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Ajax, and Mobile Phone Fatigue

Posted by javaben on May 9, 2005 at 10:36 AM PDT

This is not a blog about Ajax. But, I'm with Dion Almaer at the Adaptive Path / O'Reilly Ajax Summit. We'll be blogging about it at www.ajaxian.com. Check it out.

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I have fond memories of my first JavaOne conference in 2001. I knew very little about Java in those days and enjoyed drinking from a firehose.

I still remember being puzzled at all the mobile hysteria at the show. Nokia's president, whose name escapes me, got up on the bi-directional stage and promised to ship something like a trillion mobile phones in the next n years. The other speakers all hyped it up to death. I remember commenting to Richard Huss, my book editor at the time who I'd never met in person but by a curious chance I bumped into whilst in the queue for the JavaOne keynote (we saw each other's name tags), on my frustration that so many folks were chewing up our time talking about using these primitive mobile toolkits where there was so much really interesting stuff elsewhere.

Well, four years have passed since then. I just got an email from Forbes magazine claiming once again that mobile all the rage. Hmm...

I'm a mobile skeptic. I understand the economics of ringtones and mobile games. But when I hear about mobile being the next excitement center of the industry, or that the future of all computing is connected to cell phones, I can't help but roll my eyes. I don't want to use my thumbs as a primary input device, and I can't see that changing anytime soon. Folks are talking now about voice recognition as input, but with all the time I spend in meetings and public places, I can't see that being viable either. And that's just one of many problems with the platform...

What do y'all think? Am I being too closed-minded? Do you think mobile represents a compelling future, or an interesting niche?

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