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2005: Highlights and Predictions December 30, 2005 – 6:20 p.m. – Permalink

2005 was an amazingly quick year of growth for the Web and worldwide — we experienced the growth of Firefox, the wrath of hurricanes, another successful reboot, a stolen penguin, criticism toward Wikipedia, and faked stem cell lines. The Web has had unprecedented growth in the past year, but can we expect more of it in 2006?

Here are some of the notable entries written since June 2005 on Seraphic Zephyr:

Seraphic Zephyr (June 22)
It has taken quite a while, but my blog has finally been completed. From this minute forth, Seraphic Zephyr is now my personal website. The time it took went by extraordinarily fast. I believe I only spent about six hours on the style sheet but much longer on the HTML.
Sweden Bans Downloads (July 2)
In a large effort to rid the country of piracy, Sweden has banned the downloading of all copyrighted material from the Internet, meaning movies, music, and games.
Isn’t Netscape 8 Supposed to be Better? (July 12)
A few weeks ago I tried to download and install the new Netscape 8.0, but for some odd reason I received a flawed file. So this time I tried again and I thought to myself, “It would have been better to stay without it.”
Mozilla the Corporation (August 4)
Since the advent of Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Foundation itself of 2004, there have been many suggestions as to which direction the non–profit organization would take. Now, it is clear.
The Decline of CSS Showcases (September 9)
CSS showcases are some of the most encouraging and yet some of the most debilitating sites available in the world of Web standards. I recently read a three–part collection of entries in Simon Collison’s blog that showed the benefits and failures of CSS showcases.
Opera Is Free (September 22)
Opera, the world’s fastest browser, has become free. The announcement came on September 20 — an interesting turn of events. What will be more intriguing are the implications of this turnaround.
The Trouble with Web 2.0 (October 6) and The Trouble with Web 2.0 ... 2.0 (November 21)
A few months ago, I saw an animation on Albino Blacksheep called “Epic 2015” about the future of the World Wide Web. By 2015, it said, all printed newspapers would cease to exist and the Web would be the underlying architecture — “everyone contributes in some way.” This is somewhat the basis of Web 2.0.
Huge (October 15)
That’s what Paul O’Connor, a spokesman for Sun Microsystems, said when Google and Sun teamed up to beat down Microsoft. What exactly does it mean when people say, “Google declared war on Microsoft”?
When Blogs Die (November 12)
There is certain sadness when you suddenly receive an ominous RSS feed message titled “Goodbye” or “Farewell,” or when you surf to a blog and a 404 error message appears. Many times the reasons are explicit, but many times the manager leaves unexpectedly, leaving a nonsensical adieu.
All the Rage (December 10)
I found out only a little while ago that Yahoo has acquired del.icio.us. I can’t say that I’m very surprised; after all, the Web is turning into a large war between three major companies — Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo. It’s the outcome of this battle that will determine what the Internet will be like for the next ten years or even more.

I also wrote a series of entries entitled “Winning the Web,” consisting of the following entries dating from October:

As we careen into 2006, here are five predictions and/or hopes that I have for the next year, in the tradition of countless other Web standard blogs.

  1. Browser Wars ... Again? There is a significant chance that over the next few months Firefox will bite down on Internet Explorer’s near–monopoly. Microsoft is currently working on Internet Explorer 7, which, so I hear, isn’t planned for release until 2007. Firefox could easily become a major competitor against Internet Explorer by the end of 2006.
  2. Loss of Hype for Web 2.0. Truly, it’s getting old. The concept of Web 2.0 has been losing ground for quite some time now. The hype going hand–in–hand with Web 2.0 is overblown so much that I’m starting to feel that it will completely collapse in on itself and end without so much as a spark.
  3. The Final Death of IE5. Probably, judging from the end of IE5/Mac and the reducing number of people who are using IE5/Win.
  4. More Attention to Typography. With typographically beautiful sites such as Bartelme Design, Jeffrey Zeldman Presents, Whitespace, and Etherfarm, Web designers will likely pay much more attention to typography and font selection than they ever have before.
  5. Morphing Designs. With the advent of rounded corners without the use of images, designs will use much subtler color schemes to juxtapose the increasing use of rounded corners (as clearly seen in the design of Movable Type’s site). Blogs will start looking less like Blogger blogs and start looking completely unique — something many designers are eager to uphold. I think we’ll start seeing some very innovative designs that use content management systems.

Happy New Year.