Sunday Aug 30, 2009

links for 2009-8-30: More on HTML5; AnyShell.net

  • HTML5 Starts Looking Real - The "Why Openness Matters" section is spot on:
    • "If proprietary technologies and browser plug-ins were required for every site, the Web couldn't run as it does today, nor would the Web be as successful as it has been."
  • AnyShell.net - Interesting service.  Certainly doesn't appear to have the ability to scale or do full hosting/cloud, but still a convenient way to get access to other platforms and operating systems.

Saturday Aug 29, 2009

links for 2009-8-29: 75% don't upgrade Office; PayPal beef; Don't give Obama keys to internet

  • Over 75% of organizations haven't upgraded to latest Microsoft Office - The challenges of a mature market/product.  How do you innovate and differentiate with yourself to sell more?
  • My PayPal credit card beef, Part II: PayPal responds - I'd seen the earlier blog he had on this and agree with him, but found this blurb in PayPal's response interesting: "he’d pass along the suggestion to the engineering team".  Now perhaps they are organized such that product management is in engineering and so I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but just passing ideas to engineers could be the problem.  Nothing against engineers, I love'em and am one at heart, but you really need product management to provide guidance on things like this.
  • White House not equipped to hold keys to the Internet - I would have to agree.
  • Adobe on "HTML5" - Given my recent blogging on HTML5, I was interested to see what Adobe had to say.  But it is hard to take it seriously and not simply discount it as FUD by a threatened competitor with these comments:
    • "...consortium of minority browser vendors..." - Only all browsers using WebKit!
    • "...it might be a decade before HTML 5 sees standardization across the number of browsers that are going to be out there." - Ummm, WebKit based browsers have significant support already.  A decade?  Really?
    • "...iPhone helped to radically increase the number of phones with Flash support".  Seriously?
    • And this was a pretty classic comment to the post: "This is an excellent piece by Adobe to lay bare their open standards animosity."

Wednesday Aug 26, 2009

HTML5 in Action; Plugin-free video and browser geolocation

I mentioned HTML5 in my links entry from yesterday and reading about what is coming is great, but seeing some of it in action is even better.  So I've created a few examples of a couple new features that I describe below.

The first is the ability to have video in web-pages without requiring any plug-ins.  This is done with the new <video> element, an example of which can be viewed below or here which happens to show Galen Rupp going sub-4:00 earlier this year.  But take a look at the source of that page and see how simple it is:

    <video src="RuppMile.ogv" controls/>

Isn't that easier than relying on plugins and or much more complicated HTML that has to download and use Flash? 

Now, a few caveats are that (to my knowledge) this only works in Firefox 3.5 and Safari 4 and the video has to be in Ogg Theora, Ogg Vorbis, or WAV format.  The Ogg media formats are not patent encumbered like other formats are so look for their growth and adoption to increase.  Learn more about it here.

The second is the use of some geolocation APIs that are not part of HTML5.  This can open a whole host of possibilities for applications to take advantage of location and deliver innovative applications for consumers.  I've created a simple example that uses the information provided to create a Google map centered on your location.  Try it here.

The source for this is a little more complicated due to the Javascript and use of Google's APIs but it boils down to the following:

navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(showPosition);

function showPosition(position) {
    var latLong = position.coords.latitude + ',' + position.coords.longitude;
    document.getElementById('latLong').value = latLong;
    loadPage();
}

The first line of code registers a method to be called when the location is known and when that method is called it can retrieve the coordinates and do with it what it wants.  In my case I load the map.

Again, this requires Firefox 3.5 where it uses a service to get your location from your IP address which is somewhat accurate, or you can use Safari on your iPhone which tends to be much more accurate with its cell tower triangulation and GPS capabilities.

Grab Firefox 3.5 and start giving HTML5 a try!

Galen Rupp video requiring no Flash, Silverlight, or other plugin!

Tuesday Aug 25, 2009

links for 2009-8-25: HTML5; Frustrated App Store Developers

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