2009 predictions

I thought I may as well join in and give my best shot at forecasting the happenings of 2009 within the web industry.

Before I begin on what is bound to be a whole load of rubbish I’d like to share a few of the predictions from BT (British Telecom) [PDF] which were made back in 2005 (the following are expected to happen between 2006 and 2012):

  • "Self destructing DVDs used for video hiring" (Erm…)
  • "Personalised adverts on Radio" (Not yet)
  • "e-ink screen advertising billboards" (Cool idea, but no)
  • "Live CD-based OS distributed in newspaper" (What’s the point?)
  • "MP3 Net downloads dominate over CD distribution" (I think this has happened)
  • "Supercomputer as fast as human brain" (well we’re close)
  • "Paypal migrates onto high street" (has this happened?)

My predictions

Good news for jQuery

This isn’t really a prediction, more of an obvious truth. jQuery’s recently acquired corporate endorsements (Nokia, Microsoft) will ensure the library’s ‘survival’. jQuery 1.3 will surely be another smash hit, and with it, jQuery’s (Aka Mr Resig’s) monopoly will continue to grow. Sizzle will prove fantastic and will be massively adopted, not just by other libraries, but also as a means to quicker DOM traversal/management without the overhead of an entire library (web developers are bound to adopt it as a single entity).

jQuery will eventually (probably by the end of 2009) plateau at a high usage level and will remain largely static on a comparative level, however it will certainly continue to grow alongside all other JavaScript frameworks/libraries.

Other libraries will continue to grow steadily. MooTools will probably gain more exposure and more web developers will pick it up as a skill. In general, web designers/developers will become more accustomed to using frameworks and libraries, not just on the client-side either. YUI’s ‘market share’ will remain largely static. The status of the JavaScript framework ‘industry’ will remain largely oligopolistic although, as I’ve said, jQuery will definitely remain the most popular!

IE6 < 10%

Before the end of 2009 IE6 will probably fall below the 10% usage mark with the majority of it’s users adopting IE7, possibly IE8 later on in the year. More websites and web developers will stop supporting the browser completely. If things go to plan, I’ll probably drop support of IE6 around July although, to be honest, it probably won’t save us as much time as we think it will.

Inevitable Ajax

Ajax’s popularity will obviously increase alongside popular libraries like jQuery and with it, graceful degradation and other good practices will probably become lost in the noise. Unobtrusive JavaScript will become the norm, but most of the people writing the code still won’t understand or appreciate the benefit in it. (Actually, I think this has already happened)

Fading/blinding/sliding effects are likely to remain quite popular but an overuse of effects will cause widespread nausea throughout the web community before their usage is monitored by Government and web developers are given a quota! Non-compliance will result in prison! (I’m pretty sure about this one!) 😉

JSON will become more and more popular as a data exchange medium, and probably, for Ajax applications, will become even more popular than XML. If we’re lucky they’ll change the name to Ajaj!

HTML vs. XHTML

Nothing will be resolved in this area and the argument will continue. Most people will continue to use XHTML but still won’t understand why they’re using at and will probably continue to shrug off the fact that pure XHTML is largely unsupported (IE)…

HTML5 will continue to impress us from afar but the final draft will forever be years into the future! :(

Startups will flourish

Web startups are bound to flourish in the state of the global economy, what with a total lack of confidence in bigger firms… Niches will emerge around new mobile technologies, a bit obvious…

CSS frameworks

CSS frameworks will become less popular as people realize that they are unnecessary and bloated. People will finally see that naming elements semantically is more important than saving half-an-hour. This probably won’t happen but I really wish it would!

CSS tables

These will not become popular in 2009. Web designers will realize the various cons associated with using CSS tables, and the notion that using CSS tables fixes the semantic issues associated with old tabular design will be invalidated. People will realize that Sitepoint only created the hype to sell a book!

Conclusion

2009 will be a very interesting year and there are bound to be quite a few unseen developents in the industry. At the end of the year, if I’m still around, I’ll review these predictions.

Thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts with me on Twitter. Have a great day!