Internet: 30 Years From 2006

“The Internet infrastructure was designed 30 years ago”

An amazing mind bend of the world at large is this fixation on the Internet and the World Wide Web as being a stable entity in itself which will always be and cross yourself three times before leaving the room.

Is this how it will always be? No. Whatever will happen we’ve got to accept, even be prepared for (developers I’m tooting at you here) big changes not only in the hardware and software configurations we’re used to dealing with but also the size and speed of the pipes. Lets face it the Internet infrastructure was designed 30 years ago and if we redid it today we’d have a more secure and robust system I’m sure. We’ve learned a lot. We also have a lot more ideas going into the basket of where the Web will go.

The semantic web anyone? Fibre optic switches? Photons are ten times faster than electrons I hear. God help us if nanotechnology gets a hand in there anywhere for simultaneous instantaneous computer crunching as a norm. Massive parallel processing of one kind or another will make its mark not only on the applications we can devise but also on the way they’ll need to be programmed nonsequentially. HTML? We could be talking massively distributed computers down the track (as a norm) with awesome multi-processing abilities and bandwidth throughput. OK predictions make dicks out of us all. I’m simply saying there is a safe core belief in many quarters that we’ve made it!

Have we made it? How old is the Web? We’ve barely touched the surface of where web development will be going. When do you think we’ll realise that 30 year old Internet technologies aren’t going to be with us forever? This is an industry with exponential change in its nature so why is this belief so ingrained? What is this point blank denial that all isn’t well in the kingdom of computing. Change is beautiful, awesome even. Change is where the bottom lip of geeks drip translucent coke flavoured drool onto high end keyboards. Online immersive worlds anyone? Bold? What about autonomous agents with emergent behaviours and the power to inference letting loose to do our bidding like tiny slaves (oh that one’s here) and not needing direction.

Whatever happens in even 5 years will be far from even what we imagine of the web now. Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are babies of the early dawn of cyber-civilization. Its not the end. We’ll tear it down sometime and build some more kick arse shit for whatever reason.

This is why I am inspired to get a Bachelor of Computing degree from University so I can learn software engineering and be a part of that evolution of technology. Lets turn this question on its head - 10 years ago who thought we’d be where we are today?

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