What is web 2.0 and web 1.0

Most of us who develop web applications using web technologies, often describe ourselves as

web 2.0 and rich internet application developers

We may add a lot to this saying we deploy in cloud, we use latest technologies and many more.

I have even seen some veteran technology professionals, who has more than 20 years of experience in computing and software development speaking about this topic in a very diplomatic way, most of the time people who listen to them could never understand this terms at all, I am an example for that :)

The reason is simple its some what complex, and simplification is difficult

When I said to my close brother in law who was actually a veteran technology professional, that I am a web application developer and I develop Rich Internet Applications ( RIA ), he suddenly replied saying “Ohh you work on web 2.0 ? “, I was mute and I did not had an answer for that on that day. He gave me some explanation on this term but I could not understand what exactly it is.

I actually entered this web application domain, because building softwares accessible via Web was enticing me a lot. More than that myself and some 20 of my class mates took an optional subject titled “ Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Applications”. Where I learnt HTML, CSS, Javascript and AJAX, XML and many web technologies.

Aha enough of this history all these happened some 6 years ago. On those days I was more interested in technology and building software on web, I was not at all keen to know about these terms. So today I would like to share my understandings with you, so that you will be proud to describe yourself as web application developer just like me.

To understand these things let me break them apart, each of those terms web x.0, there are two parts, one is the term called “web” which obviously means “world wide web” and the other is some number which looks like some sort of version number, of some software just like “rails 3.0 “ .

To understand these version number x.0, let me describe some history of WWW which might help you to understand this better. The term World Wide Web was actually named by a group called CERN ( Conseil Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire ) It was an French based physics Research center.

Unfortunately Mr Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN as a Fresh consulting software engineer, He was leading a small group of people there, he along with those group of members proposed a new protocol for the internet as well as a system of document access to use it.

The Intent of this new system was to allow Research Scientists around the world to use the Internet to exchange there research documents and work in collaboration. The system used hypertext which is text with embedded links to text in other documents to allow non sequential browsing of textual material.

Later from mouth to mouth the term just got little shortened and people started recognizing it as just “Web” Of course its very common nature of human beings if we look behind we can find lots of such shortened terms we use in our daily life.

So that is the history of World Wide Web or Web. So now lets digg these numbers. As we predicted before its just version of Web, As I said before World Wide Web was proposed to share information across internet, these numbers describe the growth of this beautiful system.

So we could conclude that the number actually describes the generation of web. So now you are almost clear about those version numbers x.0 and the term web. web 1.0 was not exactly the proposed system, its a term which was given to the legacy version of web after coining the term web 2.0. Web sites which were built on web 1.0 were well insulated entities, that executed entirely within the browser and well with in there own sphere of influence. People use to build websites by targeting a particular audience, Nobody was even thinking of building a website by collecting requirements from several users, because nobody was having an intention or need to have such websites. One most important drawback of web1.0 websites is they never use to get updated because end users always stayed as consumers of information and website owners are the only content contributors. In simple terms we can say there was zero folksonomy between end users and content creators. This led the development of new generation of web applications which was called as web 2.0 applications.

In web 2.0 There was huge amount of information which gets updated constantly, by users suggestions, people use to suggest changes for the content, those changes which were suggested by people were stored and reviewed by content owners. Later this process was some what automated, end users remained humans and content owners are replaced by machines to check its relevance. Along with this interaction between consumers and suppliers, softwares were developed as a reusable inter operable channel called web services. Later these services are left open for consumption by other software such as mobile applications. In one way web 2.0 applications made this iterative development or Agile development more popular, that is because web 2.0 software companies started operating in very short cycles of design,develop,launch.get feedback,repeat. There by reducing time to market. Companies started leaving out features to achieve shorter cycle.

Conventional thinking would indicate that to build an application of any great significance, you need lot of people. Web 2.0 thinking exposes this as incorrect.Web 2.0 affirms that you can develop a better application, faster with a handful of developers who know what they are doing.

So to conclude the explanation, the term web x.0 is not actually a software or platform its a generation. In simple terms we can say web 2.0 applications are the applications which has greater level of interactivity and dynamic in nature, web 1.0 applications are the applications which has almost zero interactivity and static in nature.

These terms can also be used along with some technologies which enables us to build interactive web application such as AJAX, and we call that as a web 2.0 technology.

I hope you people enjoyed reading my explanations, these are just my understandings not defined or described by any one. It is just an honest attempt to simplify things.