I don’t know whether it’s a matter of cultural cringe, but my pride in Australian achievements in web development remains tinged with surprise.
Australians are apparently known for a statistical tendency to be early adopters of new technology – when it’s offered to them – but it still seems to me that we punch well above our weight in delivering significant contributions to the development of the web.
It doesn’t take much effort to nominate examples – I’ll restrict myself to three.
SitePoint – run from Melbourne and providing a global service as an information provider on cutting edge web development.
SWiSH – a Sydney-based provider of an alternative to Flash.
Mambo – open source content management system that’s growing like topsy, even more so if you count the Joomla offshoot.
As far as I can see, these are competitive on a global scale.
I could also talk about Australian individuals who push the web envelope: John Allsopp, Russ Weakley, Cameron Adams leap out, but I’m sure there are many others.
Maybe this is what Australian film-makers felt like in the seventies – the generation that produced Peter Weir, Bruce Beresford, Phil Noyce, Fred Schepisi and others who are now recognised as world class, and who laid the foundations for the Australians who now exercise their right to be players on the global film scene.
Then again, maybe they worked in isolation and had little idea that they would one day be regarded as part of a ‘movement’.
Either way, there’s something in their experience for Australian web developers to think about.