The 2011 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 2011.


  1. The Eclipse Foundation released Orion, a browser-based web development editor that allows code editing on the cloud. As of today, Orion is available as either a hosted solution or you can download and run it on your own machine.
  2. Joomla went through a major upgrade with its 1.6 release. This new version supports the same user-friendly features but is packed with more enterprise-level power under the hood.
  3. Microsoft began shipping its free Web development toolset dubbed WebMatrix, that aims to provide all of the components necessary to quickly build, run and manage web sites. WebMatrix includes IIS Developer Express, ASP.NET and SQL Server Compact Edition.


  1. Amazon S3 Storage expanded its services to allow hosting of complete static web sites versus just static files.
  2. Zend Technologies announced the general availability of its Zend Server 5.0 PHP Web application server featuring Code Tracking.


  1. Adobe released Wallaby, an experimental application that attempts to convert Flash files like animation, banners into HTML5.
  2. Python 3.2 was released with a heavy focus on multithreading and concurrency. Additionally, this release offered a stable ABI so that developers who build for version 3.2 will also be assured that their modules will be compatible with future releases.
  3. Google updated its Page Speed tool by converting it from a Firefox extension to an online version. Page Speed offers webmasters an easy way to assess Web page performance analysis data and get suggestions on making pages faster.


  1. Zend Technologies and Adobe Systems today announced Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP, which enables developers to use PHP and Flash development skills to build rich Internet applications for mobile, Web, and desktop platforms.
  2. Sencha, the company behind Ext JS, released Ext JS 4 that leverages plug-in-free charting technologies like SVG and VML instead of Flash.


  1. A major upgrade to JQuery JavaScript framework was released in May which included a rewrite of the Attribute module as well as several performance improvements.
  2. Amazon unveiled a new cloud service based on Oracle database technology providing an easy way to manage common database administration tasks, including provisioning, backups, software patching, monitoring and hardware scaling.
  3. A new version of Perl (version 5.14) was released in that month, providing users of the open source language with improved Unicode, IPv6 and exception handling.
  4. Opera released DragonFly, a Firebug-like extension that provides development and debugging tool integrated its browser. DragonFly works with both desktop and mobile Opera versions.


  1. WordPress 3.2 was released boosting over 400 enhancements including new user and developer features, performance improvement as well as addressing several bug fixes.
  2. eBay purchased Magento, the open source e-commerce platform, to enhance its tools for online store developers.
  3. Opa, a new open source language for writing web application was unveiled. Its aim is to bridge programming language, web server, database and compiler together to provide a great experience for web developers.


  1. Google Code added support for Git version control system in an attempt to compete with GitHub.
  2. Oracle released Java SE 7, a major update to the programming language in more than 5 years.


  1. Firefox 6 was released which included some great web development tools. It introduced Scratchpad, a new JavaScript editor that’s well worth checking out, and the Web Console panel has also been improved.
  2. Adobe has released a preview version of a new HTML animation tool dubbed Edge. Together with Wallaby, Adobe’s Flash-to-HTML conversion app, Edge is part of Adobe’s push to get away from Flash.
  3. Ruby on Rails 3.1 was released adding new features like jQuery support and speedier JavaScript execution for faster page rendering.


  1. PostgreSQL 9.1 was rolled out and delivered several features which users have been requesting for years, removing roadblocks to deploying new or ported applications on PostgreSQL.


  1. Internet Explorer’s share of global browser usage dropped below 50 percent for the first time in more than a decade. This diminishing share (49.6%) reflects IE’s near absence from the realms of mobile and tablet, which in October made up 6% of web traffic.
  2. Google unveiled a new programming language for the web named “Dart,” aimed at being a replacement for JavaScript. Dart’s purpose is to offer better performance, easier scaling, and more security than Java or JavaScript.
  3. Zend announced PHPcloud, a new service to bring PHP to the cloud. Built on the top of Amazon, it provides developers with an application platform.


  1. Adobe, in its plan to refocus its efforts on HTML5, has open sourced the Flex SDK to the Apache Software Foundation. This means that Adobe is no longer the sole guiding force behind Flex.
  2. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released the first draft of a new web standard aimed at improving online privacy. The W3C’s new Standard for Online Privacy is a set of tools that will ultimately enable your browser to stop sites from tracking your every move on the web.
  3. Mozilla released Popcorn.js, a set of JavaScript and HTML5 code that makes it easier to build more interactive video experience on the Web. Popcorn.js utilizes HTML5 video features and currently works best in Firefox and Chrome.


  1. Mozilla released Firefox 9.0 that is meant to be faster and consume less memory than previous releases. The JavaScript engine of Firefox has also been updated to allow complex JavaScript websites to run faster.
  2. Facebook released its HipHop Virtual Machine that provides a way to improve PHP rendering by up to 60% faster all the while using 90% less memory.
  3. eBay launched a Web query language called to simplify the process of querying a Web service for data.