Web Technologies

Web Technologies are advancing rapidly, and we are all in store for some cool surprises along the way. “If you look at the evolution of the web over the years you are bound to realize that it is no longer just about work but increasingly about the experience that encompasses every sphere of life. It has become the source of entertainment, pastime, communication, shopping, relationships, community and many other aspects of daily life”. Let’s think about some of the ways technology and the web have improved society so far already…For example, smartphones and how they continue to improve communication. Or, how cars have become safer because of computer programming that allows for alerts when something is wrong. Technology also helps us learn and connect with each other even globally. As time goes on, these advancements in technology are becoming more relevant to our future.

It’s exciting to be able to elaborate on some of these thriving web technologies…

#1 Web Technologies –  AI

Now, I would save the most daunting for last but let’s start this topic off with a bang in discussing artificial intelligence. We can all appreciate Siri, Cortana , nd Alexa, but these are just stepping stones for what is to come. Picture computers being able to have full blown conversations with you or give you advice. AI can be referred to as a natural technology because it can be perceived as normal. “Its predicted that AI will bring a massive shift in how people perceive and interact with technology, with machines performing a greater and greater number of tasks and, in many cases, doing a better job of it than humans” (https://www.clickatell.com/articles/technology/trends-artificial-intelligence-technology-2017/). AI is also being incorporated in psychotherapy, for example; chatbots being used to treat patients who suffer from PTSD. There are some drawbacks to AI though. Creating and repairing such complex machines requires huge cost and time. “They have software programs which need frequent up gradation to cater to the needs of the changing environment and the need for the machines to be smarter by the day”. AI could be mistaken for human intelligence which is unethical because machines lack emotions and moral values. They can only do what is programmed or they risk performing erroneously or breaking down. There is no creative or human touch with AI, and absent innovation. The most significant drawback to AI would be replacing humans with machines leading to large bouts of unemployment. Leaving humans with nothing to do can create havoc and incivility. “Artificial intelligence in the wrong hands is a serious threat to mankind in general. It may lead to mass destruction”.

#2 Web Technologies –  JavaScript

The dominant language of the web, JavaScript wins in functionality and asynchronous nature. Defying all odds against browser limitations. “JavaScript was named among the best programming languages to learn in 2017 by IBM. At this stage it is used on both client- and server-sides and helps to design flavorful interfaces, enrich web apps with numerous functions and features, modify web pages in real time and much more” (https://da-14.com/blog/5-best-javascript-frameworks-2017 ). The demand for JavaScript continues to rise, with companies like Facebook continuing its development. JavaScript has not yet reached its full potential but is now quicker and more efficient than it used to be. Also, the versatility that it brings to mobile applications puts JavaScript on the top. It wins in efficiency, safety, and cost. Some popular JavaScript counterparts include JQuery, applied on most JS sites; AngularJS/2, most popular front-end framework; and ReactJS, the fastest growing framework. There are others, so if you are interested in JS development please look them up. “JavaScript web frameworks can become a silver bullet for quick web app development. They serve as a skeleton for single page apps, allow developers to worry less about code structure or maintenance while focusing on creation of complex interface elements, and expand opportunities of JS and plain HTML” (https://hackernoon.com/5-best-javascript-frameworks-in-2017-7a63b3870282 ). JS frameworks bring high potential for collaboration with HTML and CSS. Increasing user interface due to the functionality of the development side and experimentation with prototypes. AngularJS is the more complex of the frameworks and can be a doozy to learn. Produced by Google, this framework is a better asset for small applications with its utilization of controllers. Also, it is a good use for Rich Internet Application. There are some mixed reviews surrounding the features of AngularJS, mostly with the difficulty of learning and execution. However, what it lacks in ease it makes up for in manipulation capabilities of the DOM with use of directives. You can also make use of less code and still have high functionality. When working with AngularJS you have to consider the downsides to be able to use it to its full potential. Some things to look forward to with this framework are version 2.0 with increases to speed and performance. JQuery is a JS library which adds simplicity to JS coding, it is also free and compatible. Having an in-depth knowledge of JS is essential before you can execute JQuery in its fullest capacity. It has compatibility with HTML5 and allows for coding to support flash content. JQuery is alike CSS in the aspect that you can store its code separately allowing for modifications across the board. “Since jQuery is a major component of HTML5, it is worth the time, money and effort for your developers to learn jQuery now. This library can deliver stunning effects with little coding—and, with more and more HTML5 integration, it will be a huge part of the future of Web development. If your goal is to build a site or Web app that is engaging and interactive, then jQuery is a necessary tool for your toolbox” (https://www.cio.com/article/2394876/java/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-jquery.html ). ReactJS is cool because it creates data-driven web-applications that can refresh without using the refresh button. Also, created by a Facebook engineer, it gains instant credibility and valid inspiration. It also has compatibilities with mobile software, Android and IOS; React Native. Used mostly with user interfaces, it is a JavaScript library that makes it easy to create interactive UIs. I’m excited to have found out during my research, that ReactJS is incorporated into the Twitter user interface. Which, by the way, happens to be my favorite social media right now. I am interested in learning more about the ReactJS framework starting my career in this industry. Things in store for ReactJS include, the newest version React 16. Facebook has included improved features like error boundaries, custom DOM support and server-side rendering has been completely revamped. The results are surprising considering the rework of the software without any changes to the API.

