Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Mobile Web Pages

March 8, 2006

Mike writes:

“Most mobile sites split their content across multiple short pages. I think in a lot of cases it’s a bad approach. In case of a small-to-medium size mobile web page it takes a cell phone much longer to start downloading the page than to actually download it. That’s why my philosophy has always been to make mobile pages as long as possible. A good example of an app that I designed with that in mind is Windows Live Mail for mobile, where we first try to determine whether the device can handle large pages, and then generate as large page as possible (with an upper limit). This improves the user experience by reducing the time that the device spends connecting and locating each page. It also lowers the amount of data that gets transferred to the user’s phone, because downloading each page has an overhead of downloading its header and footer sections.”


Monetizing Open Source via On Demand

December 8, 2005

Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow Technologies:

Imagine a car company that got its steel for free. So, instead of spending its money on costly raw materials, this company could invest in high-value differentiators such as better vehicle design, build-to-order manufacturing, and superb customer service.

Now imagine that this company also offered customers completely care-free car ownership; Its customers would never have to worry about gas or oil changes or insurance, because that would all be taken care of for them. All they’d ever have to do would be to get in and drive.

Obviously, that would be a great deal for the customer. Plus, with its cost-of-materials reduced to zero, the company could operate quite profitably while offering its extremely compelling value proposition.

This, in a nutshell, describes the business model of an on demand software vendor using open source technology. By eliminating the cost of databases, operating systems, and other infrastructure components, open source technology allows an on demand vendor to invest more in development, hosting, and services. And by providing software as a service, the on demand model frees customers from the valueless, budget-sucking burdens of IT ownership.


December 7, 2005

The December issue of Release 1.0 also has a write-up on Seraja/EventWeb, “a project meant to pull together all data about a particular event”:

So far, [Ramesh] Jain points out, most calendars are devoted to planning.He wants to use the calendar as a high-level index and create something he compares to Pensieve in the Harry Potter books: “You take out someone’s memory, put it into Pensieve and everyone can share it.?

The idea is to index and display content by time and place – i.e. to index events.And then – here’s the magic – EventWeb will process the content it finds or gets from users using the sorts of pattern- and object-recognition tools that characterize much of Jain’s previous work.What makes it interesting is that it will can process video objects as well as text-based event information. The service relies on indexing, classification and recognition algorithms. . .and people. As a service, it will both host its own content and object recognition, annotation and editing tools, and let users use the tools to manage and host both shared and their own content, with links to EventWeb. Imagine Wikipedia-style collaboration to generate metadata for any event-related content anyone can find.

This sounds very interesting as I am not aware of any other such kind of project. Seraja web site says it is under construction. Will it be new amazing Web 2.0 application?

RSS Chess Game

December 3, 2005

Michael Parekh writes about the initiatives of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo:

Although it may be early to call the turning of the worm as it were, the tactical moves with some of these emerging Web 2.0 technologies are definitely interesting as they’re deployed by the GYMAAAE companies to best suit their existing and desired business models, along with their perceived tactical and strategic advantages.

RSS is definitely one of those technologies. But again, all participants must keep in mind, that these are but technologies, being crafted into products, services and features. The big test is how mainstream consumers eventually choose to make these things an everyday part of their lives, or not.

And it’s all going to take a lot longer than we’d all like to think, so we need to collectively cool our heels on calling winners and losers at every move and counter-move in this very long, multi-player chess marathon.

Ajax and Desktop Apps

December 3, 2005 writes:

Interactive Web pages built with multimedia tools such as Macromedia’s Flash and Flex have been around for years. These so-called rich Internet application tools will continue to exist for sophisticated tasks, but AJAX fits the need for simpler jobs, like adding interactivity to an existing Web site, Monson-Haefel said.

The ability to build a better Web is paving the way for hosted services funded by advertising or subscriptions. That’s a shift from the traditional desktop software model where customers pay an up-front fee to install software onto a single machine.

“AJAX is not a panacea,” said Zimbra’s Dietzen, noting that some applications, such as complex spreadsheets or presentations, demand desktop storage. “It’s excellent for enriching traditional Web apps that need it. But not all Web applications need to have a richer UI. For the ones that do, AJAX is by far the best choice.

Skype 2.0

December 3, 2005

Walter Mossberg writes about the new version that has just been launched:

the company plans to release a major new version of its phone-calling software, Skype 2.0, with added features — including video calling — and a cleaner interface. It is taking steps to make computer microphones cheap and easy to obtain. More importantly, it is moving its service off the computer to a new breed of Internet-based telephone handsets. I’ve been testing Skype 2.0, along with the new, cheap,

Skype-branded microphones and a new Skype-compatible phone that frees users from sitting in front of a computer while talking. Despite some flaws, this new combination of hardware and software generally worked well, and I believe it stands a chance of propelling Skype into the mainstream.

Software Project Management

December 3, 2005

Fortune interviews Frederick Brooks, who wrote “The Mythical Man-Month” 30 years ago. Quotes:

Fortune: So if a project is already late and throwing more people on it is just going to make it worse, how do you solve the problem?
Brooks: One is to officially slip the schedule. And officially doing it has many benefits over unofficially letting it slip. Peter Fagg, a really wise System/360 engineering manager, gave very sound advice: “Take no small slips.” That is, if you’re going to take a slip, get everybody onboard, get organized, and take a six-month slip, even though you may at the moment feel as if you’re only four months late. The other obvious solution is to lighten the ship: Decide there are some things we’re not going to do. A third thing is to phase the work: Say, “All right, we’re going to do a version that has just the essentials for the most important or most numerous users.” Meanwhile schedule and develop the things that should go in version 2 and ship them later.