Looking Back on ’06

Well it’s that time of year again. Christmas is over and here the (tech) world sits in the doldrums week between Christmas and New Years. A year ago, several promising applications debuted, including Flock and Songbird. A year ago, the entire Web 2.0 craze caught the world’s attention. A year ago, the future looked bright. Today however, bleak news arrives constantly.

Former heroes lack their former luster, and fear uncertainty and doubt spreads about their possible demise. Apple, amidst its cult-like following, faces scandal accusations and the fear of Steve Jobs leaving in the future. Google, on the other hand, hasn’t completely refrained from being evil in the eyes of some. Microsoft’s free Acer Ferrari laptops for selected bloggers just this week became a big conspiracy once they began asking for them back. What looked to be a promising year hasn’t fully lived up to the hype. Hopefully 2007 will grace the good people on Earth. However, hopefully 2007 will discomfiture those whom choose to make the lives of the good people unnecessarily difficult.

Traditionally predictions are made during this downer week. Many bloggers have already shared their opinions and aspirations for 2007. Digg stands testament to this yearly phenomenon. Lists are once again “all the rage” on Digg, which many had hoped were squashed earlier in 2006. One offers no lists, instead only one paragraph of opinion on selected topics.

Instead of talking about Web 2.0, discussing a good, open-source, web IDE appears to be more fitting. Aptana, a java based web IDE, is excellent. Simply put, it is not only a solid web IDE, well in reality it is just that. The nicest feature is its ability to debug code on the fly, including JavaScript. Other web IDEs (Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition) lack this feature, they also tend to give up on syntax highlighting if the code seems remotely foreign to them.

Songbird still makes the cut as exciting. A year ago a proof-of-concept was promised, and it was delivered in the early months of 2006. Development continues, and this year Songbird should mature past the proof-of-concept stages.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

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