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2003 Year in Review


With the New Year imminent, I pose this to the group:

What software technologies had the biggest impact in 2003 (real technologies -- not vaporware or things that may be big later)?

My votes:
-Web Services; 2003 saw the widespread adoption of web services across most platforms and most organizations.

-ASP.Net; The most direct upgrade path of all of the .Net development environments is arguably ASP - ASP.Net. ASP developers everywhere agree that ASP.Net is a superior product. Just about ant ASP developer who isn't using ASP.Net is moving there at full speed.

-RSS; Web logs have become the de facto web communication standard. They are pervasive enough now to be the number 1 influencer of search engine results, the preferred guerilla marketing activity (ahem), and the quickest way for someone to gain notoriety. This year saw universal adoption of RSS by all of the major and semi-major players in the blog space. RSS readers (both local and web apps) are reinventing how many people consume news.

Mark Smith
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

This was the year where I truly discoverred the beauty of Python (

Guyon Morée
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I'll second blogs - people have had online diaries since the web's been around, but blogs brought them into the "net public awareness" and gave them legitimacy.


Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I'll second Python. You want admin scripts? Rich client app? Web app? The same code runs pretty much everywhere.

Tom Hathwaay
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Funny that when I saw in early 99, I just *knew* this would be the future. But as always, the pioneer is not the winner, and whoever coined the blog term and got the media spin won.

I program in ASP, and most of times hate it. Compared to a DOS/Windows platform, the web/stateless browser is a very poor platform. ASP.NET didn't solve most of the Web issues, besides bringing a lot more of complexity for the developers. I deeply envy the Cold Fusion guys, with such a easy tool.

My vote goes to Flash MX, which have its odds of turning into the new development environment  for the Web improving at new each version.

Mauricio Macedo
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

xml crossed the chasm

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Is "crossed the chasm" the same as "jumped the shark"?

Mayor McCheese
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I will second RSS. It's been great reading news in Outlook.
I hardly browse web for news any more.

Also, software applications for mobile devices (PDAs, SmartPhones etc.). I saw lot more applications being developed (both enterprise and consumer) for these devices.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Obviously Blogs/RSS finally got some major legitmacy this year.  Ditto, I would say, with XML.

Web services, IMHO, hasn't gotten there yet and will probably be reborn one or two more times before it reaches critical mass.

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I think web services are now where XML was two years ago - the tech is established and stable, the power users know what it's ripe for, but a lot of people are still trying to square-peg it.

Over the next year Web Services will settle into their niche and gain mainstream acceptance as "an appropriate tool for some tasks." (as opposed to an "all-purpose widget")


Tuesday, December 30, 2003

>Funny that when I saw in early 99, I just
>*knew* this would be the future. But as always, the
>pioneer is not the winner, and whoever coined the blog
>term and got the media spin won.

"A web log is a type of online diary where people who aren't important can pretend to be by writing to an imaginary audience"
--Maddox the Pirate

I fully agree with the quote above. blogs are just glorified .plan files. nothing new or revolutionary about them.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

what makes blogs effective is these three related items:
1) archives.
2) hyperlinks.
3) lists of entries in a standardized format.

so you can have discussions and archives and search engines of content, cross-referenced content, and customized personal views of content. The virtual newspaper thing people have been talking about for so many years is finally practical as of 2003.

the particular technology (HTTP file servers, HTML, and RSS) isn't important, just that it was good enough/dumb enough to actually work.

web services are a mess, but they may also be close to the good enough/dumb enough stage. don't know myself because i've mostly used them on closed systems.

what else? in business, iTunes was new in 2003, right? offshoring in the white-collar sector (including programmers) hit large enough mass to be noticed by the general public.

trojaned computers on a massive scale is a big new thing in 2003 which will have a major effect on the future.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Funny, I thought that this is the year that blogs dropped off the list.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

No question 2003 is the year of the blog.  Just look at the popularity of the Baghdad Blogger Salam Pax.  The guy went from being a nobody in a third-world country to being a syndicated columnist in major international publications.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I may be known as the "j2EE advocate" on this forum, but personally, I think ASP.NET is phenomenal.  I've never had an easier time mixing front end code written by HTML guys with my backend code.  Its so easy to write and edit!  When I move back to some of my old JSP projects, with code intermingled all throughout my html, I cringe.  I'm really hoping either Mono succeeds, or the Open Source community takes a page out of microsoft's book and copies it for java ;-)

Tuesday, December 30, 2003


Sounds like you weren't writing JSP's properly if you have code in the HTML. Admittedly it's tempting to just start writing code in JSPs because you can.

Alternatively, have a look at Velocity ( ) which is a more pure approach to templating - because it's focused on templating you're not able to do the kinds of naughty things you can do in a JSP page.

Year in Review?

Having worked with web services and XML for much of last year (2002) and having to deal with XML again far too much this year (2003) I'm not a huge fan. Web services can work and do provide a solution, but they're no silver bullet - far too many people can't even do web sites properly so adding a web service interface on top of something that doesn't really work is a bit dangerous.

I think the big things in IT 2003 were:
* India (and to a lesser extend Eastern Europe)
* Open source

Open source seems to be on the radar for more and more companies - whether that be Linux or the use of open source libraries. Personally I've found open source has been extremely beneficial to me in the last two years because I have access to functional implementations of products that my employers would never have paid a license for. Imagine, for instance, if JUnit (xUnit) was a commerical product - the number of people using TDD would be much much smaller than it is and fewer would be realising the benefits of such testing.

India seems kind of obvious. Outsourcing to India has been going on for a few years, but it really drew attention this year. I think outsourcing in general is mired with danger, so I'm kind of ambivalent about outsourcing to India (in particular). Hot country. They love cricket.

Walter Rumsby
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Delphi 7 added good modelling tools to an already very powerful Delphi 6.

Intraweb, which is distributed with Delphi 7, allows Delphi programmers to use the Delphi RAD environment to create web sites, in a way very similar to ASP .NET.

Delphi 8 with .NET support was released at the end of 2003, but I don't know much about it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

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