Tuesday, 26 August 2008

User generated mash-ups in the Browser?

Since the term web 2.0 was coined by tim o'rielly, we've become more and more used to the idea of mash ups. Up until know though, mash ups were mainly thought as a server side technology. The web developer would write the code into the page and the user would see the results. However Aka Raskin and the guys over at Mozilla labs have applied the same logic to the browser itself, allowing the user to write a mash up, in simple language, in the browser as they go.

Ubiquity, is a firefox plug its available for download now, from the mozilla labs site. The developers describe Ubiquity as "an experiment into connecting the Web with language, in an attempt to find new user interfaces that could make it possible for everyone to do common Web tasks more quickly and easily. "

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Monday, 25 August 2008

magnolia.2 announced

Working in IT, i work on a variety of different machines, both mac and pc, in the office and at home, at my desk and at other peoples desks. So social bookmarks really are a must have for me, by storing all of my bookmarks online i have access to them wherever i can get the internet. Not only that but as i have added keywords or tags to all of my bookmarks i can also search them, so finding a bookmark is a lot easier that scrolling threw an endless list.

There are a lot of social bookmarking sites out there, but my preferred option is ma.gnolia Its certainly not the biggest, but it is fast, reliable, easy to use and contains all the key features i want, its searchable and scalable, it supports friends (contacts) as well as user groups it allows public and private bookmarking, it plays well with other allows import and exports, works with other social networks like facebook and is based on industry standards, it supports signing in with open ids.

So if i am so happy with ma.gnolia already, why a i excite that Ma.gnolia are kicking off development of Ma.gnolia 2 (or M2 for short).

Well, for one, magnolia is about 3 years old now and they learned quite in that time, so having the opportunity to produce a ground-up rewrite means thay can re-creating features we love today, but also correct some of the areas that didn't work as well as they would have liked. But even more significant, M2 will be an open source project that can be downloaded to remix and run as your own. So its likely that there will be even more great stuff built on it in the future

For any further details, stay tuned to the Ma.gnolia blog, or check out http://ma.gnolia.org/.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Photosynth Launches

A little while ago I talked about microsoft live lab's astounding photosynth technology. This is a technology based on silverlight that allows you to create virtual environemts from collections of still photographs. At that time this was only available as a demo to view some pre built environments however, the full (and free) version launched today.

Simply upload a selection of images and photosynth will do the rest to stitch them together and make them navigatable. As high numbers of high resolution images are required you are going to need a decent internet connection and even then its likely to take a while, but believe me its worth the wait. A standard use account allows up to 20Gb of server space so you should be able to upload quite a lot and the more you upload the better the results.

This truly is one of the most amazing technologies i have seen for a while, however there are some issues, at this time only Windows Xp and Vista are supported, and i have had a couple of blue screens of death while playing with it (which is very rare for xp).

Monday, 11 August 2008

zipping it up

I just went to submitted a file to a flash showcase, one of the requirements was to send a zipped file containing the original fla (the wording document containing the editable animation) my first reaction was to think whats the point of zipping a file thats only a couple of hundred k, but i guess some complex files may be alot bigger so it sort of made sense. My next thought was guess i'll have to wait until i get to the office and can zip the file on my pc, zip being a pc thing right? then i googled zipping mac files. Looks like i was wrong, while pc users have to purchase a copy of something like winzip, its built right into the mac tiger and above. All you do is select a file or collection of files, click ctrl and select compress...instant zip file. I am so loving my mac again.