Web Tools: The Future Is Now The Internet is already the No. 1 applications target for developers, according to an Evans Data survey. Web development is about to enter the top five in terms of IT spending. And (no surprise here) experts say the Web will only play a bigger role in companies' business applications plans.

In other words, the future of Web development is now. But the tools underpinning this trend have a back-to-the-future feel. Consider Mozilla: The browser experts at Netscape have been honing their code for years, with the support of developers intent on slowing Microsoft's Internet Explorer juggernaut. Now America Online (Netscape's parent) might replace its AOL browser with Mozilla-a move that could give Netscape a market share of millions, literally overnight.

Then there's X 3 D (Extensible 3 D), the successor to the old VRML spec. Experts say X 3 D's compatibility with XML could usher in 'bold new navigation and rendering possibilities' for developers and pave the way for virtual-reality apps over the Internet. With other real-time Web-collaboration products poised to become as critical to the enterprise as e-mail, now's the time to learn where Web development is going. Better to be ready for the future than stuck in the past. - Larry Lange Much Ado About Netscape Mozilla - Internet Week Netscape has been gone so long it's hard to say what its return might mean. Then again, AOL is considering it as a replacement for its own browser.

Netscape's Return: The Readers Talk Back - Internet Week More than 5, 000 readers respond to questions about Netscape. And a surprisingly high number of them say they " ll standardize on Mozilla. VRML Successor Aims For 3-D Web - Internet Week The Web 3 D Consortium has debuted a new spec it says could make 3-D graphics a mainstream part of the Web. A New Development Sweet Spot? - Internet Week Web-development shops are readying new tools that, when used with Macromedia, Cold Fusion, XML, Java, and SOAP, could bring new flexibility to application development.

Macromedia Makes Major Plans - Information Week With an upgrade to its Web application-development product line and a deal with IBM, Macromedia looks to reverse its revenue slide. Features Smooth (Java) Operator - InternetWeek Could. Net Mean The Return Of Rich Clients? - Internet Week Opinion Richard Karpinski: Web Development: Java's Bad Rap - Internet Week Reviews Web Site Perspective Holds Key To Performance Monitoring - Network ComputingLutris Puts 'Service' Into Web-Application Services - Network ComputingAppShield Inspects And Protects - Network Computing.