Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Find: GWT Support for Mobile App Development

GWT Support for Mobile App Development

If you’re interested in using GWT to build mobile apps and mobile web apps from a single codebase, then you’ll want to take a good look at mgwt. The following is a guest blog post from Daniel Kurka, the creator of the mgwt library.

Going mobile with mgwt and gwt-phonegap

mgwt is a library for developing mobile apps and mobile websites with GWT using a single codebase. mgwt provides native-looking widgets and effects for most of the popular mobile platforms. It also comes with a ton of other useful features for building mobile apps. We’ve detailed some of them later on in the post.

gwt-phonegap enables GWT apps to use Phonegap. With Phonegap, HTML5 applications can access the same device features that native apps can use via Javascript APIs, such as the camera, file system or contacts.

Find: Web apps can now use cams & mikes

New senses for the web

What if web apps could see? What if they could hear? In today’s Chrome Stable release, when you give them permission, they can.

Chrome now includes the getUserMedia API, which lets you grant web apps access to your camera and microphone without a plug-in. The getUserMedia API is the first step in WebRTC, a new real-time communications standard which aims to allow high-quality video and audio communication on the web.

The getUserMedia API also allows web apps to create awesome new experiences like Webcam Toy and Magic Xylophone. In Chrome Web Lab, if you're on the latest version of Chrome, the Sketchbots experiment uses getUserMedia to let you take a picture of your face, which is then converted to a line drawing and sent to a robot in the Science Museum in London. The robot then draws out your portrait in a patch of sand, which you can watch live on YouTube and visitors can watch in person at the museum. It’s just about as crazy as it sounds, and twice as cool.

Once you've taken your picture, it's transformed into a line drawing a robot can understand using HTML5 canvas.

Your portrait is then drawn by one of the eight Sketchbots in London. You can choose to be sent a video of the whole process.

In addition, today’s Stable channel release includes deeper Google Cloud Print integration,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Find: Jony Ive - focus, lead and disseminate

Focus: you can't do everything you're interested in. Edit yourself, say no and work on your thing. 

Disseminate: let others have what you make. Mass produce it. Like the eames motto create the best, for the most, for the least. 

Lead: don't follow focus groups. Take control, know needs, and seize opportunities to meet them. 

Apple's Jony Ive: 'really great design is hard'

Jony Ive

In a recent interview with Wired UK, Apple industrial designer Jonathan Ive spoke about the challenges of crafting well-designed products for mass production. He said "our goal isn't to make money" but "what makes us excited is to make great products."

He goes on to explain that Apple doesn't do market research, saying "it will guarantee mediocrity and will only work out whether you are going to offend anyone." Ive said that when Steve Jobs returned to Apple during its moment of financial turmoil, it was "his resolve was to make better products," rather than traditional business austerity techniques, that brought about Apple's return to success. While Ive's description of Apple's philosophy on the genesis of new products seems quite...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Find: webOS legacy lives on as next-generation Enyo framework exits beta

Hmm. So I will be building web apps with enyo?

webOS legacy lives on as next-generation Enyo framework exits beta

The Enyo sampler application running in Chrome on the Nexus 7.

HP announced this week that version 2 of the Enyo JavaScript framework is now officially out of beta. The open source library has been deemed stable and ready for production use.

Enyo was originally the official development framework of webOS, the platform that HP obtained in its 2010 acquisition of Palm and later destroyed during Leo Apotheker’s rein of terror imbecility. Meg Whitman, who replaced Apotheker as CEO, decided to salvage the remaining value of webOS by opening the source code and building a community around the software.

HP first published the Enyo source code in January under the permissive Apache software license. The code drop included the original Enyo code, which was only intended to run on webOS, as well as a preliminary implementation of a major new version called Enyo 2.

Find: Ninja power - open-source HTML5 toolset aims to enable richer Web apps

Ninja power: open-source HTML5 toolset aims to enable richer Web apps

The Ninja HTML5 editor in action

Modern HTML rendering engines and emerging standards make it possible to create a new class of rich experiences that could previously be achieved only with native development toolkits—but developers need better Web development frameworks and authoring tools in order to take advantage of the possibilities.

Three new open-source software projects developed at Motorola Mobility hope to address the problem. We—Tim Statler, Zachary Cohen, and Kris Kowal—have had the pleasure of working on a new content creation tool called Ninja, a JavaScript development framework called Montage, and a testing automation tool called Screening. In this article, we will describe all three pieces of software, and we've included code examples to illustrate some of the functionality. But first—a high-level overview.

