Online Video Strategy

November 25, 2007

Brightcove released a free whitepaper about internet TV. Five keys to success with Internet TV describes how web media properties can create an online video strategy and stay competitive. Pity its hidden deep inside the site as it makes great reading.


November 11, 2007

So what if, in minutes to hours, you could start up your web browser and build & deploy a prototype to the web for customer feedback and then auto generate use case and requirements documents? A note to myself to check outSimunication.

How Javascript won the war

November 6, 2007

Just in case you thought that real men don’t program in javascript, comes an interesting overview in the Journal of Object Technology from Dave Thomas – the creator of the Eclipse IDE Platform. His basic thesis – look out for the next OS to be a webOS, one which can be developed in java or C# and exported or compiled as JS.

There are numerous JS UI frameworks which enable developers to “target” JS in the browser for delivering applications including Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Yahoo Widgets and various Ajax frameworks. A more ambitious approach is used by Morfik’s JST, which compiles applications developed using their UI builder and Basic, C#, Java or Pascal into JS Ajax.

A similar project, JSC is an experimental project to compile C# to JS.

Unfortunately, JS is not without its problems, one of which is the security risk exposed in XMLHTTP and JS/DOM interactions. These problems are due more to the DOM and Browser however. The Browser in particular is larger than many operating systems!

But surely no one would seriously consider compiling real applications to a native JS Platform. You clearly can’t do that with JavaScript! Well, if you have not been watching your RSS feed you need to read about the bleeding edge research at Sun Labs and Microsoft Live Labs.

Microsoft Live Labs Volta research project led by Erik Meijer, the father of LINQ, compiles MSIL to JS. The main goal of the Microsoft Live Labs Volta experiment is to delay irreversible decisions when building Web 2.0 applications until the last possible responsible moment. Volta allows today’s MS tools such as Visual Studio, C# and Visual Basic and applications to leap into the browser and cross platforms with zero deployment cost, optimizing for whichever execution environment (JavaScript, Silverlight) is already available on the client. Volta explores simple ways to build applications which span the internet cloud from user to data source using declarative tier-splitting refactoring.

Sun Lively is billed as a WebOS in JS. Lively leverages the impressive Squeak Morphic graphic framework to deliver applications on a JS + SVG platform. Lively is inspired by Dan Ingall’s work on Smalltalk and Squeak and no doubt by Dave Ungar’s work on Self. It provides an open, live programming experience in which the running code can be edited on the fly. The use of vector graphics enables rich new UIs that go beyond classical widgets. This brings to mind Sun NeWs, which pioneered the use of programmable vector graphics based UIs using Display Postcript and was used heavily in NextStep.

Prototype Portal Class

September 11, 2007

Just a reminder to myself to check out this prototype portal class

Twitter API

September 11, 2007

From Read/Write’s interview with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone

Biz Stone: Yeah. The API has been arguably the most important, or maybe even inarguably, the most important thing we’ve done with Twitter. It has allowed us, first of all, to keep the service very simple and create a simple API so that developers can build on top of our infrastructure and come up with ideas that are way better than our ideas, and build things like Twitterrific, which is just a beautiful elegant way to use Twitter that we wouldn’t have been able to get to, being a very small team.So, the API which has easily 10 times more traffic than the website, has been really very important to us. We’ve seen some amazing work built on top of it from tiny little mobile applications like an SMS timer that just allows you to set a reminder over SMS to call your mom or something like that, to more elaborate visual recreations of Twitter like which shows an animated map of the world and what everyone’s doing around the world with Twitter. Twitter is popping up from Spain and Japan and United States.And that’s very, sort of like, “Look at that!” It’s like staring at a fish bowl or something – an aquarium. You just find yourself getting lost in it. The API has really been a big success for us, and it’s something that we want to continue to focus our efforts on, looking forward.

Luke Wroblewski has been doing some research for his new book, Web Form Design Best Practices, through actual usage data. To that end, he has been working with Etre on several eye-tracking and usability studies focused on specific aspects of Web form design.

You can read more about here. What I did find interesting about the research was that form B (shown below) had the least fixations and the best visual distinction, while still giving equal weight to the primary and secondary actions.

Form B

As expected Form E did the worst of the lot.

“…Only Option E performed poorly during our testing. Six people mistakenly clicked on the “Cancel” button when attempting the task with this design, while many more lingered over it before realizing that they were about to make a mistake. People, as a whole, were around six seconds slower when using this design than they were when using Option B (a considerable gap when you consider that the placement of the buttons was the only thing that differed between the two). They also required a higher than average number of fixations to complete the task (with a higher than average total fixation length and average fixation length)…”

Form F

Which pretty much tells me that we should be forms the way we always have.

Don’t ask, won’t tell

August 29, 2007

I'm a geek ok, so sue me