By John | December 21, 2007
It’s that time of the year where everyone is predicting the future. So, here is my obligatory top 5 watch list for 2008.
My litmus test for hot technology is “does it work for me.” If you spend a day playing with Drupal, I am sure that you will agree. Drupal is an open source content management system (CMS). Open source CMS’s in general are going to be big plays in 2008. CMS systems make so much sense for managing data. They provide solutions for the simplest web sites all the way up to the most complex e-business sites. Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, has a new startup called Acquia, and, literally a few weeks after he started his new company, Acquia received $7 million in funding.
Can you say, “Open source standard Linux for devices powered by Google”? Can you say, “gPhone”? Almost five thousand developers signed up in the first week. This might be the iPhone that everyone really wants. If you look at what Linux and open source have provided over the last ten years, I can’t imagine what mobile devices will look like with a platform like Android in the next five years. One blogger said that, if you write code for a living, you need to learn about Android. Android might be what Java was supposed to be.
If you have kids between the ages of 8 to 16 I urge you to take a look at Alice. Alice was developed at Carnegie Mellon as a way to get students excited about computer science and to make learning programming fun. Over 100 universities and 100 high schools now use Alice as their introductory computer sciences class. After a few hours of using Alice or StoryTellingAlice, students have already learned looping, multi-threading, and method encapsulation, and they will think that all they are doing is creating stories. My nine -year-old is already addicted to StoryTellingAlice. The next release called Alice 3.0 should be out next year. Alice 3.0 will include contributions from Electronic Arts’ Sims2. The story will only get better.
Cloud computing in 2008 will be white hot. Hadoop is the dirty little secret behind a good portion of cloud computing. Google, IBM, Yahoo, and Amazon are doing the Hadoop. In 2008, a lot more companies will be following their lead. Last year, Google sponsored an initiative to introduce Google 101 at the University of Washington (see Business Week article). IBM has also jumped into the game by teaming with Google to address Internet-scale computing initiatives at a small number of universities. IBM has also announced a competitive solution to Amazon’s web services (AWS) called “Blue Cloud” that will also be based on Hadoop. All indications are that clear skies are ahead for Hadoop in 2008.
This is my long shot. I have a soft spot for these guys, one, because they are based in Atlanta and, two, because Kaneva was my first virtual world experience. I still haven’t been on Second Life yet. Kaneva has almost a million subscribers, and it is still in Beta. Predictions are that it will have 3 million subscribers in 2008. The founder, Christopher Klaus, sold his last venture ISS to IBM for $1.3 billion last year. Christopher Klaus might have an inside track to a technology that IBM is obviously gaga over. Kaneva might also be hedging its bets as well by using IBM System x servers as its infrastructure architecture.