Archive for the 'widgets' Category

Adobe Apollo Launches Alpha : Desktop and Web move closer

apollo.jpgFinally, Adobe’s Apollo is out for developers to try out their Flash, Flex and AJAX Ninjutsu and build cross-platform desktop apps. Mike Chambers, who runs the excellent Developer Network there (and did at Macromedia before) introduces it nicely.

Previously, I have used a product called Zinc to build desktop apps from Flash, but now a lot of this functionality is in the box with Apollo and has has HUGE potential for a amazingly simple and useful applications being built very quickly. The reason I use Zinc is for the FileSystem and FileI/O functionality, meaning I can read and write files on the local hard disk like a ‘real’ application with proper Setup installs for PC and Mac. With that and the ability to download and upload files, as well as run other processes and languages, it’s pretty useful.

I will be having a go at building some Apollo apps (with their .air extension), when I get the time (how could I not!). To give you some ideas, this is what I would do (and no doubt many others will do) in order:

– An RSS/XML reader
– A Twitter app
– A podcatcher
– A podcast publisher (a la podbat)
– A basic OPML Editor
– Podcast directory widgets
– Web publishing system
– Go to the moon

It should be relatively easy for anyone with existing AJAX, Flash and Flex skills to build any of these now. (OK. Bar one πŸ˜‰ )

Read on to these great resources and the documentation for more info on Adobe Apollo. The desktop just melded that little bit further towards the web. All due to existing skillsets πŸ˜‰

This is also hitting the blogsphere :

Mike Arrington says “Go build something!” I agree with him when he says that “entirely new classes of companies can be built on this platform, which takes Flash, HTML and javascript completely outside of the browser and interacts with the file system on a PC”.

Scoble says the downside is it needs to be online. Not so, dear Robert. People could write apps which have data persistence, storing stuff locally, which could then be synced on connection πŸ™‚

Official Second Life blog picks up RSS NewsScreens and blogHUD!

So, there I was last night,hanging around on the ‘RSS Platform’ in Nooribeom, watching the fearsome news of the ‘Real World’ fly by, when none other than Hamlet Au, the ’embedded journalist’ in Second Life (though not at Linden Lab any more) on New World Notes dropped by to check out the BBC NewsScreens I set up here. There’s a CNN one nearby too, by the way – next to the ‘River of News’ πŸ™‚ The screens read a list of feeds and loop through them, 10 stories at a time.
The good thing about the BBC News ones are the feed content has specific limits in the text entries. I happen to know that this is due to the journalists having to write stories which can run across many platforms. They have strict limits to the amount of characters for the headline and description text. This increases their value. On platforms with different text and size/resolution constraints, Flash is excellent at dealing with this, as you can embed fonts and that it is a ‘vector-based’ format, meaning you can stretch it any way you like and you will not lose resolution. At any size, if you do it right.

Second Life and the LSL scripting language presents many opportunities for an old skool web hack createc like myself. I frequently tell people that SL makes me feel as excited as I did when I first saw the web over 10 years ago. πŸ˜‰ And no, it wasn’t for all the adult content (though be aware that most technology developed for the adult industry ends up revolutionising the mainstream in some way) it was for the ability to communicate with other people all around the world. Connect them. Network with them. And even meet them sometimes. (I’m still great friends with a couple in New Jersey who were the first people I met through the internet 12 years ago, through a mutual appreciation of the band ‘The Stone Roses‘. I met my partner online too. 8 years ago!)

With easy tools to publish content, media, whatever you want to call it, along with easy ways do consume, organise, filter and rate it it, there you have it. Bingo moment. Democratisation of media. Open mashable consumption by an constantly evolving , iterative audience.

I heart feeds. πŸ˜‰ Thanks Dave.

Want to build an ‘OPML Tree’?

Woo, I’m gaping!!

Sounds painful!!

Over on my OPML blog I was able to knock together a quick hack to solve a problem (or at least a start) to giving GapingVoid's Hugh MacLeod a widget to display his cartoons.

I shall call them 'Widgetoons' !!

I can't post the widget on this blog (shame) but here's the image Hugh posted to errrr…. celebrate. *i think!*

Now the wonderfully bonkers Comic Strip Blogger wants one too!


Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at podcast.com for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.



@kosso : twitter

kosso's flickr stream

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