Ruby, Objective-C, Lua, Python…so many languages, so little time. After the UMaine New Media Department decided to teach code across the curriculum, its faculty needed to choose baseline language with an easy learning curve and broad applicability. Their choice? HTML5.

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Mi c With i Phone and i pad illIt’s never been easier to get music onto a phone, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. These tools help you find and record music–and even bust out an app for your band using HTML5.

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Thanks to new, easy-to-use standards, the Web just got a lot more animated.

There are some really compelling demonstrations out there that showcase the use of video in conjunction with WebGL and other modern web standards. For example, the spinnjng cube at and video shader demo from the 3 Dreams of Black interactive film give you a taste of what’s possible when Web pages go 3d.

Three-dimensional effects don’t yet work in every browser, however. Some have been hard-coded to work only in Chrome or Safari, though Firefox should support them soon.

Confused? Help is on the way.

A new website helps web developers decipher the often confusing world of HTML5 and CSS 3. Which elements are ready to use? Which are still not widely supported? And where can you find polyfills and fallbacks for older browsers? HTML5 Please has your answers.

For many developers, the best thjng about HTML5 is that it will drastically simplify the now byzantine process of adding video and audio to a Web page. Here’s a report just on exactly where it’s safe to use this new technique:

For a very thorough rundown of exactly where and how well HTML5 video works on the web right now, check out the excellent report on the state of HTML5 video from Long Tail Video. Put together by the makers of JW Player, an HTML5 video player toolkit, the state of HTML5 video report is mercifully free of any evangelism for any particular technology. Instead it offers a level-headed look at reality, answering the basic questions — where can you use HTML5 video? How well will it work for users? And when will you need Flash fallbacks?

Firefox 10 now has a suite of sophisticated developer tools baked in–though my early tests suggest that its popular add-on Firebug remains the best debugger in the business.

Mozilla has released Firefox 10, which features new and improved tools for web developers as well as more support for emerging web standards.

One problem that Mozilla hasn’t solved is less technical than philosophical: whether to add DRM to an open video standard so Netflix et al. will adopt it.

“The problem is that some big content providers insist on onerous DRM that necessarily violates some of our open web principles (such as web content being equally usable on any platform, based on royalty-free standards, and those standards being implementable in free software),” O’Callahan wrote. “We will probably get into a situation where web video distributors will be desperate for an in-browser strong DRM solution ASAP, and most browser vendors (who don’t care all that much about those principles) will step up to give them whatever they want, leaving Mozilla in another difficult position. I wish I could see a reasonable solution, but right now I can’t. It seems even harder than the codec problem.”

Basically Skeleton is a really elegant boilerplate setup done through JS + CSS to scale a website from a desktop size to mobile resolutions. I’m currently using it on my own projects, it’s a great framework to get going if you want mobile usability.


Wired reports on a development that suggests Adobe may be ceding ground in the Flash versus HTML 5 competition:

Adobe wants to bring fancy, magazine-style layout tools to web design and the company is turning to web standard to make it happen.

Regions can be both positive and negative space. In other words, you can write CSS rules to flow text into a region — say, as below, a pie graph — or around a region (as in the image of Arches National Park at the top of this post).

Lest you think that Adobe is simply trying to improve the web — which may well be true — nevertheless, it’s worth bearing in mind Adobe’s own agenda. We suspect it’s no accident that the company has used WebKit to power the CSS Regions testing browser. WebKit is, after all, the engine that powers the iPad’s web browser.

With Apple banning Flash from its iOS devices, Adobe has little in the way of iPad-friendly tools to offer its big magazine clients. Given that publishers are betting heavily on the iPad’s ability to save their business model, the more iPad tools Adobe can offer, the happier magazine publishers will be. By rolling CSS Regions into WebKit for a demo, Adobe is already one step closer to a toe-hold on iOS devices.

JavaScript and its siblings HTML and CSS have grown from lowly beginnings to become the gateway language to (almost) everything new media. Linux and Augmented Reality are the latest to succumb to the “JavaScript everywhere” trend.

Yes Virginia, That Is Linux Running on JavaScript Wired News: Top Stories Thanks to today’s web browsers, JavaScript has become a very powerful language. Powerful enough to run Linux inside your web browser.

