We have seen many new things in the last five to seven years on the web: Facebook, HTML5 appeared, new browsers grew strongly, Google failed with Wave.
Facebook, GTalk and Gmail are cross-platform and device. Similarly, I thought and hoped that forums, chat, mail, usenet, conversation rooms and p2p protocols could inter-operate to allow the user to transparently access all those services.
Of course I realized that things are far more complicated, for several reasons:
- The IETF cannot invent new things. They just propose standards.
- Microsoft and other big players are often obstacles to relevant innovation regarding open formats. The biggest hurdles are document formats and Internet Explorer, with its delayed reaction supporting web standards.
- Smartphones, thanks to the appearances of OS's such as iOS and Android, are finally able to navigate the internet: Former devices were deaf, and weren't directly connected to the internet.
- The mail protocols were left unchanged despite the growth of spam and malware.
I don't know what to think, because I think there is still a lot to do, but I feel like it will never happen. Or that nobody seems interested in the basic text transmit features...
So what do you think are the next big steps in the evolution of the web? Do you think it will still walk hand in hand with open source?