- SWX: A new data exchange format for Flash by Aral Balkan
- SWX : A bad idea by Patrick Mineault
- SWX : A good idea by Aral Balkan
- SWX : Still a bad idea by Patrick Mineault
- On SWX by Theo Hultberg
- Thoughts on SWX, Flash and Hacking Code
- A new chapter: Patrick Mineault joins SWX by Aral Balkan
- Getting Data into Your Flash Files - A Million Ways Can’t Be Wrong? by Chad Udell
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
I've just gotten back from webDu and there are too many things to write about. But there is one thing that has been on my mind since day one : Apollo. Oddly enough I feel a bit let down by Apollo. I suppose I imagined myself going to Apollo presentations and having a moment of revelation; as I had with Flex at MXDU, 2005. But I didn't have a moment of revelation at the conference.
Don't get me wrong. Apollo is very exciting. It will have a major impact on how the desktop relates to the web. We will probably need to coin a new buzz word to describe all the Apollo applications that will soon appear. But Apollo doesn't represent a new development paradigm the way Flex did. Apollo changes the world because developing desktop applications just became a whole lot easier, especially when you consider that you will be able to build it once and deploy to Mac, PC and (eventually) Linux.
I guess I feel let down because Apollo is too simple (if you understand Flex). All the interactive potential of Apollo is the interactive potential of Flex. All the web services you can access from Apollo are the web services you can access from Flex. Sure the html component is new (and very exciting). But it is just a new Flex style component as straight forward to use as many of the simpler Flex components. The File class is new. But it is just another Flex style class with a familiar workflow. Of course, Apollo will evolve to include many new features. But they won't be new because we will be familiar with them from existing desktop applications and because using them will be similar to using existing Flex components. Really the hardest part about learning Apollo will be learning Flex. So I feel a bit let down. I was steeling myself for the learning Apollo journey only to find myself in the arrivals lounge collecting my luggage.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I like Amie St a lot. But there is one thing I find odd. It has all the features of a good web 2.0 company but none of the functionality. Before I explain myself I guess I better give a brief Amie St overview in case you've never heard of them.
Amie St is on online music store with a difference. For a start all songs start out free. A songs price can go up to a maximum of 99 cents based on how many times it bought. Which means everyone has the opportunity to pick up great music at a great price. You can also earn extra credits by recommending songs. The more your recommended songs go up in price the more credits you earn. The other great thing about Amie St is that anyone can get their songs published. Which means it provides a great space to discover new music and for great music to be discovered.
To go back to my original claim. Some of the best things about Amie St is it's web 2.0 features and one of the most frustrating things about Amie St is it's lack of web 2.0 functionality.
When I talk about web 2.0 features I mean that users have a say in what matters on Amie St. A purchase is like a vote and it earns songs a higher value and makes them more visible to buyers. Your recommendations can further promote the songs you like and the system rewards you if users respond to your recommendation. Amie St's web 2.0 features make it a killer app for me. Which is a good thing because I'm finding it's web 1.0 functionality a bit frustrating.
The defining feature of web 2.0 applications is that the action happens within the browser page. You don't need to make a new page request to take some action. In that respect they are similar to desktop applications. But Amie St is all about page requests. Your playlist opens in a little popup window. You need to open a new window or leave a playlist to manage your purchases or to make a recommendation. The only web 2.0 like feature is the tiny dialog that appears to confirm a purchase. But this functionality doesn't exist in the player. There are lots of other things I could point to. But hopefully you get the idea.
Of course Amie St isn't the only web 2.0 service with web 1.0 functionality (most of del.icio.us is very web 1.0). In fact it's this distinction between features and functionality that has made "web 2.0" our best option for a name to describe current trends in web development. If all web 2.0 services offered social networking features without page requests we might have settled on a name that reflects the social aspect of web 2.0. Alernatively if all web 2.0 services had been RIA's (Rich Internet Applications) without a social element we probably been happy with the RIA acronymn. Which begs the question : if a web service can't be considered a RIA does that mean it should be considered a PIA (Poor Internet Application).
If you are wondering where the funk went in this post let me recommend : My House Is So Funky by TnBy.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Quoted: The world's largest social music platform. Show off your taste, see what your friends are listening to, hear new music, get personal radio, recommendations, and downloads, all for free.
Quoted: Pandora is the music discovery service that helps you find new music based on your old and current favorites. Create custom internet radio stations, listen free.
Quoted: Essential ActionScript 3.0: Books: Colin Moock by Colin Moock
Quoted: For a current project I have a container which has a gradient background. Within this I have a series of LinkButtons. I only want the text color of the LinkButton to change on rollOver. If the background of the container was solid I could set the rollOver color to match the background. But the gradient makes this impossible. So I went to the styles
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Quoted: Code-Sucks.com is a resource for Web Designers and Web Developers giving away free css layouts, web templates and code snippets
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Quoted: The GORB's goal is to create a reliable, balanced and widely adopted rating system that measures our 'online' reputations. This measure is free for our members to give and free for our members to take. It helps us to find the great people around us.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Some systems are useful on their own. For example, the most useful place to store bookmarks (to my mind) is online. So Social Bookmarking tools are useful even if you don't want to be social.
But for the Social element of these systems to be useful they need to achieve critcal mass across a wide range of topics (tags). This critical mass is different for each system. But needs to take into account each individual users level of participation. Critical mass is the systems minimal level of activity. For web 2.0 systems to survive they need to achieve this crital mass as quickly as possible.
A systems potential for growth is limited by two factors. The first is how well the sytem is organised. Not all systems are equally scalable. I suspect that the more input users have within a system the less scalable it is. For example, Google's search engine is theoretically infinitely scalable. Because users have very limited influence within the system. Which brings me to the second limiting factor. A system is limited by how open it is to abuse. In recent months theres been quite a bit of traffic around abuse within Digg. The evidence suggesting that Digg's top contributors were in fact employed to promote specific items within the system. This sort of press must have an impact on a systems potential growth. Obviously these two limiting factors are interdependant. The better a system is organised the less open it is to abuse. The way it detects and manages abuse is a measure of the quality of it's organisation.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
As Mohit points out, see comments, a search method is available through the BlueDot SOAP API. My bad for not following through my research properly. It isn't entirely clear in the documentation but you can search purely using a keyword (i.e with tags = NULL; thanks Mohit for the clarification).
Monday, March 05, 2007
There are posts all over the place about the Apollo Pocket Guide. But I want to offer my perspective now I've had a chance to read the sample chapter. The chapter looks at File operations using Apollo. Specifically it deals with the File and FileStream classes. The book is written in the clear and concise style we have come to expect from the O'Reilly pocket guides. They are straight to the point with clear examples to illustrate the application of the concepts discussed.
What was really exciting was to see some clear examples of how easy it will be to leverage Flex skills into Apollo development. The concepts for File operations were familiar from other languages (in my case PHP) and the methodology was familiar from Flex/AS3. This sample has really whetted my appetite for having a play with the Apollo alpha (which is apparently really close). Bring it on Adobe!