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My 'Future of Web Apps' slides…

Right then. My slides. I’ve been trying to work out the best way to put these up in public and it’s been more confusing than I thought it would be. Basically, the slides are so Keynote-dependent and full of transitions and weird fonts that it would translate very badly to Powerpoint – and with no one having the fonts, the presentation would look pretty terrible anyway. So I’ve decided to put it out there in two forms – both simple exports of a slightly adapted version. If you want the PDF it’s here: Native to a Web of Data (16Mb). If you’d rather view it online directly, then I’ve used the export-to-HTML feature (which I’m beginning to suspect might kind of suck a bit) to produce the likely-to-crash-your-browser-with-its-hugeness Native to a Web of Data.

The biggest question I’ve been asking myself is whether or not it’ll make any sense as a standalone presentation, and i’m afraid to say that the answer is sort of. Without my notes there are great chunks where I’m afraid you’ll have to make pretty substantial leaps to keep the thread of the thing, which is hardly ideal. What I should really be doing is writing the thing up in a more logical thorough and coherent way, but I’m not sure I’ve got the mental agility to do that at the moment. So enjoy it in as much as you are able and I’ll think about writing it up over the next few weeks.

As usual I have to preface all of this stuff with the normal disclaimers. The views presented in this presentation do not necessarily represent the views of my employers.

39 replies on “My 'Future of Web Apps' slides…”

Finn, actually it was. In fact, I was sitting right next to Tony who was doing the recording for the podcasts – I’m assuming they’ll be posted online soon.
Tom: didn’t get the chance to talk to you, but I loved your presentation. Congratulations.

Hi Tom, how about throwing them up on Flickr and annotating them further?
Congratulations on a great presentation, I thought yours and Cal’s were the highlight of the day.

excellent stuff Tom. this makes a lot of sense and gives weight to the kinda intuitive best practice a lot of people having been propogating. i intend to use it to persuade clients toward a more open and data centred approach….

Hiya Tom,
So, did you have a lot of coffee before your presentation, or you are just wired like me? Either way, it was a lot of fun and very insightful. A highlight of the day.
BTW, are you working with Darryl Feldman (UK) and/or Susan Mernit (USA)? Both good people …
~G~

Nice deck. Sure wish I could hear/see you deliver that in person.
I’m already an eager user of so many different web apps that I’ve experienced what I’m going to talk about here: mashed up web apps are cool, but there is virtually zero discussion about infrastructure, latency and performance of web applications assembled from pieces all over the Web.
Already I experience latency with web apps that are just slow enough to make me want to scream in my office and wrestle myself to the ground. After being at Web 2.0 last October, I did two posts about the “dirty little secret” since it was so obvious to me (and to the Akamai guys I happened to be sitting next to one day):
1) http://borsch.typepad.com/ctd/2005/10/web_20_conferen.html
2) http://borsch.typepad.com/ctd/2005/12/web_20_infrastr.html
It’s amazing to me that people look at me like I have two heads when I talk about this stuff. But when I say, “Have you ever gone to a web page that partially loads….hangs….and then you look at the status bar at the bottom of your browser and see, “Waiting for ad.doubleclick.com…”? They ALL instantly understand…and that’s just ONE ad from ONE server the page is waiting on! I tell them, “Imagine now you’re waiting for deliverables from different servers in multiple states or countries?…”
So if you take a little of Amazon API, mix in a dash of Google Maps, and sprinkle it with — all hosted in disparate geographies with a myriad of caching and delivery schemes — it’s potentially a recipe for poison instead of the chocolate cake we’re all eagerly anticipating will be served (unless the web-app-mashup’er is really, really careful to grab sugar instead of cyanide).
My $.02

Steve

I get and I like it. You did a fine job of consolidating and organizing what is going on with the web right now. I get it on a visceral level, but I would use this slideshow to explain it to other people. Thank you for helping me articulate it.

the web of data must obey the same rules any other ol’ web might – it has to make money. right now apis are a cost center for most companies publishing them. you need micropayments as a precondition. until a company like yahoo can pass on some of the real costs of pushing non-ad-supported content in web services (like map data that is certainly not free), web apis will continue to be a waste of money.

