Bring your Web App Home – Get Fluid

Recently I have been writing a lot of reviews of web applications and the trend today reflects people’s preferences. Everyone is moving their favorite desktop applications online. The cloud is my home, not the desktop! Web applications like Gmail, Facebook, Campfire, WorkFlowy, Freshbooks and Pandora are becoming more and more like desktop applications every day. However running each of these web apps in an individual tab in your browser can be a real pain. I have twenty five open tabs at any given time in my browser window and while that is not over the top, apps that are AJAX or Flash driven consume too much memory for my browser’s liking.

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The Google-Linux Marriage

The Google-Linux Marriage

Photo by rgeorgi

Google Linux DesktopThe win win situation!

It has been quite a while now that stories of Google’s Linux supported desktop have been doing rounds over the technology news websites across the world. This has been an interesting move by Google. From providing the support for Google gadgets on Linux to now providing an entire Google desktop for Linux users!

The news got confirmed when Google stated that it will roll out Linux desktop on netbooks soon. Statistics say that netbooks are the only division in PC sales that’s actually reporting increase in sales. It is hence a simple business logic to invest in applications and tools which run great on netbooks.

Google earlier indicated that it had intentions of overcoming Microsoft’s reign in the computer desktop segment. The concern here is on Google’s plans in the future considering this bold yet strategic move on their behalf. Google is keen to setup an array of Windows compatible applications that will work in tandem with Google Linux powered desktops. Various applications that Google flaunts such as Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. shall prove to be a part of the assortment.

The strategy that Google has adopted to hit Microsoft in operating system market is actually worth noticing and very interesting. It has avoided having a head-on confrontation with Microsoft and slowly and steadily matured in its other niches such as web searches and web applications. The first head-on product they released in the market was Google Chrome in 2008 which has been doing pretty well. Matthaus Krzykowski and Daniel Hartmann, founders of the stealth startup Mobile-facts now say,

Google’s smartphone operating system, Android, can be used as a desktop operating system.

One of the possible problems that Google and its Linux desktop can actually face is its lack of Windows business network compatibility; but it too has a solution. With Samba, it has now become much easier to run Windows domain based networks on Linux based servers. The good thing is that it can run both in native and mixed mode.

Google powered Linux based desktops and notebooks shall see the real market sometime soon, this year. It has already built a substantial amount of buzz in the entire Open Source community with a good response from fanboys and the rest. With Google’s intentions becoming pretty clear now, the role of its developers would be very significant in Google Linux Desktop’s success story.

It is also a blessing in disguise for Linux. It could have no better than Google itself starting to promote it. Does it mean more Open Source apps? Free apps? Better GUI on Linux games? What else?

Together, Google and Linux are keen to make this a real fight for Microsoft. Let’s hope that we all see the launch of Google’s Linux desktop soon.

Twitter client Twhirl acquired by Seesmic

TwhirlThe acquisition of Twhirl, for an undisclosed amount, by Seesmic is an interesting news from many angle, the most interesting being Twhirl an AIR application which can run on both Windows and Mac, and of course on Linux.

Twhirl is a popular desktop Twitter client, based on the Adobe AIR platform, developed by Marco Kaiser. Besides being able to acess Twitter service directly from the Desktop, Twhirl also cross post to other services like Pownce and Jaiku.

Twhirl is one of the best Desktop Twitter clients available, amongst others like Twitterific and Instant Messenger Clients. Seesmic plans to enhance the application further and eventually make it the official Seesmic Desktop Client.

I hope this news made a sudden burst of interest among Windows, Mac and Linux AIR Developers.

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Microsoft Windows Vista Wallpapers

Microsoft started work on their plans for Windows Vista (“Longhorn”) in 2001, prior to the release of Windows XP. It was originally expected to ship sometime late in 2003 as a minor step between Windows XP (codenamed “Whistler”) and “Blackcomb” (now known as Windows “Vienna”). Gradually, “Longhorn” assimilated many of the important new features and technologies slated for “Blackcomb”, resulting in the release date being pushed back several times. Many of Microsoft’s developers were also re-tasked with improving the security of Windows XP.

Microsoft has announced that Windows Vista will be broadly available as a stand-alone product or pre-installed on new PCs on January 30, 2007. Windows Vista will be made available to Volume License customers later in the month of November 2006.

After “Longhorn” was named Windows Vista, an unprecedented beta-test program was started, involving hundreds of thousands of volunteers and companies. In September 2005, Microsoft started releasing regular Community Technology Previews (CTP) to beta testers. The first of these was distributed among 2005 Microsoft Professional Developers Conference attendees and was subsequently released to Microsoft Beta testers and Microsoft Developer Network subscribers. The builds that followed incorporated most of the planned features for the final product, as well as a number of changes to the user interface, based largely on feedback from beta testers.

Windows Vista was deemed feature-complete with the release of the “February CTP“, released on February 22, 2006, and much of the remainder of work between that build and the final release of the product focused on stability, performance, application and driver compatibility, and documentation. Beta 2, released in late May, was the first build to be made available to the general public through Microsoft’s Customer Preview Program. It was downloaded by over five million people. Two release candidates followed in September and October, both of which were made available to a large number of users.

Download Microsoft Windows Vista Wallpapers

Browser the Downloads Folder or download them separately;

Screenweaver HX – write haXe Desktop Applications

Screenweaver HX is the haXe wrapper to develop Desktop Application. With SWHX, you create an application by using two layers —

  1. the System layer : written in haXe and using the Neko API, you can access the local filesystem, databases, network sockets.
  2. the Flash layer : written in haXe or any other technology capable of producing SWF, you can use this layer to display the graphical interface, handle user interactions, play sound and video.

You can communicate synchronously between theses two layers by using haXe Remoting. These two layers are both crossplatform and all you need is the SWHX Boot executable that is initializating the application. Visit SWHX for more details – installation, tutorial, samples (ActionScript, Remoting) and Extending it.

References