The 2009 Web Development Year in Review

We take a  look back at major news events in the Web development and design industry in 2009.


Two major PHP IDE Upgrades were announced in January. Jcx.Software released VS PHP 2.6, an integrated development environment for MS Visual Studio and the Eclipse Foundation released a major upgrade to their Eclipse PHP IDE.


Sun Microsystems released their JavaFX Mobile platform, expanding its rich Internet application platform from desktop to mobile devices. A public beta of Safari 4 was also announced in that month which Apple claimed as being faster and more standard compliant.


The much awaited Internet Explorer 8.0 was made available in March. March 31st marked the one year anniversary of Magento’s first production release. The open source PHP and MySql based eCommerce script went through a lot of momentum since its first beta version.


Google added support for Java and secure data connection to its AppEngine infrastructure- previously only Python was available. Yahoo also launched its updated developer tool YSlow that allows web developers improve the speed of the site or web application.


A new version of Zend Framework was announced that promises to allow PHP developers to easily connect their PHP applications to the cloud. Still on cloud computing, Microsoft on that same month announced a new open source Software Developer Kit for PHP on its cloud services platform Windows Azure.


Perhaps the biggest event in June was the much awaited release of PHP. PHP version 5.3 was the first major update to PHP since 2006. In that same month, Adobe launched BrowserLabs, a web-based service that allows web developers see how their sites will look on different browsers.


Microsoft revamped its web development efforts in that month by launching version 3 of its Silverlight platform and Expression development toolkit. Adobe on the other hand, made two open source frameworks available: Open Source Media Framework and the Text Layout Framework, both aimed at allowing developers to easily publish media on the Web. On July, 31st, Firefox passed their 1 billion download milestone.


A WebGL workgroup was formed in that month to define a new standard for bringing 3D graphics to the Web. Google also released their new Chrome beta browser in August which included a skinning engine, faster JavaScript performance and support for HTML5 video.


InfoWorld’s annual ‘Best of Open Source‘ Awards was held in September – you can find a list of this year’s winners on our blog. Microsoft launched its WebsiteSpark program giving away free development tools, training and support to Web site design and development firms.


The site goes open source with its migration to Drupal content management system.


Google’s released a new programming language called Go. The search engine also made their internal JavaScript Library,  Closure available to web developers. Microsoft, on the other hand announce to open source the .NET Micro Framework under the Apache 2.0 license. Opera 10.10 was also released with Opera Unite, a built-in web server.


The specs for JavaEE 6 received final approval and this new version will sport a number of enhancements.


  1. Alok Khode

    Good article. In one shot, anyone can be updated about the happenings on Web Development of this year.

  2. Biggs

    Nice review, thank for this. Gives a really nice overview of the year. Do you have reviews of 2008/2007 somewhere here too? Few errors in the text though: Oct - content management system, not section Nov - a new programming language instead of launched, yes?

  3. @Biggs - Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for pointing out the errors in the copy; I have updated the article. For the 2008 Web development year in review, you can read it at: