Sunday, May 28, 2006

Web 2.0


If you don't know what it means, the answer's nothing really. It was invented by a couple of web pundits presumably to increase their esteem and to add more punditry to the saturated media. It refers to the current look and feel of sites and to their being in 'perpetual Beta' (a marketing term which means they update the technology occasionally).
In practice, it boils down to using Ajax and boxes with rounded corners. Some claim drop shadows are 2.0, too. Ajax if you haven't come across it, is a means of bridging client side coding in javascript to server side (e.g. ASP, PHP). It's actually been around ages, if you've signed up to hotmail you might have noticed when you select a country the page reloads to let you select a region from a list of those within that country. It's a nice trick but in my days of running an internet cafe in Thailand it used to annoy the hell out of me; hotmail's unlikely to break any speed records, the connections in Thailand were then pretty lousy and that page was large.
If you're considering using Ajax, bear in mind that it won't work on any browser that has javascript turned off so you need to also add in an alternative (doubling your workload) or just put up with losing a slice of the market.

Anyway if you do want the cachet of 'Web 2.0' just go ahead and put it in on your site in a nice large flourescent font. There's no body policing it and it's pretty meaningless, anyway. Just remember to take it off as soon as it's no longer trendy. You wouldn't want to be seen wearing last season's outfit, would you?


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