Predictions and hopes for 2006

Last year on this day I posted Predictions and hopes for 2005, a summary of the year 2004 and a few thoughts on the year to come. Now that 2005 is over I thought it would be interesting to take a look at last year’s list.

  • Increased demand for web standards and accessibility: Yes, but not to the extent I would like to see.
  • Firefox keeps marching on: Yes. Adoption has slowed down, but Firefox and the other non-Microsoft web browsers now have a large enough market share to prevent most attempts at building IE-only sites.
  • Use of Macromedia Flash grows up: Not really. There are still many, many Flash-only sites and useless Flash intros being created.
  • sIFR backlash: I haven’t noticed any. But then I haven’t seen a whole lot of sIFR on sites outside the “blogosphere” either.
  • Screen reading for the masses: Sort of. VoiceOver is included in Mac OS X 10.4 and works reasonably well.
  • More JavaScript: Oh yes. JavaScript is the new gadget everybody wants to find a reason to use. Fortunately more people than during the “use-JavaScript-for-everything” period in the nineties are using JavaScript in an unobtrusive way. I predicted that we would start calling it ECMAScript, but I think it’s too late for that name to ever make it into the vocabulary of web developers.
  • IE5 joins Netscape 4: IE 5/Mac is very, very close to the edge now, as is IE 5.x/Win. The edge I’m talking about is that of being served no CSS.
  • Usability is here to stay: Yes. But the Ajax fad is making me a little bit worried.
  • The hacks find other jobs: Unfortunately, no. The majority of people working in the web industry are still hacks who think HTML consists of 10 or so elements (but they call them “tags”) and couldn’t care less about anything beyond how the sites they build look in their browser (which is almost always IE/Win).
  • I get to make a difference: Yes. I haven’t been flooded, but I have been working on standards-based redesigns of several sites during 2005. Some are for public sector organisations, some are for companies. More on a couple of those in later posts. I have also been given the opportunity to help improve the Guidelines for Government Web Sites published by the Swedish Government Interoperability Board and held several courses on web standards and accessibility.
  • I buy a house: Yes! After spending over a year looking at houses, we finally bought one, and got the keys on December 1. Finally, no more having to cope with the incredible amounts of noise coming from the people living upstairs from us.
  • More traffic comes this way: Yes. The traffic graph for 2005 is not curved as sharply upward as that for 2004, but the numbers have increased by around 270% since the beginning of the year.

Not too bad.

My thoughts on what 2006 will be like are pretty similar to last year’s list, so I won’t be boring you with a new one. I’m not looking to buy another house just yet though. But maybe a new car.

Happy New 2006!

Posted on December 31, 2005 in Web General

Comments

  1. IE 5/Mac is very, very close to the edge now, as is IE 5.x/Win.

    I’m not so sure about that. I’m still getting many clients with ludicrously high numbers of IE5 users. 10-15% for IE5.x/Win is not uncommon. I keep wishing for a completely unpatchable IE5-based exploitation (or something) that makes it absolutely imperative that folks upgrade to a least IE6.

  2. “sIFR backlash: I haven’t noticed any. But then I haven’t seen a whole lot of sIFR on sites outside the “blogoshpere” either.”

    blogosphere* ;)

    “Use of Macromedia Flash grows up: Not really. There are still many, many Flash-only sites and useless Flash intros being created.”

    I think that there aren’t as many flash websites as there used to be, because I accidently uninstalled Flash Player, and didn’t notice until a few days (of online time) later. If I did that a year ago, I’d probably have noticed after 4 or 5 websites.

    I’ve still got to make some predictions for 2006. Happy new year.

  3. Nice list, I just found it curious that Web 2.0 goes unmentioned. With all the marketing I’d say a backlash (at least against the term itself) is in order. It seems to be happening already, actually.

  4. Happy New Year Roger!

    As for making a difference, perhaps through modesty you neglected to mention this site - I’m sure ‘456’ has made a significant contribution to web development in 2005, as many respected people have already noted in their honours lists!

  5. Some great ideas but nothing about web standards? I have no doubt that firefox will continue to march on as well. Would love to see the same for web standards.

  6. I concur with the aformentioned comment about Flash. Flickr has transitioned many of its features (including some of the coolest) away from Flash. Flash splash and intro pages have been replaced on many sites by static images, on almost every site I see. And with the sorts of things you can do with Javascript these days Flash has been relegated, at least in my world, to things like product demos and webcasts. Flash now has the unfortunate slant towards being harder to learn (and also more expensive to implement) than other viable options. Where I’d like to see Flash improve is in Sound and Video. It’s the perfect way to embed Video across any platform, and serves up Mp3s well too. If only quality were a tad bit better on the video.

  7. January 1, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Simon: Sure, the decision to drop CSS support completely for IE 5 has to be made on a project by project basis.

    Devlin: Thanks for catching that typo :-). As for Flash still being misused, that could be a regional difference. I’m seeing lots of it here in Sweden.

    Steve Cochrane: “Web 2.what”? ;-) Seriously though, I never gave much thought to the “Web 2.0” craze.

    Steve Williams: I forgot to mention this site, but I do hope that I have been able to provide web professionals with lots of useful info, and that I will be able to continue doing so.

    Ashley: The very first point on the list is “Increased demand for web standards and accessibility” :-).

    Alex: Well, let’s hope that the transition away from unnecessary use of Flash continues and spreads.

  8. It was intresting to read this one. Predictions are always fun.

  9. About the site using flash, here in Indonesia there are numerous site still using flash as its header or main navigation. I hope those people read your article.

    Happy New Year

  10. Nice review, valid points in there, especially when it comes to Flash use and “Usability vs AJAX”. - Congrats for that house acquisition!

  11. January 1, 2006 by grumpY!

    my hope for 2006 - web programmers get serious about security. from phishing to xss, we’re really courting major disaster here (as in your money and identity), and almost all of it can be fixed or at least triaged.

  12. ECMAScript? How do you speak that? Ek - ma - script? Never.

    Happy new year!

  13. I don’t mind full-flash sites when they’re done well. They can achieve so much more than html/css in ways when done properly.

    Please, please, please can we petition for the hacks to be sent elsewhere?

  14. January 4, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Jeff:

    I don’t mind full-flash sites when they’re done well. They can achieve so much more than html/css in ways when done properly.

    When done properly, yes, to some extent. However, they also interfere with lots of very useful features like bookmarking, printing, search engine visibility, usability, and accessibility.

    I very rarely stick around for the intro or preloading to finish when I encounter a full-flash site.

  15. I’ve seen some very large new commercial websites done totally in Flash with no text or HTML fallback I seriously wonder how on earth they are officially permitted.

Comments are disabled for this post (read why), but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact me.