The longterm future in Webdevelopment is for sure associated with fading boundaries between systems that provide a service wich incorporates distributed knowledge to form new knowledge, wich it distributes, probably only to one client in a secure fashion.
These boundaries are hard boundaries in terms of possible incompatibilities between interacting systems in heterogenous environment. We are confronted with securtiy issues, incompatibilies in protocol interpretations and service metadata propagation for automatic wiring of resources as opposed to hand crafted wiring as i.e. done with hyperlinks between dynamic system with a proprietary but similar structure, we are confronted wich diffrences on many layers of abstraction and orthogonal technical aspects like the necessesity to transform data not only to diffrent semiotic representationens but also to devices with diffrent availibility and diffrent means of human interaction.
As diversity greatly increases, the call for unification and simplification, that emerged from the complexity, gets louder and louder - and is eventually the root for the development of simple webframeworks of wich there are many(i.e. ruby on rails and groovy).
I think that while it is not the true path to oversimplifiy things, it is at the same time not much better to overcomplicate a specific system, that is the result of what can be refered to as webdevelopment activity to a state, where user recognized functionality of such a system is superseded by a system done by less less developers in less time.
It is also most often perceived, that many legacy systems exist, wich have grown old and big over many years, and wich are hard to extend or modify, but due to their long term presense have somehow proven to work and also have delivered ROI. They also mirror long time adaption to many improvements and changes that were realized required as the system faced reality year after year;
such a code contains real world experiences, that might be worth keeping. These nuggest often have the downside of not being documented properly, so that are hard to extract and a rewrite that preserves the current state of the system get expensive.
I see a need for some kind of methodology that allows to ¨pimp¨ existing legacy applications so that they are interoperable with modern web technologies.
I will have deeper look at REST based webservices, and means of simple object serialisation.
I am eager to create some utility that will adapt existing and new Java applications to web basesd interaction partners, be it a webbrowser rendering an Ajax based user experience or a machine utilizing a service offered by the Java application.