The 2010 Web Development Year in Review

Our annual ‘Web Development Year in Review’ returns for a look back at major news events in the Web development industry in 2010.


  1. Drupal, an open source PHP based content management system (CMS) launched Drupal Gardens, a hosted and managed service for Drupal.
  2. Mozilla rolled Firefox version 3.6 with better support for HTML5, CSS3 and improved customization via Personas. This version also included better speed performance over its predecessor, Firefox 3.5.
  3. Sun pushed a major update to Java SE 6 with fixes for over 300 bugs. Most of the improvements were related to performance gains as well as update to its virtual machine called HotSpot.


  1. Facebook released a major new PHP effort called HipHop aimed at providing a new runtime that is intended to improve PHP use in large-scale deployments.
  2. Salesforce introduced Visual Process Manager for, a new rapid application development tool that allows you to build database driven applications visually by selecting fields.
  3. With its new browser version, Opera released Dragonfly, a fully featured debugging environment for Opera based browsers. Dragonfly allows you to develop more quickly and easily by providing tools to debug your JavaScript and to inspect the DOM, CSS and network traffic.


  1. Google debuted its Google Apps marketplace, an online store whereby Google Apps users can browse and install third-party cloud based applications like helpdesk, calendar, task management utility, etc.
  2. Google also updated its Geocoding Web Service to allow developers to provide more accurate locations in their apps as well as improved performance through pre-caching.
  3. A new version of jRuby was released – JRuby language enables developers to leverage the features of the Ruby programming on Java infrastructure.
  4. Google’s open source project-hosting site, Google Code celebrated its fifth years of hosting open source code and APIs. It now hosts over 240, 000 projects.


  1. Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 software development kit and .NET Framework 4 in April, both featuring a wide range of enhancements for modern application development.
  2. Facebook unveiled its Open Graph protocol that allows site publishers to integrate their Web pages into the social graph via Like buttons.


  1. Google rolled out its Chrome 5 browser as a stable release for Mac and Linux, extending the availability of a stable version of the service to the three major operating systems.
  2. In that same month, Google also announced its Google Font API. Google WebFont API uses CSS3’s @font-face to add web fonts to your site.
  3. Google launched Google Storage for Developers, an alternative to Amazon S3. This service offers developers a cheap and scalable way to store data online.


  1. The much anticipated version of WordPress 3.0 was released in June. This new version offers a powerful and flexible platform with features like better menu management, custom post type, a new theme and much more.
  2. Adobe Flash Player 10.1 was released in June following months of development and testing. This release was significant because most of its underlying code were re-written to address numerous key shortcomings.
  3. Sensha, the company behind ExtJs and Raphael released Sencha Touch, the first HTML5 framework for mobile devices.


  1. Apache CouchDB, the NoSQL database movement hit a major milestone with the release of version 1.0.
  2. Microsoft unveiled its new all-in-one web development suite called WebMatrix which includes IIS Express, ASP.NET, and SQL Server Compact. It streamlines Web site development and makes it easy to start Web sites from popular open-source apps.


  1. Google launched its Chrome Web Store that allows users to browse, install Chrome extensions, web apps and other downloadable apps that run in the browser.
  2. The Web Open File Format (WOFF) neared official approval as a way to enable site designers to use a broad set of fonts supported in major browsers.


  1. After months in beta, version 3 of Ruby on Rails development framework was released in September. This new version included new active record query engine, a new router for action controller along with other new and improved APIs.
  2. Version 9.0 of PostgreSQL was released in that same month. PostgreSQL 9.0 includes built-in, binary replication, and over a dozen other major features which will appeal to everyone from web developers to database hackers.


  1. Adobe announced the released of its HTML5 Video Player widget. It is an easy-to-use, totally CSS-customizable solution that shifts gracefully from the HTML5 <video> tag to the Flash Player when the tag is not supported.
  2. A new version of jQuery, the popular JavaScript library was released. jQuery 1.4.3 includes some speed improvements and several new features including support for JSLint and HTML5 data attributes. Worth pointing out that a new version of MooTools was also released on that week.
  3. Google rolled its own image format called WebP.   This new image format is aimed at further compressing lossy images to make them load faster all the while preserving quality and resolution.
  4. jQuery Mobile, touted as a touch-optimized Web framework for smartphones and tables has been released as an early alpha 1 version. Built on the top of jQuery and jQuery UI code, it provides a unified user interface across all major mobile device platforms.


  1. Zend, the PHP company, announced the availability of Zend Studio 8.0 IDE and the Zend Framework with support for new-cloud focus features. These are part of a new PHP Cloud Application Platform that Zend is now building.
  2. Google released an open source Apache module called mod_pagespeed aimed at optimizing page caching, reducing the number of client-server rout trips and alleviate payload size.


  1. PHP version 5.3.4 was released last week. It is a maintenance released focused on some minor bug fixes and security enhancements.