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Predictions for 2005

10+ predictions for 2005, with my tongue firmly in cheek! And a Happy New Year to you all.

  1. Java: XStream becomes the de facto XML/Java mapping tool. Jython will grow its community as will Groovy. Spring, Hibernate and lightweight framework backlashes occur. Netbeans will continue not to win the hearts and minds of Java folks compared to IDEA and Eclipse, but Sun will continue to back it. Java developers get themselves into bother with generics. java.util.concurrent will be a talking point and will produce a rash of articles and guidance as developers weep like children in the face of Doug Lea's 3rd edition of CPIJ. The upside will be that more Java programmers will be able to write concurrent code, the downside will be that managers everywhere will wince as the orders for dual-CPU developer boxes come in. Microsoft will try to hire Doug Lea. Others will mumble darkly about Jini and tuplespaces and people not getting it, but Sun will confound everyone by releasing Jini under a developer-comprehensible license. JUnit gets forked - status quo advocates and dormant committers are initially irate but collectively breath a sigh of relief as the community takes over. Everyone gets bored talking about AOP.
  2. XML: Object and Doc heads have a Coke and a Smile, and learn to get along. WS-* are de-emphasized by vendors over the course of the year but WSDL and SOAP are generally accepted as Ok. Parallel/Concurrent XML processing becomes the new xml-dev obsession throughout the year - running code results. Unicode and internationalization become sought after skills for XML specialists. O'Reilly get around to publishing XML-DEV - The Best Of; Len Bullard writes the preface. Somebody will invent an XML grammar for ratings lists and top ten rankings, called TopTenML; it becomes the second most popular use of XML after the RSS family. Amazon get on board with the syndication community to bring it through a standards body as the more generic ListML. As usual, James Clark does something amazing.
  3. EDA: slated to replace SOA as the buzzword de jour, you will be sick to death of this acronym by year's end. Expect anyone who has a SQL trigger or an email ping in their system to call it an Event Driven Architecture. Meanwhile even as the acronym's meaning degrades, people actually build useful event driven stuff and there are grudging concessions that it is a bona fide architectural style. Gartner, Burton and Forrester get entirely bored towards the end of the year and start looking at Infoware for 2006.
  4. IT and Open Source: the industry will look healthy, especially professional services, but open source will continue place pressure on software companies to find viable business models as margins shrink. Over the year, enterprises big and small will start to consider open source the default strategic and implementation option over vendor offerings. Use of open source will be perceived to be a more important cost rationalisation and strategy than use of WS and XML standards. Open source technical knowledge and processes become sought after skills for developers, architects and project managers.
  5. Most innovation is commercial: 2005 could be ho hum - much of the innovation will be in vendors finally getting creative about new business models. Support and service offerings for open source systems is seen as big business. Bob McWhirter gets seriously rich selling Codehaus In A Box.
  6. Rich Internet Applications: RIA hacking hits the offline/online sweet spot as developers get fed up waiting for browsers, virtual machines and UI toolkits to evolve in response to Web Sites Which Are APIs. Flash will be considered as something other than the default means of producing rubbish websites. Tim O'Reilly's declares victory as the Web OS vision becomes reality. Adam Bosworth says I told you so.
  7. Programming languages are the new black: 2005 witnesses a revolution in how most developers are prepared to use obscure languages in production scenarios. Paul Graham declares victory and ships Arc, which end up being Common Lisp without the libraries. The terms process-oriented, crash-first, concurrent message passing, and little language enter mainstream developer lingo. By the summer everyone gets closures and they replace IDE support as the popular distinguishing factor between languages. People start fooling with Erlang after they realise EJabberd is written in it and Herb Sutter's Fear and Loathing in Concurrency article scares the beejesus out of everyone. Smalltalk and Lisp people continue to be smug about the whole thing while Patrick Logan and Ehud Lamm become superstars. Pragmatic OCaml and Kent Beck's re-released Smalltalk Patterns book become huge sellers.
  8. Mozilla and Mono: 2004 will be the last year anyone makes jokes about either Mozilla and Mono being a joke. Jamie Zawinski starts contributing patches to both.
  9. Instant messaging and systems integration:. IM becomes a viable alternative to the heavier Grid and P2P technologies for integrators and data crunchers working at federation and Internet scales, but will initially be frowned on as a simplistic and inadequate for 'real work' - the debate will initially look like a rerun of WS-* v HTTP/XML, but runs out of steam as architects can't be bothered after the last one taking four years. More Cokes and Smiles result.
  10. Fewer technical arguments: Having pointless heated arguments over the merits of various computing trivia becomes increasingly unfashionable. Concillatory behaviour and good manners breaks on out on tech mailing lists and blogs everywhere. Folks who couldn't handle their opinions being challenged are miraculously converted into third way thinkers, except for Slashdot posters, GPL advocates and syndication technologists, who remain steadfastly rabid and hostile. Philip Greenspun smiles knowingly as nerds everywhere learn to spell tourniquet.

Some things I said last year - judge for yourself!

January 1, 2005 05:30 PM


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