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Poll: What is the biggest development surprise of 2011?

Developers, do you think the biggest surprise of the year is the Windows 8 Developer Preview, HTML5's rise to prominence, or something else? Take the poll.

2011 had some pretty big surprises for developers, much more so than the last few years. In my mind, the Windows 8 Developer Preview was a complete bombshell for developers and announced Microsoft's intention to slowly shift away from the desktop paradigm completely. Adobe cancelled mobile Flash, which made a lot of sense, but plenty of folks didn't see it coming. Likewise for Microsoft telling folks that HTML5 was good enough for Web needs and relegating Silverlight to a number of niches. And the unfinished, still stabilizing HTML5 has suddenly become a platform of choice for many developers. Developers, let us know what you surprised you the most this year.

J.Ja

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

10 comments
m@rcel
m@rcel

I've seen some complete web-based programming environments lately. Like for instance formspider at http://www.theformspider.com/ (no, I'm not one of their agents). They look very promising.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

It's cut and dried for me.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

That was Adobe's stated reason for pulling the plug. A big surprise -- and a good one!

yalimgerger
yalimgerger

Hi. I am the founder of Gerger, creators of Formspider. I've just ran into this comment. Thank you for your kind words. Thins are indeed looking good for us. Did you get a chance to play with Formspider lately?

apotheon
apotheon

Unfortunately, it's still going to be a while before we stop seeing Flash all over the friggin' Web, I'm afraid. It seems like every major motor vehicle company thinks only people who like Flash have any need of a motor vehicle.

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet

it was only "mobile" Flash that Adobe pulled the plug on! So yes, it looks like it will be a very long time before Flash disappears...maybe the CNET sites would like to be some of the first to get away from Flash?

apotheon
apotheon

Reliance on a single corporation's tools for all of your client-side web development is a horrible idea. It ends up limiting your reach, interfering with network effects of the web, and locking you into "security when we feel like it" from that one and only vendor. This is the situation with Flash. Technologies like JavaScript (which, by the way, is essentially the same language as ActionScript, the language used by Flash -- both are just ECMAScript implementations) are widely implemented and deployed, with no single-vendor reliance requirement like Flash enforces. Sure, the libraries and environments aren't quite up to the level of what Flash provides for certain tasks, but given time they easily could be, and you'd then be freed of the restrictive detriments of Flash development.

zzdobrusky
zzdobrusky

There is no other good typed OO language for some more serious web programming like online games as of now. I don't see too many games in Java or Javascript there on web. Google came with Dart that seems to be promising but improving Flash VM would probably do the job.

apotheon
apotheon

A lot of the big corporate shops are already doing parallel development for "mobile" and "desktop" users, where they essentially design two sites to serve those artificially divided markets. Why wouldn't they continue to do that, with one site being Flash-heavy user-hostile garbage and the other being cut-rate "second class citizen" garbage that lacks useful functionality?

Justin James
Justin James

Considering the rapid growth of mobile, no one wants to bother putting new content into Flash except in cases where you know it will be desktop only... and with the tablet form factor making major headway, there is little that is "desktop only" now. J.Ja