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Archive for the ‘AJAX’ Category

Why Operating Systems Become Irrelevant

The same old argument returns, but it seems evident that while operating systems are not going away, their role will be lessened.

The importance of an operating system will always be tied to fundamentals such as hardware detection (driver support) and the ability to run a Web browser with simple services. Watch this video.

Be aware that Microsoft strives to end this nirvana of platform-independent use of a PC. It recently introduced Silverlight, which is a Web technology that is tied to Microsoft’s desktop technology. Essentially, Microsoft wants to make the Web (including services and mashups) more Microsoft-dependent. Under the guise of choice and functionality, Microsoft strives to regain lockin. It schemes to do so by making the Web work better (or work only) with Windows.

Why Silverlight is Evil

I have not been posting or spurring much activity in my personal blog recently, but this one message is important enough for me to stress here.

Microsoft has recently announced that it would introduce a rival to Flash. It calls it “Silverlight”. I mentioned this a couple of years ago when it was called “Sparkle”. Bear in mind, however, that a lot of truths are being hidden and the intent here is to make the Web incompatible with Free operating systems. The points to remember:

  • Silverlight does not support GNU/Linux.
  • Silverlight is built to make the Web accessible only to proprietary platforms, even if one can view the source.
  • Silverlight can be ‘extended’ at any given time. There is no industry consortium.
  • Microsoft corrupts terminology by using the terms ‘Open Source’ and ‘cross platform’ inadequately. It is not the first time this do this. They used ‘cross platform’ to describe programs that work in Windows Mobile, Windows, and XBox.

Don’t be misled. Use Adobe Flash if you must. Better yet, use Open Web standards and make use of cascading style sheets, maybe even JavaScript.

Spelling Out Your Message in Maps

Google Maps Dave

Got something to say? Then say it in satellite pictures.

It’s a nice idea with an implementation that delivers the output as you type.

Similar tools:

Digg Bashing Reaches Inane Forums

The Digg front page
My first front pager in Digg.com

I have just come across quite an amusing forum thread. Interestingly, I found a link to it on Digg. Flamebait, surely. It does nothing but bash Digg, which is sad, particularly given the idiocy in that forum, which gives it no credibility.

Local-Yet-Web-based Feeds Aggregators

Feedlounge

Feedlounge Web-based reader (a third-party paid-for service)

A week ago I was trying to find an alternative Web-based feed-reading software. I was looking for merely anything, apart from desktop-bound solutions or offshorn Web-based services such as Feedlounge and Google Reader. While I am very happy with my current feeds reader, RSSOwl, it is bound to remain a native desktop application (albeit it’s fully cross-platform). I rarely bother to tunnel in and check the feeds while on vacation, so I quickly go ‘out of sync’. A Web-based aggregator could address this deficiency.

I had a quick browse through sourceforge.net, but could not find anything that was complete. Then, I took a glance at freshmeat.net where more complete projects reside. Here is a short report on what I could and could not locate.

None was too impressive (more akin to a complete miss). I was then reminded of an RSS feed reader (aggregator) which already integrates news on my Website although it is extremely rudimentary. In general, none of the applications that I shallowly reviewed (judging by lists and screenshots, without installing) was mature or complete in terms of the required features. The pursuit for a free, Free (as in “Freedom to change, redistribute and so forth”), Web-based, multi-functional software was probably too much. This came to prove that, in terms of functionality (let alone responsiveness that is another important matter), Web-based applications have a lot of catching up to do w.r.t. good ol’ desktop programs.

For completeness, I also found:

  • nntp2rss – A tool that provides a bridge to access newsgroups using an RSS reader. Quite interesting, I thought.
  • Flock – still in alpha stage and has not been updated for almost 4 years. It is not to be confused with the Web browser Flock (a Mozilla Firefox derivative with social networks slant).

Users Are Efficient; Neither Stupid, Nor Lazy

WHY is it that so many user interfaces simply fail to work? It’s because users are permitted to take shortcuts and ignore the instructions. This is in fact the message which is delivered by Jeff Veen, whose opinion was inspired by another’s.

Veen concludes: “They’re not stupid. They’re not lazy. Don’t treat them that way.” Users are efficient. They want to get the job done with the least effort. It just doesn’t bode well as far as the intent of the developer is concerned.

Yanoff
New Yanoff for Palm – an example of
poor UI design

Web Applications Without JavaScript

Horde

Web-based calendar in the Open Source Horde project

ONE of the more ingenious technologies around involves user interfaces that are embedded in Web pages. Taking full advantage of powerful, modern Web browsers, it is possible to build fully-blown applications that are operable from merely any platform. One of the latest packages as such achieves all of this without any JavaScript. Have a look at the project summary.

ZK is an open-source Ajax Web framework that enables rich UI for Web applications with no JavaScript and little programming. With event-driven feature-rich components, developing becomes as simple as programming desktops. With a markup language, designing becomes as simple as authoring HTML.

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Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
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