Unintentionally Blank

Phil Nash on the Internet, Web Standards and Accessibility

Unintentionally Blank Predictions '07

Dec 22, 2006

by Phil Nash

So, I have been found amongst the last day's submissions of ProBlogger's group writing project again. But Internet or no Internet, when a group writing project comes along, who can resist. So, I rigged up my bluetooth dongle, my mobile phone and my laptop and violá, I'm posting again. This month's theme is reviews and predictions. I haven't been out of school long enough to write a decent review of this year (I'm still coming across blog posts from 2002 that are news to me) so I thought I would give my predictions for 2007 and the web. Then I read Read/Write Web's predictions and knew I couldn't beat that.

So in the end I thought I would comment on and ponder over what I thought was important from other people's predictions as well as my own, and I would throw in some more personal reviews as well. The Internet and blogging is what you make of it, so I'm not following any rules here

2007 Vs The Internet

There are a number of points that need to be picked up by the future and next year is the future, so watch out. I already wrote about being ready for the mobile Internet and Read/Write Web agree. They talk about how the mobile web will become big in the far East and possibly as much so in the West. I have already got myself on a t-Mobile Web 'n' Walk tariff, which allows me to browse the internet on my mobile phone to my heart's content. Add this to services like Gmail and Google Maps for the mobile phone and quality browsers like Opera Mini and it is easy to see that the mobile web is ready to explode.

In terms of software, IE7 has entered the browser arena, but will we see an even more polished version with the release of Windows Vista early in 2007? Maybe there will be work on a new version (the newly coined "IE Next") that improves on the support for standards as well as the cosmetic features we expect out of a new version. With that in mind, Firefox 3 is on it's way (it's in alpha testing), not too shortly after Firefox 2 broke out of beta. Hopefully the open source browser of choice will see further improvements and negate the requirement of IE8.

Wordpress 2.1 is on its way in the new year, which is something for bloggers to get excited about. I have so far missed upgrading to Wordpress 2.0.5, but when 2.1 comes around I will be ready. However, blogging is reaching saturation, say Gartner in their predictions for 2007. 100 million blogs is the plateau this movement is going to reach, it seems a lot, but consider that there are around 200 million dead blogs out there. This year will be the end of the boom, but will mean that the more committed bloggers will be writing on through the next year (and I plan to be one of them). This is probably a good thing as anyone who has cleaned over a hundred useless or forgotten blogs out of their feed reader knows!

Closer To Home

For any of you interested in the future of Unintentionally Blank, I will be regaining Internet access by the end of January '07. If I were writing new year's resolutions, right underneath "Stop eating chocolate at work," would be "Blog more". Because I think I should? No, because I want to. I have a lot of things to say and I want to involve more people in how I feel. I also have a few things that I want to code and release so that other people may benefit from my online posting. I hope to write a somewhat useful XML parser in PHP and put it to work in a couple of different ways and I have ideas surrounding a CSS column generator, but those are very much the other end of the pipeline at the moment.

For anyone who has read a few posts back, I will also be unveiling the new design for Unintentionally Blank (though I may be straight to work on a new one afterwards). I have been looking forward to trying out the new design, but, again, a lack of Internet connection has deprived me of testing and further tweaking what I have so far. On an almost entirely different note, you may see me launching other blogs next year as I feel the need to express myself in different ways. Unintentionally Blank will always be my home, though!

Friendships So Far

This isn't just a look what will be in the big wide world, I would also like to thank some people. There are a number of blogs that I find myself reading (or trying to read) daily and sometimes I find their writers popping up in my comments. As I am in my first year blogging, I would like to say thank you to Yvonne, Techz, Hans, Nyssa, Stéphanie and Char. All of you have inspired me to write (even though I haven't done much really) and I read your every word. Have a great holiday season and new year and please drop by next year.

In Summary

2007 will be a good year, competition in software and online will bring about great changes, maybe everyone will be visiting blogs on their mobile phones, I hope to get myself back online and find more great blogs to read, Unintentionally Blank will finally get its new clothes and you will hear more from me!

Happy holidays everyone, and see you in the new year.

Unintentionally Blank is Phil Nash's thoughts on web development from 2006-2008. Any code or opinions may be out of date.