I've just hit 30, a couple of hours ago and at this point, I'm still contemplating how I should feel about it. Should I declare myself as an old person or as a (not so old) person. Oh!, how the passing of a few hours can try to change your (outlook on) life :)
And thats' sort of how I feel about this year. I'm very excited about 2007, from a technological standpoint, but not so sure with the way the world is ticking. But first, here are some things why I think things are going to be exciting this year:
- Linux Desktop Effects: Compiz and Beryl blew away the competition, and excited anyone who saw them. Expect more exciting developments from those two projects and of course the upcoming Ubuntu and Fedore distros that will make use of them out of the box. Desktop Linux is on steroids, and several projects such as the effort of the Opensource nvidia driver, possibly better Opensourced ATI drivers are going to make things much much better. I will fall short of saying, this is the year of the Desktop Linux.
- GPL v3: GPL v3 will be finalized this year and we can expect to see some projects migrate to using GPLv3 from GPLv2, while some may even make a stand saying they will not migrate to it. But what is certain is, the debate wont be over. There is sure gonna be some more of those interesting discussions involving the controversial DRM and software patents issues. I was listening to a podcast with Jeremy Allison, of the Samba Project think that Microsoft might actually have to rethink their deal with Novel, when it comes them distributing SuSe Linux coupons they bought from Novel, if they want to continue to rant about the so called "every Linux user owes Microsoft an undisclosed amount of debt" piece of crap. Because the GPL v3 patent clause says that you can't distribute a software if you know that it violates any patents and if you distribute a piece of software, then you cant later sue claiming patent violations. So essentially, if you are a patent owner and you distribute a software then by that very act, you've given the community a promise you won't sue.
- Windows Vista: For the majority of people who has been running a 10 year+ old Operating System, something to look forward to. While I don't think people will flock to shops to grab Vista, people opting to buy a new machine has something to look forward to. I think we will have 1GB become the standard memory size and most people will opt for 2GB memory as a result of the high hardware demand.
- Apple's Leopard: Like with all of Apple's products, we are going to be dazzled seeing Steve Jobs demoing Apple's next OS. Though people probably wont rush to buy an expensive Mac, it will probably set a trend with some cool features that other OSes will eventually want to copy.
- PS3: This awesome gaming machine, is going to totally kick ass! I think we'll hear a lot about the PS3, not just about the games but also other cool things involving Linux. The PS3 might be the killer device for Linux because, unlike a PC which could run many OSes, the PS3 currently can only run Linux besides the games.
- iPhone: The iPhone is cool. Sure it may actually have less features than some of the SE or Nokia N series phones, but the freaking touch system coupled with the interface is hard to resist. I just hope they manage to have a 3G unit (with 2.5G + EDGE) in by the end of the year.
- Nokia N800: Ok this phone isn't really a phone. Its the successor to the 770 tablet. Similar to the 770, I don't think a lot of people are going to buy it, mainly because Nokia doesn't seem to want to push it aggressively. But nevertheless it is an awesome device that runs on Linux and already has many useful applications. Its definetely a geek must have gadget.
- OLPC This is one cool gadget that people are going to rush to somehow get their hands on. I hope kids won't get mugged in the process :). Its got a cool new interface (which I sort of found awkward at first), runs Linux, has WiFi built in, and has an innovative way of charging the battery my using some sort of mechanical energy (rotating shaft).
- Second Life: Its been around for sometime now, but as a result of recent high profile events by organizations such as IBM and Sun having virtual replicas inside Second Life, and holding virtual conferences attended by many, the popularity of it has picked up. Second Life is like an early manifestation of the Matrix, a virtual world that some people will spend more time in than in the real world. Recently there was a woman who successfully runs a virtual real-estate business and as a result has became a millionaire (in terms of real world money) inside Second Life. I think there will be some mobile clients of second life on some hand held devices (if it hasn't already happened) and I think I heard that they might OpenSource some of it.
We sure are living in crazy times. Especially when you hear stuff like this year being one of the most hottest ever, or the fact its damn cold in California with snow in the Malabu area after some 20 years, or the recent floods in Asia with yet another Tsunami warning. And to top it all off, the Doomsday Clock, which is maintained by some of the top physicist, was brought forward by 2 minutes, and now stand at 5 minutes to destruction of all things as we know it!
That's why, (like my age), I'm not quite sure whether to be excited about 2007 or feel a little bit lost.