Web 2.0 applications are sprouting like mushrooms. Lots of people do not like the name. I am not sure whether I like it or not. I am keeping my mind open. One thing is certain. It is getting a lot of attention.
He outlines the architectural shift happening in Web 2.0 applications. To me two success factors, clearly stand out.
“More and more, the data that is available in their back ends is becoming directly accessible without an HTML intermediary. You can get data from Google or Amazon without having to get the HTML they normally generate along with it.”
This has some interesting effects. First of all this data is available in XML which makes it open and easy to manipulate. Second is that you are now building on top of something that is already available content. So many Web 2.0 applications manipulate existing data, combine them, remix them, provide different views of them.
“One especially exciting part of this – like many web technologies – is that you don’t have to be a meganational supersized company to work in it.”
You can now build fairly powerful applications in weeks and months using highly productive dynamic languages like Python and Ruby. This allows people to experiment. Produce a simple version of the application, make it available as a beta product and let the users drive the development of future versions. Meebo did this. In 3-4 months they produced a wonderful, useful application and had open discussions about where they were taking the product.