Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Archive for ‘August, 2006’

I was asked again today of what my opinion was about Web 2.0 – what was it about all the buzzwords that was actually important? I probably end up anwsering this question a couple of times a week, and thought that todays response was as worth blogging as any of my previous anwsers.

Web 2.0, being a grab-bag of new technologies that emerged at the same time, can mean many things to many people. For myself, there are two primary trends which I think are important – the availability of cheap hardware and infrastructure software, and the ability to create compelling user interfaces on the web.

We’ve seen the emergence of a robust stack of free software on which Web 2.0 applications can be built. Where previously companies seed funding would be spent on buying Oracle and Application Servers, nowadays people are turning to cheap if not free alternatives such as the LAMP stack. Couple this with the low cost of hosting and bandwidth, and companies can focus their money on delivering what is most important – software that differentiates them from their competitors.

The fact that people are creating more impressive, more usable interfaces on the web, is due to one simple fact – the browsers got better. The lowest common denominator browsers have a good enough standard implementation of CSS, (X)HTML and JavaScript that we are freed from much of the work required to make our code cross-browser compatible. This has been followed by a number of third parties creating Web APIs (such as the Yahoo Toolkit) which further isolates ourselves from browser quirks, and help us concentrate on delivering valuable software.

If any of you are interested in Web 2.0 (or beer) and are in London (or want to travel for beer), then feel free to pop along to the next “London 2.0 meet-up( – Posts on London 2.0)”:

A while ago, I wrote an “article”: on RSS and the Java “Informa API”: for O’Reilly’s “”: site. This morning, my Google blog search called up an odd search result – it seems as though a certain Dr. Charlie Peng had copied the article wholesale for his BlogSpot blog, ‘IT Architect’. It looks like a blatant attempt to create a high-ranked blog in order to achieve something (probably commercial gain – I don’t think it’ll help him get girls). If achieving high-ranking is his goal, I’m sure he could of picked some better articles to steal, with some better buzzword density – RSS is _so_ 2003.

I’ve flagged the site, left a comment and informed O’Reilly. Knowing how responsive Google are at removing dodgy blogspot blogs, I don’t expect much to happen anytime soon – unless O’Reilly decide to throw so weight around that is. In the meantime, you can view the stolen article at “architectit dot blogspot dot com /2006/07/rss-in-jsp-using-rss-in-jsp-pages-by.html” (no link referrals for _him_) – although I’d prefer it if you simply read the original article over at “ RSS in JSP)”:

Colleague “Jason Huggins”: (“Selenium”: dev) is in town as he’s presenting at the “Google Automated Testing Conference”: , so I felt a meet up was in order. It’ll also serve as a nice warm-up for “d.construct”: later in the week – I’ve managed to snag a ticket so I’ll be going.

Format is the same as normal – laidback, beer, demos, geekery and quite a lot of gradient fills.

As always, the the “London 2.0 Archive”:, “Google iCal feed”: and “Upcoming”: will have all the details – -I’ll update everything once I have a venue confirmed, but as always it’ll be a pub/bar in London-. The venue is now confirmed as the “Old Bank of England”: – we’ll be on the far right of the pub. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to attend or would like to demo something.

p(update). The venue will be the “Olde Bank of England”: – we have the balcony reserved.

After a long hiatus, it’s back. I’d love to blame trips to China and Minneapolis, but in truth I’m just plain lazy. Format as before – a laidback drink/gossip with perhaps a few demos thrown in.

I’ll hopefully be arranging demos of “Selenium(Selenium – The opensource web testing tool)”: and “Buildix(Buildix – project in a box)”:, but as always feel free to bring along whatever projects you’re imvolved with that you’d like to demo.

Venue to be confirmed – stay tuned to “Upcoming”:, this blog post, the “London 2.0 Archive”: or the Google “ical feed(London 2.0 Events)”: (I’m SO Web 2.0) for updates. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know you’ll be coming along…