Old Technologies Still Sticking Around

Even as new technologies continue to flood the marketplace signaling death for older technologies, some older technologies simply refuse to die. I was reminded of this recently as I read a release touting IBM Lotus would be available on mobile phones. Wow. And here I was thinking Lotus was going to die a slow death…continuing to exist where it was already installed but eventually being replaced as systems got upgraded. Guess I was wrong on that one. Mobile compatibility may be one of the things that keep Lotus around just a bit longer as IBM shows Lotus’ relevance in the marketplace, mainly with enterprise customers.

Another technology that perplexes me, one that I thought was on its way out a decade ago, is Cold Fusion. New coding standards, richer XHTML capabilities, and new languages would surely make this closed system obsolete, right? Wrong. A decade after thinking its days were limited (I had no timeframe in mind, I just saw the writing on the wall. Well, at least I THOUGHT I did…) I still see .cfm on many pages that I hit as I’m surfing around.

It’s tough to predict the future when it comes to the Internet and other computer-related technologies. Things that seem like a sure hit can fail for a variety of reasons (marketing, bad implementation, politics, etc) while other technologies that seem as if they are becoming obsolete continue to exist, and sometimes thrive. For now I guess the safe bet would be to use the technologies that have the most compatibility and sadly, the most backing. I say sadly because backing can come from deep wallets wanting to push a particular standard for reasons of profit rather than promoting the most useful and promising technology. Goodbye Betamax, sorry Minidisk, you had a chance Ogg Vorbis but not good enough, you were fun while you lasted HD-DVD. There goes that semester of programming I took in Pascal…