So… I’m sitting here, thinking. when really I should be sleeping. :) There’s a lot going on in the free software world these days. I’m going to throw out a few wild predictions here about how things will be a year from now. :)
Keep in mind that these are all from my own crazy and sleep-deprived mind. Some will seem obvious, and some will turn out to be completely wrong. For entertainment purposes only, yadda yadda yadda.
First of all, pretty soon kde geeks will complain more about people assuming they have firefox and a google account than windows, IE and office.
Eventually everyone will get a google wave account, play with it, and get bored. Wave & google docs usage will rise steadily, though. That slowly rising tide will worry us, until finally someone says Enough and starts a real movement for Free services & data.
Twitter and facebook are boring now… They’ll still hang around, people will use them, but like icq, eventually most people just won’t care.
Kde will still be using svn. Every few months someone will get fed up and go do one of the tasks needed for git migration. Many developers will have switched to gitsvn for the project they contribute to most – hey, at least they’ll be used to git terminology when we’re finally ready to switch to real git.
Chromium will slowly gain ground as people tire of firefox. Tragic, really; nobody will step forward with a qwebkit-based browser to compete. Konq will still be largely ignored (even though it’s become a good browser again), arora and rekonq will stay toy projects. No marketing, no mindshare, few users. Remeber getfirefox.com? Why aren’t we doing something like that? we (theoretically) support as many websites as chrome because we’re all using webkit (or khtml). all they’ve got on us is speed, the Google brand, and the Google marketing.
…And yet everyone will still have firefox installed, for those websites that just won’t work anywhere else.
Plasma-netbook will make a big splash, and contribute to KDE’s rising visibility.. Many distros will still ignore it, but one will switch its focus to kde, and then another… other areas of KDE will mature, and the benefits of our Pillars of KDE will shine through… In two years we’ll be the default on most distros. Gnome won’t know what hit them ;)
The web movement will grow. Web this, web that, web everything. And we’ll have to put up with it, because it’s going to be a while before the hype wears off and people start to get tired of the web’s disadvantages. Oh, and many people will decide to try and work around those disadvantages instead of trying to bring the web’s advantages to non-web stuff.
Silk will come out, and that’ll help. It’ll make things less stupidly painful… But in a way it’s just treating a symptom. And websites change, so stuff will break. Of course i’m sure silk will include ghns updates for stuff that’s likely to get broken… and it *will* be cool and awesome… But it’s still treating a symptom.
The upside of silk’s approach, though, is the short-term gain. Kde-workspace will become the webby desktop, the shiny cool convenient thing that’s better than living in firefox. :) And while that’s gaining us users and making people happy and helping our developers learn about what does and doesn’t work, maybe we can try and come up with something better than the web. something with the advantages of both desktop and internet without the pain of being built on top of infrastructure originally designed for serving & displaying static html pages.
Then again, maybe it’ll be like IPv6 and the new less-painful way won’t be persuasive enough to dislodge the existing stuff. *shrug* :) but I like to think that eventually we’ll retire this old web thing and build something new and clean. I just hope to god that whatever comes after web-3.0 is built with Freedom in mind before profit. We all depend on services like email or facebook to a scary degree these days… if google were to shut down my gmail account due to some misunderstanding, it would cause huge problems, and there would be no appeal. heck, KDE e.V had problems not long ago with their paypal account, iirc. These online services are their own judge and jury right now, and the more we depend on them, the more scary that gets.
Oh, and then swine flu will mutate and kill us all! …no :P people will have practicaly forgotten about it in a year. remember SARS?
someone will start going around to different applications, porting each one to use nepomuk where appropriate, so that its usage grows… but users still won’t know it’s there unless strigi tries to eat their computer (which will, of course, be blamed on nepomuk. or plasma. everything is plasma). :)
I seen to be too tired to follow a train of thought any more. :) Again, all of these predictions are just meant for entertainment. don’t take it too seriously. and don’t quote me. ;)