2008 — the Year the Web Grew Up?

In his first regular ZDNet article, our very own Mr Bruce Lawson looks at how web standards have been evolving in the last couple of years, and asks "is 2008 the year the Web finally grew up?". ...

This sounds like a bold claim, but I think my partner in crime has some wise word here. We are sitting at the tail end of the year that we saw the first official W3C working draft of HTML 5, AND the first official W3C working draft of WAI-ARIA, extensions to HTML that allow us to create web applications in a responsible, accessible way.

This last release is in complete contrast to (imo) what happened with the "Web 2.0/Ajax" craze. Sure, we definitely saw a great deal of evolution here in terms of user experience, but in a lot of cases accessibility took a back seat. It took a while for web applications to grow up, but we're getting there. It looks like in the modern day, we finally have a fleeting glimpse of web technologies (and browser support for them) catching up to what developers are trying to do with them.

The big IF here is whether we can drive the adoption of these standards (I should also add CSS 3 and SVG to the list of standards started above) amongst developers and designers, which will in turn lead to all browsers supporting them, and the circle of evolution being completed.

But don't just take my word for it - read Bruce's column!