Is Web 3.0 yet another buzz word, or is it a real turnaround in our industry?
Web 1.0 was the good old web of the 1990s. In those times, all client-side changes were the result of a server round-trip. The Internet was ramping up in popularity.
Web 2.0 has been a little more than just a technological evolution. The staple of Web 2.0 has been the emergence of social media (Internet users creating most of the content), powered by mature technologies (DHTML, Ajax) on somewhat stable web browsers.
Web 3.0 is not a revolution either. It is yet another technological evolution destined to provide users with an even better experience, both online and offline. Web 3.0 will lead to the blurring of that artificial wall between the web browser and the desktop, providing a full — but secure — integration with devices and services exposed by the operating system.
Web 3.0 is just starting. Look around you and you’ll see that Web 3.0 technologies are slowly cropping up everywhere on the web. Google Gears, one of the first Web 3.0 technologies, allows you to build web applications that can work offline. Thanks to Google Gears, applications such as Remember The Milk, an online to-do list and task management system, can now work offline. The Adobe Flash player already allows application developers limited access to the webcam and the microphone. Soon, we’ll also be able to drag and drop files from the desktop to a web browser (see this Java Upload Applet for an example using the Java technology)
Another aspect of Web 3.0 is the use of stunning graphics, smooth animations, high definition audio and video, 3D, etc. and all of this inside a web browser!
At first, Web 3.0 features will be available using plugins (Google Gears, Java, Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX and Firefox extensions, etc.) But slowly, we may start seeing browser vendors integrating them into their browsers, followed by some level of standardization. The HTML 5 Working Draft seems to be going in the right direction.