Tuesday, September 9, 2008
So what's in a name:
1. Mashup - a mashup is a simplest kind of über-web applications - it combines a number of so called widgets or gadgets, each one doing something useful and simple. The widgets do not inter-operate, they are developed by different people but stored in the mashup itself, often using a special widget format. Examples - iGoogle, Netvibes, Pageflakes and My Yahoo!.
2. Web Desktop - a web desktop is tiny little bit more complicated, it's usually a GUI that looks like Windows desktop and integrates several useful web applications such as email, instant messaging, file storage and sharing. Examples - Desktop Two, YouOS, EyeOS, GlideOS and others. Interesting how many of them have OS in the names.
3. Web Operating System. According to Wikipedia, an operating system is "...is the software component of a computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources of the computer...". Rephrasing this, a Web Operating System is a software component of a large and distributed computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of all kinds of resources stored in many different places on the web.
What was once a device driver is now a web service driver, and the Web operating System coordinates and uses these drivers to provide a unified experience to the users.
Disagree? Feel free to rant here :-)
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Pixie should support all devices that have XHTML browser as well as mashups such as iGoogle, Netvibes and Pageflakes.
Please see the list of user benefits is at: http://code.google.com/p/pixie-os/wiki/UseCases
Feel free to contact me if you're interested to join this project.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Do we really have to create and consume so much in such a short time?
I bought my digital SLR, Nikon D70, only 3 years ago when it was state of the art. Today it's considered an old piece of junk. Since then Nikon has released D70s, D40, D40x, D60, D80, D200, D300, D3, D700, and that's only from the "prosumer" line!
Do we really need all the high definition recorders, players, TVs, flat computer monitors, laptops? Do we really have to see every pimple on Mel Gibson's face to really enjoy our life?
And then the question is whether we can take the virtualization to the next level, just like you have your virtual computer at G.ho.st, and stop worrying about backing up, upgrading, swapping gear, recycling and so on. Can we virtualize more aspects of our lives? What else can be replaced with a "thin" and "dumb" virtual "client"?
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
How about dancing pairs dressed as Jews and Arabs in the middle of the Times Square? :-)
BTW, just in case, flash mob is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob
If you are interested - post here or email me.
Monday, June 2, 2008
University of life
I am a Russian-Israeli working in G.ho.st, the first Palestinian-Israeli startup in history (more about us: http://antonbar.blogspot.com/2008/05/ghost-on-news.html). I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and came to Israel in 1991. Here I received my education, married my wife (a US-born Israeli), and started a family. My three daughters were born in Jerusalem.
During the last few years, I was the CTO of a high-tech company specializing in enterprise content management. I was bored to death and was desperately looking for something new and exciting until one day, my Headhunter agent called and asked – “What do you think about working with Palestinians from the West Bank in Ramallah?"...
And so the real learning began...
At the moment of writing G.ho.st employs 35 Palestinians in Ramallah and 6 Israelis in Modiin. We are so close to each other – if I was allowed, I could drive to our Ramallah office faster than back home! And yet, there are walls, fences and army checkpoints…
Israelis are not allowed to visit the Palestinian territories and Palestinians must receive special permits to visit Israel. Even if they receive permits, there is no common public transportation and all the alternative solutions are rather expensive.
We have a company to run, we have to design the system’s architecture, write code, find and solve bugs and this is all about communication. Virtualization to the rescue! I was surprised to learn that video conferencing is a great solution. We always keep the video conference open between the offices. I think of it as a window, or a tunnel, to another room where the rest of the team is working.
Despite the common misconception, it turns out that it is much easier for an Israeli to find a common language with a Palestinian rather than with an American – we like similar food, similar sports, and speak very similar languages.
Did you know that Judaism and Islam are actually more similar than they are different? Both share common origin in the Middle East through Abraham, and both are considered Abrahamic religions. Islam is similar to Judaism in its fundamental religious outlook, structure, law and practice.
We all are the same. We like laughing, love our children, care for our families, and we all bleed when we get cut!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
5. Better public image - sell a story, not only a software - contribute to the community and it will pay you back.
4. Closer to the customer - it's an old and proven paradigm, and you cannot get any closer than actually involving your customers in the development process. It is especially useful with new and innovative products where customers do not know if they need it or what features they need
3. Better product - feedback matters - “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” (Linus Torvalds).
2. Lower overhead - unpaid and outsourced work by volunteers and commercial companies adopting the product and an efficient and inherently distributed development environment allowing extending the team and hire selected community members w/o changing the infrastructure
1. Broader market - more features on wider range of client platforms and the geographical advantage - with the help of the community you can support more languages and more location specific features.
It's not all sunshine though, the disadvantages are that you cannot control volunteers, the “Benevolent dictator” model means you have to control all the commits, review all the code that comes in, and spend much more time on the integration of the new code. There is also some management overhead, distractions (the so called “bike shed” effect) and your business model should deal with the fact that your intellectual property is not protected.
Particularly we are working on a free and open source library that will simplify the development of mobile web applications and help making them work on most mobile devices made by many different manufacturers and used by different cellular carriers.
We believe that this is a classic project for the open source community because otherwise only very large and rich corporations can afford supporting so many different target environments, and they would not do so just for the greater good.
The project is hosted at Google Code at: http://code.google.com/p/pixie-os/
Saturday, May 24, 2008
More details are available at: http://www.softwaresummit.com/2008/speakers/bar.htm
Friday, May 23, 2008
Switch User Agent
Use it to change the User Agent string of your Firefox browser: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/59
Web Developer Toolbar
A Swiss army knife for every web developer: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/60
View / Remove Cookies
This add-on is very useful when developing features depending on security cookies: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/315, when you frequently need to check cookies of a currently displayed web page (Right click the web page View Page Info Cookies).
Force Content Type
Add-on that allows you to force the browser to use a custom Content Type: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3207. It is very useful for reviewing REST / SOAP API responses as XML instead of "text/plain" as some systems return.
Script debugger and network sniffer for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1843
Extension of the Firebug add-on: http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/. Helps you finding performance problems in your web pages quickly and easily.