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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3dThe third dimension isn’t just a Hollywood contrivance for repackaging old movies–it’s cropping up in everything from tablet computers to museum exhibits to Web design.

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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 webkit.org 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.

http://www.webkit.org/blog-files/3d-transforms/morphing-cubes.html

http://www.ro.me/tech/

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.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/ufTC42Hm6o8/

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?

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/iZZg_GSuQEo/

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.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/6XwMzKq0eJ0/

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.”

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/J2ty5AACSVw/

Europe’s largest IT company wants to replace email with IM, social networks, and face-to-face meetings. If only 11 percent of 11 to 19 year-olds use email, will it go the way of the dodo?

Of course, replacing email with f2f meetings would mean greater privacy, while relying on Facebook and Twitter would mean significantly less–especially now that JavaScript is making encryption easier for Web-based email:

http://developers.slashdot.org/story/11/11/22/0422223/openpgp-implemented-in-javascript

“Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos, Europe’s Largest IT Company, wants a ‘zero email’ policy to be in place in 18 months, arguing that only 10 per cent of the 200 electronic messages his employees receive per day on average turn out to be useful, and that staff spend between 5-20 hours handling emails every week. ‘The email is no longer the appropriate (communication) tool,’ says Breton. ‘The deluge of information will be one of the most important problems a company will have to face (in the future). It is time to think differently.’ Instead Breton wants staff at Atos to use chat-type collaborative services inspired by social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter as surveys show that the younger generation have already all but scrapped email, with only 11 per cent of 11 to 19 year-olds using it. For his part Breton hasn’t sent a work email in three years. ‘If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message. Emails cannot replace the spoken word.’”

http://slashdot.org/story/11/11/29/0232205/europes-largest-it-company-to-ban-internal-email

Even if you continue to send email, you might find that filing it is a waste of time.

“There are two types of office workers in the world — those who file their emails in folders, and those who use search. Well, it looks like the searchers are smarter. A 354-user study by IBM research found that users who just searched their inbox found emails slightly faster than users who had filed them by folder. Add the time spent filing and the searchers easily come out on top. Apparently the filers are using their inbox as a to-do list rather than wanting to categorize information to find it more easily.”

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/10/10/0043217/Putting-Emails-In-Folders-Is-a-Waste-of-Time-Says-IBM-Study

Ie email goes extinct, what’s next? Maybe files.

“Two recent papers, one from Microsoft Research and one from University of Wisconsin (PDF), are providing a refreshing take on rethinking ‘what a file is.’ This could have major implications for the next-gen file system design, and will probably cause a stir among Slashdotters, given that it will affect the programmatic interface. The first paper has some hints as to what went wrong with the previous WinFS approach. Quoting the first paper: ‘For over 40 years the notion of the file, as devised by pioneers in the field of computing, has proved robust and has remained unchallenged. Yet this concept is not a given, but serves as a boundary object between users and engineers. In the current landscape, this boundary is showing signs of slippage, and we propose the boundary object be reconstituted. New abstractions of file are needed, which reflect what users seek to do with their digital data, and which allow engineers to solve the networking, storage and data management problems that ensue when files move from the PC on to the networked world of today. We suggest that one aspect of this adaptation is to encompass metadata within a file abstraction; another has to do what such a shift would mean for enduring user actions such as “copy” and “delete” applicable to the deriving file types. We finish by arguing that there is an especial need to support the notion of “ownership” that adequately serves both users and engineers as they engage with the world of networked sociality. ‘”

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/11/01/1249224/rethinking-the-nature-of-files

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.

Source: http://getskeleton.com/

I can’t wait to write an Excel alert that tells me when my budget is in the red.

“Programmers have had to put up with Microsoft dithering over Office development for a long while. The macro language VBA has been on its way out ever since .NET was introduced and yet it is still the only macro language available. Now it looks as if Microsoft plan to put JavaScript and HTML5 into Office 15. And how do we know this? By reading job ads to discover what projects Microsoft is hiring for.” http://developers.slashdot.org/story/11/08/06/2146245/Office-15-Development-To-Go-JavaScript-HTML5-For-Extensibility

JavaScript’s rise to prominence continues as it becomes the new introductory language for Computer Science at Stanford.

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JavaScript’s seemingly inexorable march toward becoming the universal language of new media recently opened a new beachhead on the Web server. With an effusion of excitement about, and profusion of frameworks for, using JavaScript for such server-side tasks as accessing databases, the homely script that started out as a love child of Netscape and Internet Explorer could end up displacing such respected languages as PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Microsoft Vice President Julie Larson-Green didn’t help matters during a demo of Windows 8, when she called HTML5 / JavaScript “our new developer platform“–freaking out legions of developers who’ve diligently learned Microsoft-only platforms from Visual Basic to C#. Will Microsoft say nyet to .NET?

