2012 was a great year for web development, with many emerging technologies becoming mainstream and plenty of obscure design trends becoming a reality. 2013 looks to follow on in similar style with more and more resources being available to developers to release their vision. In no particular order let's have a look at five technology picks to look out for in 2013.
Responsive Web Design
Not often thought of as a technology, but with more and more handheld devices been brought to the market on almost a daily basis, webmasters alike are now required to incorporate their designs to cater for numerous smaller screens. In the past it was accustom to design two separate sites for a project, so mobile users can access the content albeit on a smaller screen. This quickly became tiresome for those involved as you would need to create two sets of content for each along with two separate designs. Now with the addition of smartphones and tablets the web is constantly in reach of our finger tips for almost anyone.
Now content has to be smart, interchangeable and designed in such a way to be accessible across the whole device market. Basing your designs around the content will shape the future, and with Responsive Design you can allow the content to scale to the device which is being used. Now one base design can fit all and be further molded to embrace the device, not overshadow it. It will be interesting to see how this design trend fairs in the coming months and what further development can be implemented to essentially reduce the disparity between devices.
Firmly established as one of the most popular framework's out there on the web space market, Twitter Bootstrap has become a standard for rapid prototyping of web applications and is used by many developers worldwide for its quick and unambitious use of grid layouts and availability of additional tools. Project lead's Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton have recently shifted the project into it's own open source organisation to help further progress the framework. This and the fact that they see Bootstrap as an ever evolving project with updates and bug fixes being put out on a swift and constant basis.
The popularity of Backbone stems from a need to release data that can often become tied to the DOM. The principles behind this are to give freedom to the developer to build upon and allow them to structure their code in a Model, View, Controller method. 2013 looks set to be another bumper year for the team behind Backbone.
Sublime Text 2
Early in 2011 the one man outfit, Jon Skinner, released version 2 of the updated python based extension of Vim. At the end of July 2012 the project finally came out of beta, releasing the feature rich text based editor to the world. Since then more and more features have been added, to name a few, a Go To Anything navigation tool to move between files, Column Selection and MultiSelect Editing allowing for chunks of columns to be selected and edited altogether on the fly. Furthermore Sublime Text is inbuilt with it's own Package Control allowing for users to find, install, update and remove extensions without having to restart Sublime Text 2. The list of extensions or packages is huge and they allow for an auto-update feature alongside GitHub to download the latest version from their respective repository.
Above all Sublime Text 2 is fast and minimalist in design, it's no surprise it's fastly becoming the most widely use text editor amongst developers. 2013 seems likely to be a springboard for this project with the announcement of some interesting new features to be incorporated in the coming months.
All in all 2013 sets to be year based around fluidity of design, content to become smarter and the usability of additional resources and tools to become integral to accomplishing web applications. The future looks bright and in an ever changing industry it will be interesting to see the way in which web development is shaped within the coming months.