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Why 2006 will rock

I'm really enthusiastic about this year. Here are some of the reasons:

1. The Web's Visual Standards get Adapted

Microsoft's finally playing ball! The newest Internet Explorer will better support CSS and .png graphics. That makes maintaining the front end of our sites much easier! And that lets website designers spend their time making awesome sites, not resolving browser incompatibilities. Everybody already knows the buzz about the backend. I'm hyped about the front-end, that tip-of-the-iceberg that the user sees. The .png format is going to go a long way towards easing our lives, not to mention just one clean css file.

More visual standards will bubble to the top. It's nice that everyone, including Microsoft, is adapting the standard feed icon. That, and services like gravatar are making all the nice spots on the web feel comfortable. You recognize people and resources on any given website.

2. Mature Services, Freeware and Shareware

I've been using many things sourceforge for a very long time. There's always been a little pride and principle involved in my choice of software. But now, there are quite a few products that I prefer to their commercial bretheren based on feature-set alone. Props go out to WordPress (especially for the features in 2.0), LiveJournal (especially for the friends page, and seducing so many bloggers from their own hand-crafted sites), FileZilla (an ftp client), and 7-Zip (file compression/decompression). I don't see any compelling reason to buy their commercial counterparts.

3. Firefox AddOns

Life is further made easier by Firefox's AddOns, especially the del.icio.us addon, the bookmark synchronizer, and the web designer addon. Invaluable!