#3 Web Technologies –  IoT (Internet of Things)

The wondrous internet of things, communicating with devices through the cloud. So many innovative ideas surround this market. From self-driving cars to automated machine control, the options are limitless, but the execution is questionable. IoT can make a huge impact on society but we have to consider the training it takes to use these products. It takes an optimistic mindset when dealing with IoT because you have to remain positive despite the drawbacks. On the upside, it has substantial potential for high economic value and is estimated to generate trillions by 2025. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/semiconductors/our-insights/whats-new-with-the-internet-of-things. Consumers, including myself, are fascinated with these new technologies and have an average of 4 IoT devices connected to the cloud. Unfortunately, the fascination is combated by lack of appreciation for its value. As humans, we would rather consult with each other than with data when it comes to making decisions. Simplicity wins… The future of IoT is bright but slow-hauling, as most technologies are undergoing development and companies are still skeptical. With these slow adoption rates and IoT still being in its infancy, it can leave room for pessimism. But, in my opinion, all great things take time. We wouldn’t want something as awesome as IoT technology to be rushed with sloppy results. “As technology companies develop new IoT offerings, they should ask digital designers to provide insights about customer behavior, since this information might help them create products that prompt strong positive feelings and accelerate adoption rates. As always, products will also need strong technical and analytical capabilities, but companies are more accustomed to delivering such features.” It’s important to track customer reactions and customer experience throughout IoT development because catering to the user is a must for success. Current IoT trends are confusing and create an uncertain outlook for the future. This is something that needs to be taken into account while continuing to structure IoT for what’s to come.

#4 Web Technologies – Static Site Generators

Static site generators are becoming more and more popular, definitely a fantastic way to end this blog. First, I want to touch on what stands out about this technology. Being speedy is the best feature of static sites because HTML files are already available and waiting. “Web servers are really good at delivering static pages quickly, and the entire site consists of static HTML files that are sitting on the server, waiting to be served, so a request is served back to the user pretty much instantly” (https://davidwalsh.name/introduction-static-site-generators ). With the demand for mobile devices on the rise, performance is essential, and static sites adhere to that demand. Pre-generated HTML really helps developers in utilizing their resources and keeping up with performance goals. Some exciting static generator platforms are Jekyll, Hugo, Hexo, and others. Jekyll is the most popular of the few I mentioned, most often used with blogs so that makes sense. Jekyll has no database, and this is great for loading speed because no database calls are made. Security is less of a hassle as well, with no CMS, PHP, or database, you’ll spend less time installing security updates. Also, the affiliation with GitHub provides convenient hosting at your fingertips. A downside of Jekyll would have to be the fact that it isn’t the best option for user-based websites. So, if you are creating a webpage that requires more user-interaction than simplicity Jekyll may not be well-suited. Personal projects or content-focused websites are more suited for its features. Hugo, built in Go, provides tooling to the static website workflow allowing developers and designers to focus on the fun. Supporting creativity is important nowadays because innovation continues to take the cake. “Hugo has a very robust and versatile theme library as it uses Go’s ‘html/template’ library. Themes are easy to work with, installation is done by simply cloning the repository of a theme into the ‘themes’ directory for your Hugo site” (https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/make-creating-websites-fun-again-with-hugo-the-static-website-generator-written-in-go–cms-27319 ). Hugo is very similar to Jekyll in its simplicity with creating blogs, but each has their own unique features that set them apart. “Hexo is a modern static website generator & blogging platform written in Node.js. It is a great way to create a blog or other content driven websites as all the content is written in markdown and can, therefore, be versioned with Git” (http://jr0cket.co.uk/2014/04/getting-started-with-hexo—a-modern-static-site-generator.html ). Again, Hexo is similar to Hugo and Jekyll, but with certain features that make it stand out like Node.js capabilities and deploy configuration. Hexo is better suited for larger sites versus its counterpart Jekyll. Hexo also accepts plug-ins that allow for compatibility with other static generators making it developer friendly and easy to use. 

So, this pretty much wraps up some of the web technologies. There is a lot to learn about these current and thriving web technologies. Each technology has its own specialty and that’s the beauty of it, especially when you can combine these tools to create something great. We have a lot of awesome things in store as far as technology is concerned. I am anticipating the continued knowledge of these web technologies grasped by website developers and designers will allow them to be more creative and innovative.

References – Web Technologies

Web Technologies – (https://www.motocms.com/blog/en/artificial-intelligence-in-web-design/ (https://content.wisestep.com/advantages-disadvantages-artificial-intelligence/ )

IoT is Really The Security of Things

 

More details on Web Design

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Additional resources that may be of interest include: Web Trends 2017 | Computer Science | Get in touch call us at 425.336.0069 - Contact us today.

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