2011 has been a year of emerging and evolving technological trends. In the Web development industry, it’s especially pivotal to keep a close eye on the newest and best tools available. Here are, in my opinion, the top Web development trends of the year thus far:
5. HTML 5 and CSS 3
Even though HTML 5 and CSS 3 are not officially released, most modern browsers use more and more of their features. With the addition of support from Internet Explorer 9 (and even more support coming in IE 10), more sites are starting to use features from HTML 5 to CSS 3. Many new CSS3 properties, such as text-shadow and rounded corders, are used frequently. This has led many designers to accept a fluid outlook on designing for the Web, and they have begun to accept that sites don’t have to look 100 percent the same in every browser. This has put quite a dent in Adobe’s Flash around the Web, with new open-source Audio and Video protocols, and the new < canvas > elements that can handle animations.
Sites that use HTML 5 and CSS 3:
–github (for downloads)
NoSQL databases have caught the attention of developers after being the go-to solution for companies like Facebook and Twitter that have to deal with extraordinary amounts of data. NoSQL databases like Cassandra (at Facebook) and Hadoop (at Twitter) lack many of the relational abilities and structure of SQL-based databases, but they do offer more scalability and speed. NoSQL doesn’t make sense for every project and isn’t meant to be a replacement for relational databases, but it’s an excellent solution to some very difficult problems Web developers face.
Sites that use NoSQL:
2. Mobile Sites
The smartphone market has exploded in the past year. But with the market split between Android and iOS phones, not to mention the growing tablet market, it is getting harder and harder to have a good mobile presence across multiple platforms. This has led several companies to instead focus on making Web-based, mobile versions of their sites and apps. Influential software company 37signals recently announced that they wanted to move towards making mobile apps instead of iPhone/Android apps, and I expect other software companies to follow suit. With the increase in mobile devices, having a mobile presence is going to be just as important as having a Web presence.
Sites that use mobile versions:
1. True Web Applications
Sites that use True Web Applications (From the Chrome Web Store):
–Wall Street Journal for Chrome