides that, broadband wireless internet connections aren’t a commodity either.

However the gap is closing thanks to frameworks which make it possible to create cross browser (or should it be mentioned browser agnostic) solutions. Also Google Gears is a real improvement to have the ability to use your web application both online and offline (which will be more standardized when HTML5 and ARIA is implemented by most vendors). The fact that we all get faster CPUs, but also that JavaScript interpreters such as Squirrelfish have gained a lot of speed on the client side is something that closes the gap.

There used to be a really big difference between performance on the desktop and performance on the web, this gap is also closing. It is just a matter of time before you cannot tell the difference between a client application and a web application (or mixtures). The user experience of both will be exactly the same and it becomes less important if you are running Windows and IE8 or Ubuntu and Firefox3. The only thing you really need is a screen and a broadband connection.

Web3.0 will not be there

Many identify the Semantic Web as Web3.0, however if it would be really Web3.0, it would have probably already occurred. Especially since we are already talking quite a while about the Semantic Web (the Semantic Web roadmap is from 1998 (PDF)). Perhaps the Semantic Web will even never happen since nobody really thinks it is important, or not important enough (if it was really important it would have already been there, wouldn’t it). What surely will happen is closing the gap between desktop and web, it is happening already.