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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 http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/k9zWnzmLxOE/ 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 http://www.wikitude.org/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

If the founder of console powerhouse Electronic Arts is right when he says “the browser is the platform of the future,” then here are some inventive takes on what that future might look like–from rolling up your favorite Web page Katamari Damacy-style to playing a game entirely in the URL bar.

http://kathack.com/

This is a “bookmarklet” that turns any page into Katamari Damacy. Try clicking the Katamari! link above.

This was the winner of the 2011 Yahoo HackU contest at University of Washington.

How does it work?

Short version: css transforms (for things stuck to the katamari), canvas (drawing the katamari), and z-index (illusion of depth).

This minimalist gem crams an entire game into a single URL.

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/11/03/13/1537230/A-Game-Played-In-the-URL-Bar?from=rss via Byline

“Whether you think it is useful or useless, you can’t ignored the sheer cool geekiness of a game played entirely in the URL bar. From the article: ‘… While getting lost in a three dimensional virtual world amongst increasingly thoughtful plot and character development may be an adequate pastime for some, the only new title the gaming world should be talking about is URL Hunter, an experimental keyboard-character based game played entirely in your browser’s URL bar.’”

Trip breaks it down for us.

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/03/08/199212/Browsers-mdash-the-Gaming-Platform-of-the-Future?from=rss via Byline

Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts, spoke at the recent Game Developers Conference about how he expects game platforms to evolve in the future. Hawkins thinks the role of web browsers as a platform will greatly increase as the explosion of mobile device adoption continues. “For all of the big media companies, this phase of disruption is dramatic and happening fast. Where it’s really going to lead is where the function of the browser is going. … The browser has taken over 2 billion PCs — it’s going to be taking over a billion tablets over the next few years, billions of mobile devices. It will end up in my opinion very strong on the television. The browser is the platform of the future.”

This would be a lot cooler if Dustin O’Conner hadn’t already done it in my Creative Networks class.

Is there anywhere JavaScript can’t go?

http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2011/01/kinect-javascript-handwaving-browser/ (Via Bruce Sterling)

*Another lash-up. They’re coming thick and fast. I’ve never seen a tech-development scene work like this before — so virally. This is not “Augmented Reality,” it’s more of a gestural interface… but c’mon, it’s 2011 and they’re websurfing by waving their hands.

DepthJS from Fluid Interfaces on Vimeo.

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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Sure, sound in a Web page can be horribly misused. But now when it has a legitimate purpose, you won’t have to kill a mosquito with a cannon by drumming up a Flash file just to play a beep.

Imagine if you could grab and manipulate audio with JavaScript just like you can images with Canvas. Firefox experimental builds let you do just that: crazy audio visualizations, a graphic equalizer, even text-to-speech, all in JavaScript! Work in progress; you need a special build of Firefox (videos available), being worked on via W3C.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/fnfEngBMfXE/Breakthroughs-In-HTML-Audio-Via-Manipulation-With-JavaScript

Sure, sound in a Web page can be horribly misused. But now when it has a legitimate purpose, you won’t have to kill a mosquito with a cannon by drumming up a Flash file just to play a beep.

Imagine if you could grab and manipulate audio with JavaScript just like you can images with Canvas. Firefox experimental builds let you do just that: crazy audio visualizations, a graphic equalizer, even text-to-speech, all in JavaScript! Work in progress; you need a special build of Firefox (videos available), being worked on via W3C.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/fnfEngBMfXE/Breakthroughs-In-HTML-Audio-Via-Manipulation-With-JavaScript

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Josh Plourde at AEWC Offshore Wind sent this my way.

AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center is now accepting resumes for a paid student research assistant who would:

•Create and edit promotional materials.

•Cooperate in the development and design of web site.

•Take leading role in iPad/iPhone app design and development.

Applicants should:

•Be knowledgeable of several programming languages, including PHP and Javascript.

•Be familiar with design standards.

•Have strong New Media/Programming background.

•Demonstrate strong communication skills.

•Be available and willing to work 40 hours this summer and 20+ hours during the fall and spring semesters.

If interested, send resume and cover letter in PDF format to Elizabeth Viselli on First Class.

Josh Plourde at AEWC Offshore Wind sent this my way.

AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center is now accepting resumes for a paid student research assistant who would: •Create and edit promotional materials. •Cooperate in the development and design of web site. •Take leading role in iPad/iPhone app design and development.

Applicants should: •Be knowledgeable of several programming languages, including PHP and Javascript. •Be familiar with design standards. •Have strong New Media/Programming background. •Demonstrate strong communication skills. •Be available and willing to work 40 hours this summer and 20+ hours during the fall and spring semesters.

If interested, send resume and cover letter in PDF format to Elizabeth Viselli on First Class.

Which do you feel has more capabilities/setbacks for interactive multimedia on the web? http://www.webreference.com/programming/javascript/java_flash/

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