What's the Platform of the Future for Developing Interactive Graphical Educational Software?

Doug Holton, EdTechDev, Feb 08, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I hit a bit of a brick wall today - not always a bad thing - which makes me rethink the state of software. Could there ever be a seat-of-your-pants startup, like Facebook or Twitter or Flickr? I'm thinking not. The internet has evolved to the point where you need quite an infrastructure to create any sort of popular application, and existing applications have closed most of the niches, creating a large 'reinventing the wheel' hurdle to any new development. This will be the case for the new graphical software discussed in this post, especially as the applications favoured even by largish university projects are insufficient for the new environment.

It's hard to explain what I mean (which is the story of my day today) but I've been thinking of it like this: there was a time when you were inventing a new car where all you had to build was the car, but by the 60s or 70s you had to design not just the car but production lines, supply networks, dealerships, and a whole lot more; and moreover, the cars, with electronics and braking systems and the rest became a lot more complex. You can't just invent a new car today; it can only be done by an existing major player. The same, largely, with software.

Or - could you just build small simple things that interact? Do you have to build an enterprise system every time you want to build an application?
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