This new framework from Wikitude would have sure come in handy for some of last year’s AR-based NMD capstones.

Augmented Reality: Wikitude ARchitect (Via Bruce Sterling)

Whenever we looked at Augmented Reality (AR) content platforms, we have always found them far too restrictive for AR content developers. They all offer a handful of features, which often limit the creative ideas AR content developers have. So we at Wikitude thought, “that’s not ideal, we need to change this, and we need to change this NOW!”

Consider this, when developing a webpage, would you be satisfied with only a handful of features especially if you knew there were powerful concepts like HTML, JavaScript and CSS were available which could make your life so much easier, but the web browser forces you to stick to the few features it offers you? We at Wikitude guess you wouldn’t. So, why should you accept this on Augmented Reality Browsers?

We asked ourselves this question a few months ago…..and created ARchitect!

ARchitect – a new way of creating Augmented Reality experiences

The Wikitude ARchitect is an Augmented Reality JavaScript Framework, embedded in a HTML web view which sits on top of the Wikitude camera view and allows developers to control the objects in the camera view. And when I say JavaScript, I don’t mean just another JSON object definition language, I’m really talking about the entire power of the JavaScript language. And when I say HTML, I don’t mean just a special div that can be placed at a predefined spot – nope, it’s the entire HTML specification that will be supported in Wikitude ARchitect. No exceptions, whatever is possible in an ordinary web browser will also be do-able in ARchitect. Promise!

Geolocation drawings by YOU! Concepts behind ARchitect

The three key concepts for us when designing the ARchitect were: 1) Developers shouldn’t be required to learn new concepts or tools. 2) The ARchitect should be very simple to get into, do something meaningful with only a few lines of code. 3) And yet, it should be massively powerful and flexible to create highly complex AR applications.

As we tried out various ideas to achieve these goals, it was rather obvious that HTML in combination with JavaScript was the best way to go!

HTML and JavaScript is all you need to know

Now, let’s have a look at the internals. (((Yes let’s!)))) The Wikitude ARchitect basically consists of two major parts. First, we have the HTML which is placed on top of the camera view. Typically, HTML will contain data which will not move with the user but remain on the screen, whatever the user is looking at. Examples of this would be status and progress bars or an inventory management in an AR game – basically, a heads up display. No additional skills required, it’s HTML with all the associated tools, like CSS or JavaScript, if you know how to create a webpage, you are ready to start developing with the ARchitect!

Second, the heart of ARchitect is the JavaScript library which ties deeply into the application and allows manipulation of the AR objects on the screen. Essentially, you can create virtual objects on the fly, create, place and modify Drawables visualizing the object or react on certain events, for example when an object comes in the field of vision, or when the user comes close to a certain location, and even execute a function you can specify.

Animations by YOU You can animate the objects and their visualizations, make them rotate, scale, disappear, … It’s totally up to you! Play sounds and videos, do network interaction, create interactive games, even with network multiplayer mode, let your phone vibrate, and much much more! With the ARchitect, you finally have a powerful tool in your hand to create incredible, mind-blowing AR applications!

The sky is the limit – realize your ideas

Writing in the Atlantic, Dylan Tweney claims that online publishing is challenging designers to give up the control they were used to in print publications and even in the first decade of the Web. According to Tweney, software like Cascading Style Sheets and JavaScript and platforms like the iPad are enabling the separation of form and content like never before.

At the same time, designers are increasingly in demand to find efficient ways to convey people and information, as some recent remarkable examples of design make clear. So who’s right?

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CSS cheat sheetIf cheating is the pedagogy of the Internet, this could be the textbook. In addition to the usual suspects like CSS and PHP, this compilation includes some popular frameworks like jQuery and Ruby on Rails. (via Amy Pierce)

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HTML5 tigerThe HTML5Rocks site may be slanted toward Google’s implementation of HTML5 (and works best in Google’s Chrome browser). But it’s an impressive compendium of demos and how-to’s for everything HTML5, from 2- and 3d animations, to instant text columns, to building databases in the browser (“Web Storage”), to drag-and-drop with a single line of code. Web designers, prepare for HTML5 to rock your world.

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