Browsers’ teenage years

I’m working on an essay I was assigned on what newspapers will be like in 2020. And it occurred to me that we are at the halfway point between the birth of the browser and then. Browsers started spreading 13 years ago, in 1994. Now they’re asking me to predict what will happen 13 years hence. Consider the changes in the world since ’94 and now consider the pace of change moving forward. Newspapers? What’s a newspaper, Daddy? What’s a browser? What’s a PC?

  • I’d cancel the assignment. Do you really want to be ridiculed in 13 yrs?

    Seriously, it is foolish to predict more than the general trends a couple years from now.

  • Other questions for Daddy: What’s a journalist? Objectivity? Broadcast? Local TV affiliate? The New York Times? (Steve Boriss, The Future of News)

  • Adryan

    Oh come now, it could be quite fun if you do it playfully. Look at what these guys came-up with for 2015:

  • TLB

    I predict it will be another twenty years before browsers are what they should have been back then: similar to OpenDoc and other object-oriented systems. All this crap about using CSS tricks would have never happened and instead writing web pages would be like writing a Java app, with layout managers, absolute positioning if you need it, automatic fallback to even lynx-type levels if necessary, and so on. In that case, websites would be objects and would have meta data, their complete contents (or as much as the owners want to reveal) could be available through an API, and so on. It’s too bad that Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreesen weren’t given a sinecure somewhere so someone more capable could have designed the web.

  • If you could look ahead six months you would know what Adobe was up to.

    So far the browser has taken over most functions of ‘office’ software, notably word processing so it is ‘read-write’.

    Flash seems to me to be another thing entirely, not text based. I am one of the Postscript fans who continue to be puzzled. There has been something on offer to developers and I guess soon the rest of us will notice some effect.

    So, much more video and animation if that is still a newspaper.

  • A journalist would most likely be one of two kind of algorythm expert: relevance & format specialist, and objectivity & newsworthiness specialist.

    People will be happy to have news that is tailored to their availability: can they read, listen to it? how long until their attention might be grabed by something else? Headline and soundbites could be advantageously (and automatically) be replaced by in-depth analysis when a traffic congestion is ahead.

    Some people can decide whether such news element is relevant, objective, but their opinion will have to be agregated with text analysis, to check if a story is missing important aspects.

    Who will write the story? The players themselves, I assume — hopefully through more automated means.

  • rick

    i would love to imagine the papers returning to the turn of the century when the carried impossibly local and amazingly succinct detail about things like, “Mrs. Smith of Danbury Street called on Mrs. Shay for lunch…”

    people read that. it’s not about gossip of socializing, but about “regular” life. old-world twitter.