Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

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)”:

One Response to “The importance of Web 2.0”

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