Web Technology

Web technology is a set of protocols and tools that allow access to information from a standard interface irrespective of the location of the interface.  The interface is a Web browser of which the world has standardized on two - Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer.  Traditionally, the interface was a program that had to be obtained from the source for which the access was desired - if you wanted to access a bank you needs its interface program.  If you wanted to access another bank you needed its program too.  But with a Web browser that  is no longer true - install the browser and you just PULL the program across the Internet to your computer.  No more floppies and messy CD-ROM installations.  This alleviated the hellish nightmare of packaging and distributing  programs by the provider and the customer having to install the programs. 


So Has Much Really Changed?


Effectively yes, because organizations and their customers are no longer have to be involved in massive physical distribution of interface applications - the Web browser now pulls the applications over the Internet from the organization.  But what about the organizations development effort.  For most development efforts, the product is split into three (3) tiers.  Tier 1, is the interface that humans interact with, Tier 2, is the middle tier that acts as a go between the interface and the back-end data resources such as customer and product information.  Most of the enhancements brought upon the organization because of Web deployment is at the first tier where application type interfaces instead of Web interfaces use to reside.  This tier set-up is much like an ice berg where 80% of the ice was below the surface and not visible.  Tier 1 is the visual portion of the iceberg while Tier 2 and Tier 3 is the iceberg below the surface.  It is emphatically true that most of the work and complexity is contained below the surface which is Tier 2 and 3.  So has much really changed.  While yes in distribution and no in development.


So has the Interface totally changed?


Well, that's what it looks like happened.  But as Thomas Dolby said in his song "Science", "She blinded me with science and now she's making love to me".  The point he was making is that the cosmetics has blurred the underlying substance.  Likewise, Web design and graphics has made the visual centers in our brain a highly stimulated entity.  Many organizations went to a great expense and extremes to make a visual extravaganza for customers only to find out that  the bandwidth was not present for neither corporations nor retail consumers - they were trying to shove an elephant through a drain in the kitchen.  They redesigned their web sites to be small in download size so that - less became more because their customer was sent less but got more useful information in the same amount of time.