After writing a recent post about thinking outside the (browser) box, I started thinking about the rapid rate by which things are changing. A year ago, most web developers had to think about Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and perhaps WAP for mobile devices and widget development for one of more platforms.
Today, we are afforded more possibility, but sometimes at the cost of more complexity, or at least more to learn and test:
- Mobile WebKit/Safari: The iPhone and Nokia S60 phones provide the real web on a mobile device
- Alternative browsing devices: Nintendo Wii, Nokia Internet Tablet.
- Offline web apps: Browser extensions now support offline development with Dojo Offline, Google Gears, Firefox 3, and other options on the market making it possible to take your web app with you on an airplane.
- Desktop apps with web technologies: Apple’s WebKit Cocoa bindings, Adobe’s AIR, and Microsoft’s Silverlight.
- Social app platforms: Embed part or all of your app inside Facebook or on top of Ning, build widgets for use inside MySpace (APIs are rumored later this year for MySpace and LinkedIn)
- Scalability: Use Amazon’s S3 for distributed hosting of static resources
- Signle-purpose widgets: Apple’s Dashboard, Google’s Gadgets, Yahoo Widgets, and many other widget development platforms.
There are certainly no shortage of options available for building great web applications!