Friday, August 17, 2007

Updates from Indian Independence Day ,2007

  1. Revamped my personal web site over at ""
  2. Added a new comic series : Screenshots, by Bosky (thnx sagaro for the trackback)
  3. Reading up on a few interesting mailing lists over at flex_india google group, hdiidc , and barcamp_Bangalore (both yahoo groups) .
  4. Reading up on a lot of interesting indian techie's blogs. (speaking of which , it would be great to be able to have a sumup of indian geek's blog posts)
  5. Contemplating on lot of ideas on, ways to improve the Returnable project, reading up the parse trees while i'm half way through compiling x to y , whats next for startups, learning and the idea of higher education abroad, and the future... hmmm
Amidst some domain renewal and hosting provider hassles, ended up continuing with square brothers . They happen to host the university results, and have not problems with them personally. Just got pissed when showed up with the default taken sort of mesage, since i delayed my payment by a day since they icici bank could'nt confirm them as a payee. Most of the times, you should'nt have any problems , but now and then you do have certain glitches and usability problems. Like long periods of 'wait while we update' lasting days for even stuff like changing numbers, or that it should probably enter the 'hall of shame' for not supporting firefox most of the time and promptly proposing ie. Not that i have against ie, but as india's biggest private bank, lack of support for atlllleast A-grade browsers is an absolute show-stopper.

I also added a little comic strip called 'screenshots', for all the vetti time that i have on my hands. Plus its a great outlet for some artisitc creativity. check it out some time. The image you see at the top of this post ,is the independence day special (#5) .

Having just completed working on a vector-graphic product myself, i found the thread on the flex india user group about 2d,3d advancements in flex particularly interesting. Check out thus awesome demo of second-life like capabilities within flex by a company called outsmart and you'll know what i'm talking about.

If you find this interesting, you will definitely find the stuff over at Aviary, compelling - though it does a little over ambitious.More than 14 online tools of varying complexity: an image editor, color swatch generator, pattern generator, vector-based editor, 3D modeler, audio editor, music generator, video editor, desktop publishing tool, word processor, painting simulator, custom image product creator, photo analyzer, and file system to store it all on. phew ! Check out their well updated and informative blog as well.

Google, btw has been talking about a special gift for india, celebrating it's i-day. wonder if it has anything to do with a mapping /google earth related.

Coming to Returnable, i've seen a couple of similiar prototpes springing up . First i saw a israeli startup called koncara getting its second round of funding with in-text advertising. Returnable can do this, but now just ads but also in-text content on tooltips at different events .Secondly, the purple -include library profiled by ajaxian. While they have used src,and dont have support for events, returnable supports the three events : onhover,onclick and onload. Moreover, Returnable uses the href (forward compatible for all elements in the next version of xhtml5) and users can get the content either in-text OR as a tooltip ! PVS, my c0-developer at Returnable, even managed to get a returnable element tooltip inside the title of a blogger post !

I'm glad the Returnable Project, has taken a lead in this pioneering end-user programming methodology ,in using their inherent knowledge of URL's to expose a simnple HTML api to spawn intuitive behaviour on the web. Check out more on The Returnable Project , and the project site for more information.

So many things to read & write about , so little time ! btw, does anyone know of any good blogs to get lil tidbits like what ive posted above ? I'd love to check them out ! 8 )

Keep Clicking,
Bhasker V K

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

WebRunner Vs Adobe AIR shootout : My views

I have been keeping a causal watch of what Mark Finkle has been upto with WebRunner. And this post is in reference to the the debate between the warring camps, mark finkle from mozilla,working on WebRunner and Ryan Stewart with Adobe, talking about Adobe AIR. They have been exchanging some thoughts, I thought i would as well.

Here it is ...

webrunneradobe air

  • having site specific browsers seemed like a gud idea.

  • I dont want to open stuff in new tabs . How about having a different desktop Firefox Instance (FYI:i dint say 'process') for every SSB.

  • no "virtual machine"ish sort of setup, but simply is Firefox-tweaked and called WebRunner as the run-time for apps

  • target users: people who like a seperate webrunner for each site

  • upside : (yet to find any !)

  • downside & what i would have liked to see : why on earth would i want something that gives absolutely no value to me as a developer !!! if webrunner concentrated on building a class library with decent system access documentation(sorry to say,i still dont find the mozilla docs on these half as useful or readable compared to say flex docs). forget even building your own, atleast i shud have interfaces in webrunner for all possible classes and then plug'n'play with js libraries like jquery /dojo or hell make a new project on mozilla just to create just the plug'n'play interfaces for webrunner first,and maybe a decent js api for creating,accessing SVG. It really pisses me off every time webrunner is compared to adobe air. its beyond comparison, mozilla and webrunner cannot be sit back on the laurels of firefox for the success of webrunner. instead it shud actually code a class library that can be shipped with webrunners or ssb's or whatever 'schemes' Mark Finkle has on his mind. Coz personally webrunner does'nt even seem like an app worth talking just because it's stripping off the firefox browser. The first Webrunner was prototyped in 06, and not one new feature that was'nt courtesy of firefox! That's sad even compared to the progress made by silverlight - a late entrant! Webrunner, needs to innovate as well, and quick - if it wants to really play with in the big league !

  • having flash apps work for the desktop seems like a gud idea.

  • I don't want to open a browser for every flash app. How about having a single desktop run-time for all adobe air apps

  • "Virtual Machine"ish Adobe AIR is the run-time for my apps

  • target users: people who like a seperate webrunner for each site

  • downside: another process clobbering with my cpu memory if it becomes popular !

  • upside : adobe has effectively solved a major porting problem by allowing flash developers to write in a language they prefer, and access the beautiful and growing class libraries for everything from system ,to math,to vector graphics.

  • what i would have liked to see : just keep it going ... and don't bloat the runtime size too quickly!

By the way,i'm not biased towards any one side (or the third - silverlight 8 ) ), but have always respected both mozilla, firefox and everyone involved ; as well as the phenomenal innovation shown by adobe with flex and apollo.

Keep Clicking,
Bhasker V Kode