The Ninja authoring tool is a Google Chrome app for designing keyframe-based animation with HTML5, including 3D scenes and vector graphics. These scenes can incorporate components built on the Montage framework (see below), and the editor itself is built using Montage. Ninja includes a familiar set of drawing and layout tools, such as the Pen and Brush tools for creating graphics, shape primitives, and the Tag tool for creating page structure (<div> or <img> tags, for instance). Graphics you create in Ninja can be rendered in the browser with either the Canvas 2D API or WebGL. Designers can add Montage components to their projects and use the visual data binding feature to easily synchronize property values between components. Finally, Ninja produces high-quality code output that can be easily be maintained, even outside of the Ninja tool.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Web development opportunity at Rally Software

A job opportunity for students in webdev.
Benjamin Watson
Director, Design Graphics Lab | Associate Professor, Computer Science, NC State Univ.
919-513-0325 | designgraphics.ncsu.edu | @dgllab

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Amy Benjamin <abenjamin@rallydev.com>
Date: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Subject: Referrals for Rally Software--Developers
To: bwatson@ncsu.edu

Hi Ben,

I noticed your information on the NC State website and was wondering if you might be able to help me out. We're actively hiring for developers in our Raleigh office and it sounds like you may have a strong network of local professionals and students who could be a fit for our opportunity. I've included a link the job description below to provide additional color around the specifics of who / what we're searching for here.

Additional information on the job description: http://hire.jobvite.com/j/?cj=oRVxWfwZ&s=NC_State_Professors

If you have a quick moment to review the job spec and think about anyone you know who may be a fit, I'd greatly appreciate it! Also, we're anticipating potential developer internships in the next few months--can I reach out to you regarding those as well?

Thanks in advance for your time, and let me know if I can ever return the favor.


Amy Benjamin
Recruiting Consultant

Rally Software Development

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Find: From Amateur to Pro with PHP the Right Way

Good leads to php sources. 

From Amateur to Pro with PHP the Right Way

At ThinkUp, we've produced a lot of developer documentation on how to write great PHP code, the kind of code that's worthy of acceptance into the project. But if I were to suggest a general list of PHP best practices, I could not have done a better job than Josh Lockhart's PHP (The Right Way). It's a strong collection of generic guidelines and resources, and I'm pleased to see that it describes a lot of what we do at ThinkUp.

PHP is deeply flawed, but it remains the leading "gateway" language for new web developers. Coding Horror's Jeff Atwood wants this to change. He argues that veteran developers should start actively working to end the PHP singularity. The first step, he says, is to stop using it in new projects—something even seasoned developers like Marco Arment have difficulty doing. 

I applaud Atwood for kicking off an ambitious cultural shift in the web development world. Good programmers should use great tools, ideally, from the beginning. But, this is a battle I didn't choose to fight quite this way.

PHP is not the best tool to use, but I chose it for ThinkUp for two reasons. First, when you're building a webapp that users run on their servers, PHP is the only reasonable choice, because LAMP is the most widely available web server stack out there. Second, one of ThinkUp's community goals is to bring new coders into open source. PHP is the language of new web developers, so using it in ThinkUp attracts that talent pool.

Staunch anti-PHPers could say that's just perpetuating the problem of encouraging new programmers to start with bad tools. I see it as an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, approach. Even in PHP, it is possible to teach new coders best practices like object-oriented programming, test-driven development, design patterns, documentation-driven development, and the importance of consistent code style. If amateur web developers want to level up to pro, a good place to start is in a language they already know.

Cross-posted to the ThinkUp blog.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Find: jQuery 2.0 JavaScript framework to drop support for IE 6, 7, and 8

jQuery 2.0 JavaScript framework to drop support for IE 6, 7, and 8

The developers behind the popular jQuery JavaScript library recently published a blog entry with details about the project’s development roadmap. In the note, they announced plans to drop support for legacy versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser in jQuery 2.0

The 2.0 update is expected to release next year. Web developers need not worry, however, because the jQuery team has a plan to ensure that old versions of IE are still supported. A separate 1.9 release to be issued in parallel will leave legacy IE support intact.

The jQuery library is extremely popular among Web developers and is used on some of the largest sites on the Internet. It provides a number of convenience methods and utility functions that dramatically simplify DOM manipulation and other tasks that are common in modern Web applications.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Find: Developer releases source of HTML5 mobile game, sheds light on challenges

Looks like a valuable resource!

Developer releases source of HTML5 mobile game, sheds light on challenges

Inspired by the buzz around HTML5, game development studio Wooga recently attempted to build a complete mobile game with standards-based Web technologies. To share the results of its year-long experiment, the company has published the game’s source code on GitHub under an open source software license.

Wooga also published a blog entry that describes some of the lessons that their developers learned from the experience. The company sees considerable potential in HTML5 gaming, but says that the technology isn’t quite ready yet. Wooga is releasing the source code with the hope that it will contribute to the Web development community’s body of knowledge.

"The reason we’re making Pocket Island open source is so that talented developers all around the world can learn from the team’s work here at Wooga, before breaking and improving on it," the company wrote in a blog post. "The promise of HTML5 is still an exciting one and while the time for mass market implementation may not be in 2012, we’re confident its time will come."