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September 24 2013

Mozilla Labs : TogetherJS

Mozilla Labs : TogetherJS

TogetherJS : une librairie javascript opensource créée et hébergée par Mozilla pour intégration d’outils de collaboration directmeent dans un site web. Permet navigation synchronisée, chat, suivi des focus et clics des utilisateurs, synchro des modifications

#togetherJS #javascript #outil #webapp #collaboratif #mozilla

December 15 2011

Four short links: 15 December 2011

  1. Donate to the Ada Initiative -- they're fundraising for their 2012 activities which include events, activities, and resources for women in open technology and culture. They've got my money.
  2. The Anosognosic's Dilemma -- first part of a series on how the worst kind of ignorance is about your own failings. Even if you are just the most honest, impartial person that you could be, you would still have a problem—namely, when your knowledge or expertise is imperfect, you really don't know it. Left to your own devices, you just don't know it. We're not very good at knowing what we don't know.
  3. Values are Features (Clay Johnson) -- Google is actively investing in social and philanthropic causes, from combating human trafficking to open government. Yet it stands head and shoulders above other technology companies, and the biggest (Apple) is last in line. I just don't see most people buying a crapper product without egregiously broken values; unless Apple is conducting human sacrifices at the Cupertino campus and it ends up on 20/20, most everyone will be happy to keep buying their iStuff.
  4. Apps Are Too Much Like 1990s CDROMs and Not Enough Like The Web (Scott Hanselman) -- as a user, more and more, I want to Go Somewhere and get functionality as opposed to Bring Something To Me to get functionality. Managing apps, updates and storage is as pointless as my managing my [tamagotchi].

November 28 2011

Four short links: 28 November 2011

  1. Twine (Kickstarter) -- modular sensors with connectivity, programmable in If This Then That style. (via TechCrunch)
  2. Small Sample Sizes Lead to High Margins of Error -- a reminder that all the stats in the world won't help you when you don't have enough data to meaningfully analyse.
  3. Yahoo! Cocktails -- somehow I missed this announcement of a Javascript front-and-back-end dev environment from Yahoo!, which they say will be open sourced 1Q2012. Until then it's PRware, but I like that people are continuing to find new ways to improve the experience of building web applications. A Jobsian sense of elegance, ease, and perfection does not underly the current web development experience.
  4. UK Govt To Help Businesses Fight Cybercrime (Guardian) -- I view this as a good thing, even though the conspiracy nut in me says that it's a step along the path that ends with the spy agency committing cybercrime to assist businesses.

October 25 2011

What to watch for in mobile web apps

Mobile web apps are mostly defined by their "if onlys" — if only they had the feel of native apps, if only they could fully interact with devices, etc.

James Pearce, (@jamespearce), senior director of developer relations at Sencha, has a more optimistic take on mobile web apps. In the following interview, Pearce discusses promising web app technologies, and he explains why device APIs could make the web a lot more interesting. Pearce also weighs in on developers' current concerns, such as backward web app compatibility and testing across devices.

Our interview follows.

What are the most promising mobile web app technologies?

James_Pearce_Mug.pngJames Pearce: There are two significant technologies that I think we will see mature in the coming years. The first is WebGL, which provides a way for web developers to access the low-level graphic capabilities of the computer or device that the browser is running on. WebGL creates a huge opportunity to use web technologies to build games, to create high-performance simulations, and to develop other types of graphically heavy user interfaces — at least, when the browser supports it well. Currently, no default mobile smartphone browser offers good support, but I expect this to change soon.

Device APIs are also important because they allow web applications within a browser to query and interact with the device they're running on. These are not being implemented quickly, for various reasons, but the mobile web will take a huge step forward when web applications can interface with a device in much the same way native applications can. Imagine the possibilities that would come about through granting web apps access to a device's camera, contacts, calendar, messaging, and so on. The web will suddenly become a much more interesting place.

What are the best examples of HTML5 mobile apps? What lessons can and should be learned from them?

James Pearce: We have a directory at Sencha of some of the best examples, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Of course there are some very well-known brands doing cool mobile things with web technology already — the Financial Times is a good example. We're seeing a whole spectrum of different types of apps and companies deploying services and applications with these tools and techniques.

Financial Times web app
Screenshot of the Financial Times web app

That said, it's still very early days, and I'm not sure we're ready to say we fully understand the best practices for building, deploying and promoting HTML5 web apps. But, certainly, we're seeing a lot of creativity around user experiences, and developers are pushing the bounds of what mobile devices can do. I guess if there's one thing we can learn, it is that the future is still very much up for grabs.

How much backward compatibility should mobile developers incorporate into their web apps?

James Pearce: This depends a lot on the type of app. If you are creating a relatively simple web application or site, then it's a good idea to employ techniques that allow it to function on down-scale devices. Normally, this means starting with simple content or markup and progressively enhancing the application in response to the additional capabilities the browser contains.

For full-fledged web applications, this is not at all easy to do, and at some point you need to draw the line with regard to the functionality the device must absolutely have in order to support your application's purpose. For example, a photo-sharing application is almost no use on a device with no camera API. A location-based application is pretty useless if the device can't determine its location and convey it to the browser, and so on.

What is the best way to test across devices without owning those devices?

James Pearce: That's an eternal challenge in mobile. The Apple and BlackBerry emulator tools are great. There's also one in the Android SDK, though sadly, of lower fidelity right now. Services like DeviceAnywhere allow you to remotely connect to devices — and Nokia runs a similar service — but ultimately, there's no alternative to the real thing to truly judge how your app's user experience shapes up.

TOC NY 2012 — O'Reilly's TOC Conference, being held Feb 13-15, 2012, in New York City, is where the publishing and tech industries converge. Practitioners and executives from both camps will share what they've learned and join together to navigate publishing's ongoing transformation.

Register to attend TOC 2012

This interview was edited and condensed.


August 01 2011

Four short links: 1 August 2011

  1. The Flashed Face Effect Video -- your brain is not perfect, and it reduces faces to key details. When they flash by in the periphery of your vision, you perceive them as gross and freakish. I like to start the week by reminding myself how fallible I am. Good preparation for the rest of the week... (via BERG London)
  2. The Newsonomics of Netflix and the Digital Shift -- Netflix changed prices, tilting people toward digital and away from physical. This post argues that the same will happen in newspapers. Imagine 2020, and the always-out-there-question: Will we still have print newspapers? Well, maybe, but imagine how much they’ll cost — $3 for a local daily? — and consumers will compare that to the “cheap” tablet pricing, and decide, just as they doing now are with Netflix, which product to take and which to let go. The print world ends not with a bang, but with price increase after price increase. (via Tim O'Reilly)
  3. Phonegap -- just shipped 1.0 of an HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores.
  4. UnQL -- query language for document store databases, from the creators of CouchDB and SQLite. (via Francisco Reyes)

March 18 2011

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