The recent explosion of phone platforms has depressed me (slightly), and made me wonder if we will ever reach any kind of standard for presentation?
I don't mean language or IDE. Different languages have different strengths and I can see that there may always be a need for disparity, although I do note that languages are merging somewhat in functionality, with traditional imperitive languages like C++ now supporting things like lambdas.
What I'm really talking about is a common presentation mechanism. Before smart phones and tablets came along, the web seemed to be finally becoming a reasonable platform for presenting an application that was globally accessible, not just geographically, but by platform too. Sure there are still (sometimes infuriating) implementation differences and quirks, but if you wrote a decent site you knew it could be accessed on anything from a PC to a phone to a C64 running the right software. "Write Once Run Anywhere" seemed to finally be becoming a reality.
However, in the last few years we've seen an explosion of mobile operating systems, and the ubiquitous "app". A good site is no longer enough, you need a native "app", and of course we have a sudden massive disparity in OS, language, and APIs needed to write them as each battles for supremecy.
It's kind of weird how the cycle of popularity goes. Mainframes with terminals - thin client. PC - thick client. Web browser - thin client. Phone app - thick(ish) client.
I just wonder if you think there will ever be a global standard for clients, or whether the "shiny and different" cycle will always continue along with the battle of the tech du jour.