If one watches how things develop in the web sphere one can now see that the web in general is lacking one feature that right now is most exciting in the software world. This is actually woking distribution. The web today has some major problems
- Most of the content is not free, so distribution is not free
- The upcoming of DRM makes things just more complicated
- There are no good ways to distribute content
- There is no versioning content accross websites.
On the other hand the web faces major tasks:
- A growing number of users makes it more and more important that every website is able to cope with a slashdot effect.
- Content gets more and more mixed up as it is a promising possibility to reduce costs and also promises to be more flexible in the future.
There are some software projects like Mercurial and rPath that build heavily on a distributed system. This enables a maximum of flexibility ans also a very easy way to integrate content and patches.
But as far as I can see the mist you can expect from a web server is that it does versioning itself – or that you may be able to build a network of webservers that you own to distribute requests. But these are all solutions of control. at best that works with Web 2.0. Right now we have big companies like Google, Amazon and Ebay that own content and technology – and we are getting more and more dependent on these companies. For new companies it would be more and more important to be able to give users the same ease of integration and a trust level without these dependencies on very few companies. The users also would be happy if they had more choices. I hope that we will see a major revolution of how the web is built and uses, soon. If not I fear if one or two of those big names do something wrong the effects will be disastrous (millions of shop owners will loose their ecomic base and major functions that everybody is relying on will not work).
The truth is that the greates danger is always there of only few have control over many. The web was not ment to be dependent on only few. What we have now is the result of o nly few companies being smart enough to deliver (web2.0) to the users. Our task now is to build the next generation web that gives us all more freedom and independence.