- CSS - CSS has played THE major role in separating styling from HTML. Any sane web developer would agree on this as one of the best decisions taken by the W3C and the web community as a whole.
- Firefox - Undoubtedly, firefox is the first browser to challenge the eternal blessings of Internet Explorer and gain a significant market share. Firefox saved an ever collapsing web by then. It has renewed the dreams of developers who foresee a unific web which are rendered identically in all browsers. This is not a disrespect for any other alternative browsers like Opera and Safari.
- Flash - You might be thinking, "Oh! Why flash! It's bad for an open web after all!" But the reality remains, that flash has filled an innumerable gaps in the web, starting from simple animations in web pages to moving advertisements to displaying videos in browsers. It would be lame to not include flash in this list, thus!
- Gmail - Gmail brought alive the reality of web mail, back to the web. Since its inception, Gmail has influenced many other leading web mail providers to be serious about web mail and has truely shown that web mail can be intuitive, efficient and useful. And maybe even fun.
- Compression - This includes all forms of compression relating to the web, including but not limited to (as if a disclaimer) web page compression, file compression and image compression. All this together has contributed so much for the web in terms of so much of saved bandwidth and web traffic, not to mention the speed improvements for users.
- HTML5 <audio> and <video> - This championship is yet to happen (maybe happening now). This brings to the web, a flash killer which is both open and far easier to implement across browsers.
- JSON - A data format which is easier to serve and has the minimal overhead, JSON has gained widespread support among web developers of all kind. It has phasing libraries in almost all languages, despite being a late comer.
- Web fonts - The days when web developers did not have the freedom to use their favourite fonts in web pages, are over. There were two options by then; stick to Sans Serif and Hevletica or draw an image with the text in your required font. Those days are over and soon be long gone. Not to mention the possibility of a web with multiple languages, without the users having to "install" every other font on earth.
The web has been excellarating its growth since its starting and ever since. It has become such a basic necessity for most of us and on its way to today, several innovations and new technologies have influenced its shape, as we see it today. I am referring to those as the champions of the web, which has defined the turns the web has experienced in its life. Below is the list in alphabetic order.