So many revolutions, so little time.

Tim Bray is blogging about “inflection points” in the uptake of various technologies.

Python get’s a very positive review:

Today you’d be nuts not to look seriously at PHP, Python, and Ruby.

So, the rise of the so-called scripting languages is one of the inflection points, but it’s not the only one.

He singles out web-framework development as one place where there’s a lot of stuff happening, and a lot of new “rails-like” frameworks are cropping up all the time. TurboGears will live or die in the context of a much larger web-development revolution, and we need to be prepared to make our way forward in the midst of that.

What comes after rails will not be a rails clone. It will learn the right lessons from rails, avoid the pitfalls of rails, but it will also need to carve out something new and better than rails. For RDBMS users, I think the key difference between TG and Rails is the power and flexibility of SQLAlchemy. We need to “sell” this better.

There are a lot of other revolutions coming according to Tim. And I do think we’re looking at big changes in terms of everything from programming language choice, to web-development tools, to end-user desktops, and data persistence mechanisms. We’re also just beginning to see what the world of high-end javascript and other “rich” internet applications is going to do to our view of end-user software.

He doesn’t even mention the rise of EC2 and the Google App Engine as sea-changes in the way we buy computational resources, and I think that’s going to have a huge impact.

In the end my prediction is that the way we develop applications will change more in the next 5 years than it did in the last 5, and it’s time to start getting our heads wrapped around these issues, or we’ll be left behind.

4 Responses to “So many revolutions, so little time.”


  1. Google desktop warns me that this may be a dangerous site, I don’t know whether that’s because you are scripting aggressively or what. Seems OK to me (though if I get a virus you’ll get a call ;-)

    Tim Bray’s piece was indeed interesting. So interesting, in fact, that I wrote a piece for Python Magazine inspired by it.

    I took his mentions of “computing in the cloud” to be references to Amazon and the App Engine. Do you think I was wrong?

  2. Steve, I think you’re right that sure looks like a reference to EC2 and S3. I still think he misses the main structural point — it’s not about existing large corporations having access to these kinds of cloud-based services.

    The real revolution is that I as an individual programmer working by myself at home can make use of cloud computing to build massively scalable applications. No IT staff required.

  3. I am looking forward to collaborating on a massively scalable application with you just as soon as I find your card again… in the meantime I will try an old account..

  4. Netmouse,

    Thanks. ;) I just responded to your e-mail, so hopefully were all connected up now.

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