Why Web 2.0?

There are probably several dozen definitions of what Web 2.0 means. But to me, there are two major classifications:

  1. A community-driven site that helps people with some task. You may have heard terms like "crowdsourcing" and "the wisdom of crowds" to describe this category of Web 2.0.
  2. A more responsive web-based user experience. This topic was initially dominated by terms like AJAX, but it has now grown into a much larger discipline. In fact, I prefer to call this client-side development.

For purposes of clarity, I'll be referring to the 2nd definition of Web 2.0 throughout these articles.

So if there were so many problems with client-side development, why is it now so popular? There are a few key reasons:

  • Browser Advancements - Most modern browsers now support a rich client experience. This is even true for most new "smart phones".
  • User Responsiveness - Through several advanced techniques, the web browser is now providing users a much richer experience. Users have grown accustomed to these advancements, and they now demand it from their applications.
  • Tooling - A number of client-side toolkits have emerged. These toolkits significantly increase the ease with which a Web 2.0 application can be built.

The next article will explore a few key client-side toolkits.