Aiming at technology trends


How many times you were left high and dry after a very promising technology or product that you so much believed in just vanished in front of your eyes?

inversely, how many times you felt that joy when you made sure that this emerging technology you embraced or evangalized is actually gaining real momentum?

For me, my path in the technology sector has been a mix of both. Does that mean anything? does it say anything that every technology you adopt booms/busts?

In my silly 10 years of following the computer industry in general I had the following adoption failures:

  1. Cyrix, the little company that could! I was amazed by the capacity of their small team of engineers. But they just couldn't stand the tough fight. Bye Bye Cyrix.

  2. BeOS, a piece of engineering beauty. At least in the usability dept. I learnt my C++ by carefully studying the BeOS AP. I did almost all my low level coding attempts on BeOS. I even learnt bash on BeOS. I wasn't grasping why not every body on earth is using it! Silly people I thought (and still think :P). BeOS is no more, RIP BeOS (would be happy to see it ressurected one day though)
Not a long list, what about successes?

  1. Hibernate the ORM man, I knew it was a hit the day I saw their documentation, those guys new their stuff! I joined the ranks in the early version 2.0 days (Gavin's rewrite of the thing). You can still see me grin each time I see a developer using Hibernate at the place where I work.

  2. Javascript for semi-fat clients, it was the year 2000 and the use of Javascript for more than form validation was a taboo for many (browser compatability hell). Not for me, at the place where I work we fully embraced Javascript, and it (almost) never failed us!

  3. Ajax, we've already had such functionality, but since reading adaptive path's article, I really saw what I was missing by avoiding the XMLHTTPRequest object. In a week or so I had an ajaxified wroking protoytpe of our flagship application.

  4. Ruby on Rails, not really an early adopter (managed to use it for production in the pre 1.0 days). I still get this feeling of joy whenever I hear about another success (many of those these days). Rails has come out of age, that's for sure.
Wow, that's 100% more than the failures list, I am glad that this is case though I dont think it proves anything

Now what about the products/technologies I'm looking at now?
  1. Ubuntu? Debian was already great. Ubuntu is the icing on the top of the cake. This one might boom.

  2. Offline web apps (sometimes connected apps, discussed here). These are just around the corner. If they manage to break the chasm before wireless technology covers the whole planet they will enjoy great success (for a while at least).

  3. The new wave of falling back to the forgotten REST API. I beleive we have a winner here. Specially when you see something like this coming out of it
Things that I hate/think will fail/would like to see fail

  1. JSF, I believe one day people will realize that building interfaces is not like building a brick wall. That's the day JSF and the likes will be burnt for witchcraft!

  2. PHP, combine an ugly inconsistent sytanx with a terrible extension API and you've got yourself a PHP clone. Even though I managed to write decent apps in PHP but wouldn't like to live this experience again.
That's enough for a wish-to-fail list, 2 items and I already feel the high blood pressure, I just don't want to get started on the giants now.

Every body will have his own pattern of failures/successes in following trends. Would be interesting to see what others think.