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Web development has been a hot area for quite a while now. Slowly and steadily, there are people coming from all parts of society to try their hand at it to suit their individual needs. For example, us bloggers are constantly on the lookout for an idea or an application which would help us extend the threshold of limitations we face due to various reasons. Web Applications have become as integral to our daily internet experience as the Web browser. Anything that is programmed to do a certain thing is an App! Think, how many of those today!

Why aren't there more?

The biggest problem is resources. There are many people I know who are as talented as heck, but don't have enough resources to show off their skills and develop what they have in mind. Take Stephen here for example. He's today easily at the forefront of lightweight application development, and was recently acknowledged for the same. If you read that interview, you'd see how important the fact that Ning was free, was. If it was like other services, and charged from the ground up, we would probably have never seen a Stephen. Well, not until he got enough resources at least!

So, why should only people with the money be allowed to be counted among the cream of web developers? Any serious developer takes pains to learn their language and then apply it. That should be reason enough for them to be given the suitable conditions and resources to allow them to write and program the way they want to.

The helping hand

We need more services like Ning, which tackle various aspects of Web Development, and offer everything which a prospective developer might need. All the person now needs to bring, is the knowledge and skills. Thats not such a small thing to bring, but atleast a person like that won't be hardpressed for resources to make what they want to.

Even if the developer just has one thing to contribute, there's nothing to say that someone else won't use that to start something new. This is where Ning excels, by offering the ability to clone apps and use them. Ofcourse, Ning hasn't been utilised properly ever since its entered the market except by a few handful of people. But its those handfuls who might make tomorrow's next killer application, with the skills they develop and gain by working on small apps at Ning.

A playground of geeks

A repository of modules, ready to use widgets, blocks of code, classes, methods ... in short all the resources that a developer could need is what is going to be probably the next big area for companies to tackle. An Integrated Development Environment for the web will be the next bookmarking/tagging phenomenon. Atleast, it should be. There is nothing to lose from this, only lots and lots of gains.

The only resources that a service like this needs is lots and lots of space and a decent amount of bandwidth. We know that Yahoo! and Google are both in the best spot to launch a service like this of their own, or probably acquire one and give it the boost it needs.

Create the ultimate playground for geeks to thrash about in, and they'll come aplenty. There are ideas just waiting for a stage with the right equipment. One of them, might revolutionise the internet again, who knows!


A Chat with Stephen Paul Weber


Thanks for the links, Aditya! Glad you enjoyed the interview with Stephen - it was a lot of fun to do. As you say, providing an accessible and easy playground for new code and ideas is Ning's purpose. We already have many of the building blocks that you talk about; the built-in search engine, authentication system and tagging capabilities are just three of the many features that Stephen's used to get his code up and running fast, meaning that he can spend less time on them and more on the new ideas that make his apps so great. If you have any ideas about Ning features you'd like to see that would help make us more accessible to people, do let me know.

-- Yoz Grahame, Ning Developer Advocate (yoz(at)

The thing is I'm pretty new to Ning myself, only begun using it like its meant to be, in the past month and have one app credited to my name! :) So I'm not a good judge of what Ning has to offer. What I know is from what Stephen drops through me every now and then when I ask him.

I'll make it a point to know more and use it more, and I shall drop by suggestions and feedback through you! Thanks for dropping by! :)

Yes, you are right. I liked Ning as well.

Btw, everything in your blog seems to be AJAXified. cool! It is one thing that I haven't tried learning yet.

Haha! Not everything is AJAX-ified, as you put it. Yes, they are asynchronous, and dynamic, but they hardly use AJAX. My backlinks are the only thing here which uses AJAX. Native search (with suggestions) uses AJAJ, and so does my categories.

I believe AJAX is a slow technology. But AJAJ is, though no visibily, but considerably faster and easier to work with. Hence wherever possible, I convert XML to JSON(P) and then use it. :)

Hi I would like to know how I can get this template. I am a bloggger and want to borrow the template from you.

Thanks and Regards
Balachandar Ganesan.
    Anonymous Balachander Ganesan, on Thu Aug 17, 08:54:00 AM  

I'm sorry Balachander, but this template is my hard work of 6 months and counting!

However, it'll be of no use to you anyways since once you transition over to the new Beta, you'll have to get rid of it if you want to use their new features.

Sorry again! Take care!

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