In 2005 we had an epiphany at this event. Technology had evolved enough to allow us to solve the biggest obstacle in computer science which we call The Binding Problem. The solution lies partly in ubiquitous networked hardware layered with a collection of software technologies, standards, practices and philosophies that can be loosely described with the popularly vague label of Web 2.0.
This year has brought an advance in the tools and techniques for solving different elements of the problem. This report will examine some of those tools and techniques in more detail, but the backdrop is the continual advancement of the state of the art that allows one system to bind to aspects of another system and to people, places or things. This includes large initiatives from companies like Microsoft providing methods for linking content between different web sites to the diminutive RFID chip placed in nearly every object.
As we said last year, this is a profound shift, changing the very groundwork that underlies our current systems, and most importantly, our perceptions of computing; it is the foundation for what we think is possible. This year, it’s clear that even companies like Microsoft and IBM are trying to reinvent themselves for this new age. Google, EBay and Yahoo! all realize the same thing and are using hyper-aggressive hiring, R&D and M&A to keep pace. Most of the darlings of this conference from last year—like Flickr and del.icio.us—have already been acquired. During this year’s event, Google’s absorption of Writely was the news of the day.
This report focuses on the evolution of development and deployment technologies, the rise of microformats and what those formats mean for web content binding, what the commercial players are doing, and a handful of useful ideas culled from the presentations. Finally, it suggests some ideas for next year’s content and includes some resources and links for further information.