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Technologies for web developer

April 9, 2010

1. CSS3, HTML5 and Fonts as a Service 



CSS3, HTML5, and Fonts as a Service such as Typekit that cater to web browsers that already support the @font-face rule, are giving web designers the creative freedom that they have been coveting for a long time. 

CSS3 is opening up various new options for styling content on the web, from multiple backgrounds on page elements, better ability to select and style elements with greater specificity, and color gradients without reliance on static graphics, to simpler aesthetical improvements such as support for rounded corners without the need for complicated sliding doors techniques or JavaScript. 

HTML5 is slowly but surely changing the way we mark up our pages, bringing us closer to the holy grail of the semantic web, opening up native support for open format multimedia such as video and audio, and bringing us better ways to interoperate with the content of a website. 

Another change that web designers have been wishing for is being able to use any font on a web page, without using static CSS background image replacement or relying on JavaScript and Flash. The development of tools like Typekit and greater support for the @font-face rule are enabling site builders to use a much wider range of fonts in their design. 

2. JavaScript 



Whilst CSS3/HTML5 has started to step on the toes of JavaScript, JavaScript itself has started to inch into the territory of Flash. The growth of frameworks such as jQuery and has made rich client-side interaction and asynchronous/seamless user experiences a reality. This leads to easier deployments of web applications, which in turn, increases competition, which in turn, leads to innovation.

JavaScript is already stepping into what, in the past, we would associate as being Flash’s territory, such as interactive games (which can be used for training and distance-learning applications) and complex and interactive data visualization. It should also enable us to replicate rich interfaces and flash type experiences in a much more accessible way.

And very recently, 10 years after the last major revision, JavaScript (known as ECMAscript in web standards organizations) has just finished a major revision of its specifications for the language. Once browser companies adopt these standards, web developers will be provided with more tools to improve their capabilities in creating web applications.

3. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service business models have been knocking around for years. Top-notch SaaS such as 37 Signals products and Google Enterprise are more commonplace now than ever before.

The competition is fierce; the technologies are becoming affordable and requiring little upfront costs, which gives the little guys a chance to compete with the bigger guys. In the next year, we’ll see this competition increase, and hopefully, the outcome is innovation in web apps.

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