Developers ponder Web 2.0 app dev needs

Developers debate what Web 2.0 means

Software developers serving on a panel at the Evans Data Developer Relations conference in California this week had different perspectives on transitioning Web 2.0-style development involving Web applications that feature user interactions.

Web 2.0, said developer Rodrigo Vanegas, involves use of a number of independently developed platforms that integrate only in an accidental way. It would help to have tools to allow developers to introduce themselves to the whole stack, Vanegas said. He cited the NetBeans platform as featuring tutorials assisting with building of Web 2.0 applications.

Another developer advised using a framework for Web 2.0 to make it less vague.

"Basically, Web 2.0, as I understand it, involves a lot of these frameworks that are independent," said developer Aaron Greenspan. "My advice would be to pick a framework," and use code samples and case studies, he said.

Panelist Patrick Boyle, a semi-retired developer, described Web 2.0 as too obscure concept for knowledge of it to be used as a criterion in hiring. "You can't ask somebody if they know [Web] 2.0," Boyle said. "If you refuse to hire somebody because they don't know Web 2.0, the feds will get you. I think Web 2.0 is basically going to be supplanted by Web 3.0, whatever that is."

Asked if they look at Google Adwords or sponsored links, panelists mostly answered in the negative.

"I tend to ignore them," said developer David Hong, an independent contractor.

"To me, it seems like there's a lot of noise in Google Adwords," said panelist Ron Mcgill of Electronic Arts.

Panelists also fielded a question from an AMD employee about whether they do CPU-specific optimizations.

"I work in multithreaded applications but never in a way that requires me to be aware of the CPU," Vanegas responded.

Panelists differed on whether they belong to any developer programs that have a paid element.

"I don't belong to any that require a fee of any kind," Greenspan said.

But panelist Michael Galpin of eBay said he used MSDN for many years, which was paid for by his employer. It offered such benefits as access to tools and beta versions of software, he said.

Mcgill also used MSDN, courtesy of his employer. "Having priority on support calls is about the biggest advantage for us," he said.

Panelists also listed such upcoming trends as standardization on PHP and JavaScript, bidirectional communication, and Web-based access to software.

"I see in the future we won't install as much software desktops," Hong said. "Most of it is going to be accessed through the Web."

Panelists were asked which desktop OS, e-mail client, browser, and IDE they use. They also were asked about their home pages. Among the responses were Windows XP, Windows 2003, and Ubuntu Linux as desktop OSes; Eclipse and Visual Studio as IDEs; Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer as browsers, and Outlook as an e-mail client. Panelists' home pages included sites such as the New York Times site, Google, and eBay.

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