By Kevin Yank

News Wire: “Flash Killer” WPF/E Preview

By Kevin Yank
  • An enlightening breakdown of just what makes a JavaScript-powered drag-and-drop effect work, and how the implementations of the major JavaScript libraries (script.aculo.us, YUI, and mootools) differ from one another.
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  • A bit late off the mark on this one, but beta 2 of Flash Player 9 for Linux is now out, and it contains big improvements to audio output, which was reportedly flakey in the first beta.
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  • Small and simple, this color picker control is free to use in your own projects. Unfortunately, the sample code is quite obtrusive and fails completely when JavaScript is turned off. Anyone up for crafting an unobtrusive version of this?
  • JSON is now supported by Google Base, Blogger, and Calendar feeds, greatly simplifying mashups based on these services. Still waiting for JSON Google Search results though. (thanks andrewk)
  • Again, playing catch-up a little with this one. Rails 1.2 is nearing release with the addition of REST-aware controllers, simpler handling of multiple page formats, and strong (if still a little klunky) support for multibyte text.
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  • It’s December, which means that, once again, it’s time for 24 Ways’ advent calendar of standards-compliant delights. (thanks spiky_simon)
  • A rich collection of SEO tools to analyze your site as you claw your way to the top of the rankings. (thanks jamesbooker)
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  • A 24-hour coding competition to see who can code the best PHP app, scheduled to happen on January 27, 2007. (thanks spiky_simon)
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  • The first preview of Microsoft’s Flash competitor, “WPF/E”. Runs on Internet Explorer, Firefox (1.5 only on Mac OS in this release), and Safari. The demos are nice enough, but the real difference from Flash comes on the development side.
  • A site that provides a quick redirect to the official W3C documentation for any CSS property.
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  • A first stab at some standard icons for signalling the presence of microformats within a web page. Follow the link to the microformats wiki for discussion on their design and usefulness.
  • Yahoo!’s JavaScript Architect Douglas Crockford explores the advanced aspects of JavaScript development: the three styles of object oriented inheritance, debugging JavaScript, optimizing for performance, and JSON.
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  • A dead simple method of joining multiple WAV files to produce an accessible audio CAPTCHA.
  • Firebug Lite is a version of the Firebug console that runs in non-Firefox browsers simply by including the necessary JavaScript in the page. With this bookmarklet, you can insert the code to launch the console only when you need it. (thanks ssttoo)
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  • Groovy, a scripting language that runs on the Java virtual machine, is nearing its 1.0 release. This public release candidate represents the final significant changes to the language.
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  • Some clear and reasonable advice on how to structure your CSS files. This isn’t the only way to go, but it’s one of the better approaches I’ve seen.
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  • Primarily a bugfix and performance improvement release, Dojo is now more solid than ever.

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  • Kevin, let’s not beat around the bush here!


    Everyone, seriously… WAKE UP NOW

  • Andy Moss

    flash will never be killed, its installed on too many machines (>90% of online computer id guess) where as wtf, sorry wpfe is installed on 0.09 computers (i left the percentage off to prove my point, nobody has it!)

  • jmoriconi

    It will be interesting to see how WFP/E pans out. I’ve long hated flash, and have longed for better SVG support w/in HTML documents so that some graphics manipulation could be offloaded to the client’s browser w/out hogging system resources and alienating visually impaired visitors like flash does. As much as i hate to admit it, i believe microsoft could have a hit on their hands if they play their cards right.

  • @ Andy Moss, please think carefully now…

    guess what else is installed on >90% of online machines?

    Netscape Navigator used to have a 99% share of the browser market, and we all know how that ended.

  • There is also the small matter of a mechanism known as Windows update. Flash will always be disadvantaged here because they have to keep their download size to around 600Kb from memory because that’s what their tests show users will wait for. Every time they introduce a new feature they have to squeeze more bytes out of the runtime so put in the new stuff.

    With Windows update and its BITS transfer mechanism, download size is not an issue for Microsoft. They can jam as many features into the runtime as possible. The current download is 1.1Mb. With a simple Windows update push, you already have comparable market penetration to Flash in a fraction of the time.

    The flip side is there is serious potential for bloated download sizes, but if its going to perform well, it will have to optimised anyway. From what I’ve seen so far it is way more integrated than Flash, performs extremely well for a CTP and already gives you more potential than Flash on the client side.

    Adobe will have a serious fight on their hands if they want to hold this back. Weirdly enough, nobody has thought about using Flash within a XAML document.

    With a CTP of this quality already, it will be interesting to see what is released in future versions.

  • This is really great. Although Flash environment flurished through out the web , but the simplycity of using WFP/E is the future. The comming years may not be in the same track. Adobe and Macromedia are in continous research on the web front and one can axpect a cold war (in web). Lets hold our breath and and select our flavour of choice. . .

  • I doubt it will be a flash killer.. remember it’s made by the same company who launched the “I-pod killer” :p

    Anyways with Flex they will have a hard time with Flash as it allready makes building RIA’s a breeze ;)

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