The website is dead - Long live the website.

The website is dead. Long live the website. The humble web site appears to be dying. Apparently the future belongs to Facebook, tablets, smartphones and apps. For those of us old enough to remember the history of computer science this is like going back to the future. Many of the platforms discussed are proprietary and closed systems products which are takes us back to the days of mainframes. In those far off days of yore you were stuck with buying your operating system and applications from the same supplier. Mind you, even IBM in all its glory could only dream of selling you content as well.
Talking of content reminds me of the similar fate facing the compact disk, which arrived in the early 1980s, and is now also apparently obsolete, being replaced by, downloads and other digital formats. The quality of CD is better than nearly all the downloads available and there's a huge catalogue available on CD which we never thought we would see in this format. The price of CDs is often lower than the corresponding downloads as well.
Mature technologies are by their nature unfashionable, but they often benefit from that maturity in terms of quality, features and value. Just as there are more facilities and better value available for the compact disc in its declining years so the humble website also has a wider choice of tools and facilities available. Many of them are available at absolutely no cost at all bar the developer’s time.
For me, the future of webpages depends on providing web applications that are accessible on mobile devices and incorporating accessibility features making them available to all.
With open source tools available at no cost except the cost of the person using them, it is now possible to develop websites which are scalable from a smartphone to a large monitor provided that Flash is avoided. This means that websites can be made available which are not limited to one particular application. The same site will run across your iPhone and iPad, your Android phone and tablet, your Blackberry and the new Windows platform 10 as well as your PC or Mac. Templates like the skeleton template provided with Drupal 7 allow you to develop adaptive code without having to actually program the code yourself. This will take care of nearly all of the scaling that you need. You need to be a little bit savvy with your CSS to be able to make your videos scale with the page but this only requires three lines of code. You also need to avoid Flash because the Apple platform will not cope with this system.
Content management systems like Drupal also provide easy ways of making sure that your site is accessible not just in terms of multiple platforms but also accessible to people who may have visual or learning in impairments. For example, you can use the Text Size module in Drupal 7 to provide scalable font sizes on your adaptive skeleton theme. In this way, the text size on all platforms can be varied.
An adaptive and accessible website offers real advantages over proprietary app technologies. It allows you to maintain one resource instead of multiple different propriety versions. It allows you to rise above the requirements of people like Apple and other companies who try to insist you use their propriety formats at the expense of all others. It stops you to having to revert back to a computer science world of 40 years ago.
All of my projects in the foreseeable future will be developed on a platform which is both adaptable and accessible. In this way resources will be provided to the widest number of people across the widest number of platforms allowing people freedom to make use of all the great new technology that is appearing. The web page is dead, long live the web page