Since the Internet first came onto the scene in the late 80s and 90s, it has undergone some significant changes, encapsulated by Web 1.0 and 2.0. Now we enter the third version of the web known as semantic web or Internet 3.0. In this web development tutorial, we’ll explore what this means for web developers and how it will change the game forever.
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What is Web 3.0 and how does it differ from its predecessors?
Web 1.0 came to define the first version of the Internet as it emerged from its origins with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In the early days, the Internet was mostly made up of web pages connected by hyperlinks, without the extra visuals, controls, and forms that we see today. Experts call it the “read-only” web because it was not significantly interactive. The internet user was, for the most part, a passive observer, and much of the data entered was entered offline.
The exact end of Web 1.0 and the beginning of Web 2.0 cannot be clearly defined, as it is a change that happened gradually over time as the Internet slowly became more interactive. Web 2.0 has taken us from a read-only Internet to what experts would call a “read/write” Internet. As a result, users were able to enter a series of information in form fields and send them back to the servers, in order to be able to communicate with them in real time.
The impetus for these changes has been largely driven by large corporations such as Amazon, Facebook and Google. Over time, the big tech behemoths began to wield great influence over the web, which eventually led to the fundamental flaw of Web 2.0, which is centralization. So what’s wrong with a centralized Internet? Many things, in fact, the main one being that companies that use a centralized architecture tend to have their own data centers. This leads to serious security and privacy concerns, as a single accident or hacking incident can lead to the loss or breach of the personal data of millions of users.
Proponents of Web 3.0 are ushering in a new architecture centered on decentralization. They hope to address some of the flaws associated with Web 2.0, such as privacy and identity, using blockchain technology. Some of the main attributes of Web 3.0 include:
- Decentralized: Applications developed in Web 2.0 were largely created and deployed on a single server, and data was often stored in a single database hosted either by the organization or by a cloud service provider company. Meanwhile, Web 3.0 applications are likely to be built on decentralized networks running through a large number of peer-to-peer servers.
- Open: Promotes open-source development by a community of developers.
- Without trust: Enable interactions across public and private networks without any trust issues or involvement of a trusted third-party source. A “trustless” network is one where users can rely on the performance and output of the network without having any strict requirements to trust anyone not involved in the current transaction.
- Without authorization: Allow users and companies to participate in public or private projects without the involvement of any governing body, thus facilitating the secure and flexible transfer of information.
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Adapting to the new Web 3.0 paradigm
As we all move towards a decentralized world, it is imperative that developers align their own coding practices with Web 3.0. With that in mind, here are some starting points:
One of the problematic aspects of Web 2.0 is that users have to define their identity using emails and passwords. This practice makes it too easy to lose information and the need for frequent updates to maintain security. With Web 3.0, a user’s ID or wallet address is completely anonymous, unless they choose to share their identity publicly.
This would require the use of identity protocols like Ceramic or IDX to bypass identity layers and conventional authentication – in effect, enabling self-sovereign identification. Therefore, developers should focus their efforts on evolving an approach that overcomes the privacy issues associated with conventional identification.
Right now, organizations like the Ethereum Foundation are working on an RFP (Request for Proposal) that can help users experience open, trustless, and permissionless applications.
Effects of Web 3.0 on applications and data
When it comes to apps, Web 3.0 is giving way to breakthrough apps to connect humans and AI technologies to create a more personalized web experience. Eventually, AI uses machine learning algorithms to process information like humans do.
One of the main challenges to overcome when moving to Web 3.0 with its open, trustless, and permissionless nature will be instability as data ownership becomes less centralized. While Web 2.0 popularized cloud computing, mobile apps, and the power of social media, Web 3.0 is all about AI and decentralization. Therefore, a world using Web 3.0 is something that cannot be managed by a single company monitoring the global network. Web 3.0 portends the replacement of data centers with a decentralized Internet, allowing devices, cars, laptops, mobile devices and sensors to hold their own data. Such a change will increase the levels of stored data to unprecedented levels. Some analysts predict that all devices could hold 175 zettabytes of data by 2025.
Conclusion on Web 3.0 and the Future of Web Development
The dream is that Web 3.0 can create a fair and equitable Internet for everyone and that users can exercise control over their information, time, resources and profits. Above all, Web 3.0 represents a crucial step in transforming the exploitative web, which holds user data captive in centralized repositories, into something that distributes profits and growth to players big and small.
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