Andi Gutmans, of Zend, has put together his own list of predictions for 2008.
Andi is a really good bloke. I met him a few years back when I actually advised Zend on a couple of matters. What impressed me the most was how rounded he was. He wasn’t a “PHP is better than anything else out there” kind of guy. He appreciated aspects of other platforms, and we had some good chats about Ruby and Java. It was a real pleasure, and it caused me to take on a serious project in PHP. I had scoffed at 5000 functions in one global namespace, but there were things about PHP that I actually enjoyed, mainly from a pragmatic stand point (deployment was one!).
Let’s take a look at his thoughts:
Java on the Web continues to lose market share
This depends on what you mean by “Java”. I think that the JVM could be used more and more for deployments, even though Andi thinks that it is ill suited. LAMP is nice, but the JVM has some advantages, although it has some serious disadvantages too.
I do think that the Java community has been spreading. Some jumped on Rails. Others tried .NET. Others are playing with Python. Adventurous ones are playing with Erlang. Not all are abandoning the Java platform though. As well as staying with the new world of Spring Web Flow, Seam, Tapestry 5, and Struts 2, others are on the VM with Grails. Some of the folk that jumped to Rails are looking back at JRuby to get a better deployment model, or integration.
2008 will be a mixed year for Java, but not necessarily a bad one.
The next layer of the virtualization eco-system will start thriving
This looks exciting. I do hope that we get there in the next year or so. I want to get a computer that has a few hosts installed for me all under virtualization.
Hybrid Rich Internet Applications become an accepted “standard”
We have seen Microsoft and Adobe both giving lip service to the Ajax crowd. AIR has good support for Ajax applications. Using the Webkit engine is great, but a browser is more than a renderer, and I look to see the implementation to grow in 2008. For example, I want more plugin support (other than Flash).
I agree with Andi that noone is going to “win” this one. Flex will do well. Ajax will do well. I obviously hope that the Open Web will progress a lot with new browsers, and with Gears there to innovate, push, and be there as a platform to prop up browsers that don’t do their job.
I am not sure that I agree with the importance of the Open Ajax Alliance piece. I have yet to see anyone other than vendors talk about it. No-one seems to care.
“Hardware On Demand” becomes real
I don’t want to deal with a hosting provider anymore. I want to develop an application with a new tool (probably web based) that allows me to work through the entire develop, debug, publish lifecycle.
One of the major non-Eclipse vendors will lead a new Eclipse.org tooling project
I have mixed opinion here. I am not an Eclipse fan. It feels bloated. I don’t get “perspectives”. It suffers from not having a dictator on top making sure that it all works well together. Instead you get a million plugins. Aptana has done a good job at using Eclipse but having it not really look like Eclipse.
What about PHP?
I wonder what 2008 will be like for PHP, Andi. I have no doubt that it will continue to power a huge number of websites. But, what is PHP doing in 2008 to increase its share in the non-hacker-kiddie crowd? Is the Zend Framework going to compete with Rails and the like? How is PHP going to evolve? I want to be able to do richer DSLs with full open classes and meta-support.