The term Rich Internet Applications (RIA) was introduced by Macromedia back in 2002. To the best of my knowledge, RIA is a combination of low-cost deployment model of the Web browsers and networked platforms and a rich user experience that is at least as good as with today’s desktop applications. In addition to this, RIA do not require entire Web page refresh for updating their data, which translates to much faster response time and more efficient utilization of the network bandwidth. Think of a globally available rich client-server application.
Regardless of when the term was introduced, first RIA applications were born as early as 1995, when Java language has been created. Initially, Java became popular because it has presented small downloadable Java programs called applets (remember the dancing Duke?), which were created with Java AWT (and then Swing) libraries and ran in the Web browser’s Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Ironically, this technology that made the Java language popular, was pushed back, and today Java shines mostly on the server side and in mobile devices.
In 2004, yet another catchy term Web 2.0 was coined by Tim O’Reilly. As of now, no one has clearly defined what makes a Web site to qualify for this term. If someone sees a cool looking Web site, s/he calls it Web 2.0. But the idea of marking better looking products with the version 2.0 , is pretty popular these days. Often, it refers to social engineering sites that allow people to collaborate and build the content of the sites themselves.
Wikipedia offers a lengthy article about Web 2.0 that may give you some idea of what this term means.
I wonder if anyone can provide a definition of Web 2.0 in one sentence? This is one of the fuzziest terms I’ve ever heard.
In my opinion, “Web 2.0 defines any cool highly-interactive Web application of the first decade of the 21st century“.
It goes without saying that Tim O’Reilly is a good businessman, and while I was trying to come up with a free definition that people would understand, today O’Reilly has announced availability of a special report called Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices . Sounds great! The only little problem is that this one-hundred page report cost $375 USD. Ouch! I’d like to read it, but can’t afford it.
Here comes the new one: Web 3.0 is referring to a semantic Web… Do you know what this means? Anyone?