Alternately: This'd be a wish list but I'm a realist.
- Better awareness of "unicode", especially the terminology (the word 'unicode' itself, encodings, etc.). Joel on Software's article on Unicode is a good start.
I'm going to blame the developers for user's inability to grasp "unicode", as it should be on by default, and should be very hard to break.
- Better awareness of displays. There are a whole range of types of display, not all of them are 4:3.
There might even be more than one display present, I don't expect you to make use of both of them, but it'd be nice if you didn't assume that the primary one was the only one.
- Better awareness of Limited User Accounts (also Least User Access). This applies equally to Windows developers (Vista will be very annoying when applications need elevated privileges, even if they are avaliable) and to those writing software to be packaged (or to manage packages) for linux distributions (desktops tend not to be multi-user machines, your old ethos is dead).
- Seperation of Content and Display (ie. MVC). Your application or website has something to offer it's users(/visitors), they want to be able to access it. Websites with 400kB of navigation, menus and (precious, precious) advertising; applications with wooooshy! buttons and pretty colours may be "cool", but they suck for people who want to get the Content out.
RSS, Google Sitemaps and various web-services are a good start, but they're not benifiting the end user (much) yet.
- Integration, applications should look and feel alike. Microsoft are terrible at this (see Windows Media Player and Office 2007, for instance), and they're not helped by some libraries.
- I'd also like to see the GPL die a horrible, fiery death, but that's the subject of another rant.
- The Music industry. Many people have argued this to death. You can't charge what you think you can charge (99p for a DRM'd, low-quality track, for history's sake) and expect people to care. DRM is fine, but it (significantly?) reduces the value (and hence the price) of your product. Go adopt AllOfMP3's business model where price has some relation to the quality of the product.
As a specific wish, I'd like the Ministry of Sound to put their archives up for sale under that model. They're not making you any money as it's currently impossible to buy most of the cds.
- The Movie industry. With the release of Vista, and PCs (or XBoxen) moving under people's televisions, you have a whole range of media protection features, use them, and people's fast internet connections, and start renting us stuff.
£3 for a single play of a movie (in HD) five days after release would be both awesome, destroy piracy and really piss off the cinemas. Oh well.
- All the others: Staggering releases around the world is lame (TV and Game industries, I'm looking at you).
- Communities: Most community sites as of now are either dead (on the soul side), (ie. Slashdot, Digg, Reddit), or heading that way (Myspace, Facebook, Youtube). Can social communities exist on the internet? Evidence suggests not, oh well, we're not going to lose much.
Wish: Webmasters need to work out that their site is NOT a community site, before it's too late. You know who you are. Please?
Predictions on timescales for any of these, anyone? I've picked some that very few people care about, or that, in general, people disagree with me on, and I can't see any of the above happening in 2007.
We shall see.