The Future of Web Development:Browser Dominance,Web Components and More

The Future of Web DevelopmentThe Internet has changed a lot in the last two decades, with the rate of change moving at an ever faster pace as well. Video content is now the prominent means of getting content to consumers and text, while still prevalent, is being used in different ways than it ever was before. With the advent of Web 2.0 technology, the Internet has also become more interactive. As we live more and more of our lives in a virtual world, one can’t help but wonder what the future of web development has in store for us. Here are just a few predictions for what the World Wide Web will look like in the coming years.

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Web Components

Web components are really just encapsulated HTML, CSS, and JavaScript widgets that can be recycled again and again to make building websites easier and faster. These components are designed to operate independently from the pages that contain them, which means they don’t interfere with the web page and the web page doesn’t interfere with them. The result is faster websites with greater functionality.

Custom HTML

HTML5 has been specifically designed to let developers create their own HTML elements and their own JavaScript APIs to accompany those elements. The results are more reusable code and the ability to create custom functionality. This functionality helps to move HTML5 closer to the domain of “real” programming languages by giving it an object-oriented quality.

Pageless Design

One thing that has dogged technology “purists” from the beginning is the fact that everything we do on computers seems to be nothing more than a recreation of what we have already done in print. Computers, they argue, are so versatile that we ought to be creating new ways of presenting concepts and conveying information that are free from the conventions of print design. It seems that the web may finally be moving toward that ideal with the help of pageless design.

Pageless design is a concept in which story is used to compel a visitor to take some action. Websites, under this paradigm, are not huge blocks of text with the occasional video or graphic thrown in, but rather are dynamic experiences that cater to the ways that humans learn and retain information best. Pageless designs are supposed to be more emotionally satisfying and lead to higher conversion rates as a result. Most importantly, pageless designs look great on any device and tend to be more affordable than traditional web designs.

More Plug-ins

The prediction that plug-ins will become more prevalent hardly requires a crystal ball. Plug-ins are additions to existing programs that give them functionality that mirrors what full-fledged, dedicated programs can do. For instance, plug-ins like MagicHour, for the browser, are starting to supplant legacy software like Photoshop. Plug-ins tend to be cheaper, more reliable, and easier to use. Though plug-ins often don’t have all of the functionality of full-fledged programs, they usually do all of the things that users really want and have much gentler learning curves.

Browser Dominance

Along the same lines as the rise of plug-ins is the concomitant rise of the browser. Computers were once used primarily to run programs like Word and Lotus 123, stand-alone software that cost almost as much as the machines that could run them. Now, the browser is fully capable or doing most, if not all, of the things that stand-alone programs used to do. In fact, computers and smartphones are used predominantly to interact with a web browser. Companies like Google even make devices that are almost exclusively dedicated to the browser. The point is that browsers and browser technology (e.g. JavaScript) are becoming more and more important to all aspects of coding.

The Bottom Line

The skills of web developers are being used in new applications that include in everything from smartphones to browser plug-ins. The next several years will see an even greater shift from conventional computing to cloud-based services. In short, it’s a good time to be a web developer.