Well I think that’s rubbish – Web APIs have produced value for several companies already including Flickr, Amazon & del.icio.us all of whom have received very tangible benefits from opening up their back-ends – whether it be in increasing market share or giving their users more functionality or directing people to their core products and pages (as they have with Amazon).
That’s not to say that every service in and of itself brings value back to the organisation that provides it, and yes – sure – some will require a financial cost to operate. If you actually read my slides, one of the ways that I said it was possible to make APIs function is to sell the damn things as a service. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you saw that kind of thing manifesting in the next few months.

grumpY!, Tom has it spot on. For example, a good part of the success of Flickr is its API. By making your system open and encouraging people to take your content and play can only be a good thing. Even better if you can base your API on your existing content generation system so the costs are negligible.

Well, there’s nothing so standard as a honkin’ big PDF file on the WWW, yessir. Not to mention how all the topic headings and info are discoverable and all. I haven’t yet figgered how to “discover” them inside that big PDF file, but I’m sure there’s a way, after all Tom would surely practice what he preaches.
I guess HTML page as slides would have been too easy for old Tom: he’s one-a-them “Web 2.0” people, really out on the edge.

Well, viewin’ that there Tom’s HTML slideshow is almost as slow as the PDF file, what with 60-odd slides, each a giant .png with mostly noise in the background. I guess it coulda been done with straight text, but that’s not Tom’s version of “Web 2.0”.
Yessir, these “Web 2.0” people are gonna change the world. I feel like it’s the WWW all over again!
I mean, It’s not like they ripped off their ideas from REpresentational State Transfer (REST) or the Origins of the Web – All these nifty “Web 2.0” ideas must be brand new.

Well actually there is an HTML version, although I’ll be the first to say that it isn’t of the highest quality – it’s an Apple Keynote export. To be honest, there are a number of places where in my personal life I’ve failed to live up to the principles that I think are foundational to good business practice and being part of this new emerging environment. Just look at the URLs on plasticbag.org for example. Unfortunately, I don’t have unlimited time and while fixing all these things is pretty high on my to-do list, I’m working quite a lot at the moment and just about to set off travelling for a month with work. It’s an excuse, and I’m not going to forgive myself except to say that again – it is my personal site and if there’s anywhere I’m allowed to fuck-up, it’s there…

And to your second comment, you’re quite right, all these nifty Web 2.0 ideas aren’t brand new. Instead they’re foundational ideas that the web has wandered away from but which are taking on a new meaning in a new context. I didn’t mention REST for the same reason that I didn’t mention the Semantic Web – not because I don’t know about them, but because I had too much to talk about.
Come on, mate, I’m not going to claim that I’m rewriting the world here – as I actually said in an earlier post, “I got a lot of positive comments from people at the event saying that it had crystallised a lot of the stuff that they’d already known but had trouble articulating. In retrospect, I think maybe all I did was write something that should give clued-up developers the argumentative support to convince people to let them do their jobs properly. But I’m pretty much happy with that.”

I’m just grabbing the pdf, plus will get the .mp3 from Carson Workshops site: http://www.carsonworkshops.com/summit/
I’ve just started working with a group of developers in mobile content distribution, and I hope some of the talks from the conference will interest them.
Our main customers are big mobile comms co.s though, and they would prefer we were Java + Oracle I think . . . not sure if the agile Ruby/RAILs and MySQL will win out here. The existing system is Perl/MySQL which obviously I’m very comfortable with . . . ultimately the customer base is not “the public” for me in this role, but I think a lot of the conference ideas and best practice still apply.
Java might be interesting I guess, but I would hate the project to go all SSADM and Prince2 . . .

Holy Comments Batman! I was actually looking for audiocasts for the conference and saw your entry. Me too hard time having making web-ready version of slides my.
But, I had to stop and say “great preso.” It was a pleasure to take in. Looking forward to mind-melding more in the future.

Well actually there is an HTML version, although I’ll be the first to say that it isn’t of the highest quality – it’s an Apple Keynote export. To be honest, there are a number of places where in my personal life I’ve failed to live up to the principles that I think are foundational to good business practice and being part of this new emerging environment. refinance mortgage Just look at the URLs on plasticbag.org for example. Unfortunately, I don’t have unlimited time and while fixing all these things is pretty high on my to-do list, I’m working quite a lot at the moment and just about to set off travelling for a month with work. It’s an excuse, and I’m not going to forgive myself except to say that again – it is my personal site and if there’s anywhere I’m allowed to fuck-up, it’s there…

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