For the TL;DR version (which skips my long winded trip down memory lane) go directly to the Future section below.
We’ve had this dream since 1997
It’s the dirty word of the web application and services development community. We’ve got plenty of it. Now that doesn’t mean that companies and OSS communities haven’t tried to help us out. They really have. Sun, Adobe, Microsoft, and Google have all put massive resources and weight behind trying to be the One True Platform of the web.
The problem always was the money keeps getting in the way. Every vendor keeps trying to lock in the developer community to their own opinionated platform because, of course, their ideas are the best (and in many cases, just so happens to support corporate profits).
Let’s take a look back and see where we’ve been and how we’ve tried to accomplish the dream of a common platform for the web.