11 programming trends to watch

By Peter Wayner, InfoWorld |  Software, java

Even if we concede that it would be creepy and dangerous to reprogram your brake system, why can't we hack the nav system? The car companies are touting how their fancy computer systems integrate with your phone, but they're not open the way your desktop is open. Hardly anything is as open as the desktop used to be. Even desktop systems may be more locked down, with some wondering whether the new secure booting infrastructure for Windows 8 will make it impossible to run alternative OSes.

This is bound to limit innovation in the future. After the garage hackers and programmers finish building tools that put a smile on their faces, they turn around and create companies that do the same tasks for the average person. Slicing off the open source experiment in this area destroys the aftermarket. And it becomes harder for companies to hire the programmers they need because open source tinkering produces skilled programmers that can fill jobs.

There remain glittering exceptions, usually when the code is shared between programmers. Some projects like Apache still thrive and attract the kind of financial support they need to pay top talent. Github and Sourceforge continue to add more projects. Others work well for developers experimenting with the bleeding edge. But there are few examples of pure openness succeeding with the end consumer, who seems drawn to the siren call of proprietary gardens.

Programming trend No. 6: Bandwidth is no longer free

Web programmers have grown up believing bandwidth is free and getting ever faster. No need to worry about slow download times -- in a year, everyone's connection will be zippier, and the problem will disappear. Unfortunately, those days are over, thanks to more and more ISPs adding bandwidth caps and metering.

Regardless of whether you see this as a need to crack down on bandwidth hogs destroying the commonwealth or as a power grab by those who own the pipes and, by coincidence, want to sell pay-per-view video feeds, bandwidth is something programmers need to worry about consuming.

This will change many of the gimmicks built around the cloud because traffic from your home machine to the cloud will be metered. Will radio stations be able to stream every bit that we hear and still make enough money on the pennies from ads? Will online backup be viable?


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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