I spend a lot of my time thinking about the future. As an architect, that’s probably the biggest tool in your tool belt, a crystal ball. The best designs are the ones that can be used now and a year from now.
Before I blog about what I think will be important things to look out for in 2010, I’d like to review what I said last year about 2009. If it turns out I was totally wrong, then you can take my 2010 predictions with a grain of salt, as you should anyway. So here we go.
2009: The Year of the GPGPU
Well, I’m not sure it was as big as I thought it would be, but we’re certainly seeing a lot of momentum behind ATI and Nvidia’s monster graphics cards come computing devices. We’re still fighting software demons. Nvidia is still pushing it’s own CUDA over the “standard” OpenCL that ATI seems to be more on side with. But if you see what some of Nvidia parters are putting together with their Tesla boards, you know the time is soon.
2009: The year of WebKit
While not very visible, WebKit is becoming the standard browser platform for devices including iPhone, Android and Palm Pre, along with the existing desktop browsers, Apple’s Safari and Google Chrome. But if you’ve ever tried to use Chrome as your default browser, as I do, you still run into a lot of web sites that don’t render well on it, or AJAX sites that don’t even work. Even our EclipseCon submission system had trouble with Safari (although it seems to work fine in my Chrome on Fedora). No, it’s actually looks like 2009 was the year for Firefox which is now the most popular browser according to something I read the other day.
C++0x won’t be C++09
Now, I already knew that when I wrote it. If C++ creator Bjarne Stroustrup doesn’t think it’ll happen, it likely won’t. I’m even having doubts it’ll be C++0a (or C++10, I guess). But I hope it comes soon since it has a lot of great things that C++ developers need that a lot of other languages already have (like lambdas). The good news, is that we’ve started work on supporting C++0x in CDT’s parser. It’s going to take a while so it’s important we start now.
So all-in-all, it wasn’t a total failure. But then, I think I was probably stating the obvious at the time. There were no shockers, but it was fun to do. I’ll give my thoughts on 2010 just before the New Year so stay tuned.
BTW, I’d also like to share my best wishes for the holiday season with you all. It’s a time for reflection and I’m sure I’ll do my share. 2010 is going to be a big year for me and I’ll need to prepare. Merry Christmas to all!