The Mega apps

An article, posted 5 months ago filed in app, apple, eclipse, Evolution, java, linux, netscape, os, OSS, outlook, uml, Firefox, ai & mozilla.

Around 2000 I worked on Java Web apps using Eclipse, an open source IDE, which was also extendable with all kinds of tools. Since it was an IDE some made tools for drawing code with UML (connecting named boxes with attributes). But it was also the playground for tools less related to coding. It became a kind of OS running on an OS.

Less niche, was perhaps Netscape Communicator. It was a web browser, an email client, a webpage builder, a calendar … all in one. And also quite extendible again with plugins. The idea still lives on in the Mozilla Seamonkey-project.

A remnant of this is perhaps Microsoft Outlook. An e-mail client with integrated calendar app. An approach mimicked by Evolution on Linux.

I was reminded by all this [because Mozilla wants to focus on integrating AI in their flagship product Firefox](…

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QR-codes zijn niet schadelijk

An article, posted more than 2 years ago filed in qr-code, qr, scan, coronacheck & app.

QR codes zijn niet schadelijk. Een QR code is net zoals een barcode die op alle producten zitten gewoon een manier om informatie over te brengen.

Er kunnen URLs in zitten, contactgegevens, of een code die bijna alleen voor je bank- of coronacheck-app begrijpbaar is.

Mocht je je druk maken over QR-codes, maak je liever druk over:

  • het klimaat;
  • teloorgang van de biodiversiteit;
  • groeiende ongelijkheid;
  • gebrekkige staat van het onderwijs.


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Twitter launches a new web app

An article, posted more than 7 years ago filed in twitter, facebook, react, ApplicationCache, cache, apple, google, ios, app, progressive web app, future & webapp.

Targeted at those with low spec phones, Twitter today launched Twitter Lite, a product build on a modern suite of technologies that should be ring a bell with most front-enders today.

The new Twitter frontend is built using React (nb. made by Facebook), Redux, Normalizr, Globalize, Babel, Webpack, Jest, WebdriverIO, and Yarn (they have written about how they built it.

It is a good thing to see a large company not giving up on the open web. I’ve added the new Twitter Lite app to my phone (running iOS) and see if it can replace the native app (as I did with Facebook before). My first impression is pretty good. Most importantly, as promised: it loads faster, even without support for ServiceWorkers (while iOS 1.0 only allowed for web apps, its level of support is kind of bleak when compared to the efforts made by Google and Firefox). It could use some animation …

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Learning from failures: off-line support in a rails-app

An article, posted more than 8 years ago filed in rails, react, ruby, frontend, backend, offline, online, app, nodejs, ruby on rails, formdata, forms & cache.

As a web-developer you typically assume that your users are always using your app on-line. When asked a year ago to start developing an app for the art-consulting firm QKunst I was, however, specifically asked for a tool that had to work in bunkers. Bunkers where having a solid internet connection was typically the exception. No problem, I read about HTML5 and offline app-cache: I thought I could fix that. More about that soon.

How I face a challenge

When faced a (technical) challenge I typically search for the easiest way out: what would be the slightest change I’d have to make to my battle tested set-up to accommodate for the new challenging feature. In my case this battle tested set-up starts of with the Ruby on Rails stack, which builds on techniques that align well with how I believe the web should work too. RESTful (proper HTTP-messaging and URLs), semantic, CURL-able. And all graceful…

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Ontmaskeren van technologie-hypes

An article, posted almost 12 years ago filed in web, app, twitter, hype, facebook, browser, concept, technologie, sociaal, ontmaskeren, bigdata, identica & opensocial.

In een vorige post over het concept achter de hypes schreef ik over hoe ik onderscheid maak tussen een duurzame trend, het concept, en een hype.

Achteraf oordelen dat iets een hype was is echter gemakkelijk, dus hierbij een voorspelling. Even de 'regels' herhalen:

> De trend (en doel) voor het internet, die zich vanaf het begin heeft ingezet, is: informatie zo goedkoop, handig en snel mogelijk overal beschikbaar maken. Big data, personal cloud, Twitter, prijsvergelijkers, en vele andere hypes passen hier in. Dat is wat ‘de technologie wil’. Maar of je zou moeten investeren in de hype voor de langere termijn moet er toch op zijn minst aan de volgende voorwaarden worden voldaan: > 1. Het moet open zijn > 2. Het moet aanpasbaar zijn > 3. Het moet flexibel zijn.

Hypes vroegtijdig herkennen is niet alleen leuk om te doen, het houd je ook nuchter in een snel veranderende wereld. Goed. Met de bovengenoemde reg…

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The MorphWiz is not cool

An article, posted more than 12 years ago filed in ipad, app, music, virtual, touch, physical, instruments, technoligists, solutions, mimic, real, string, dream theater & midi.

Recently someone showed me a movie of the MorphWiz, a to be released app by Dream Theater1 musician Jordan Rudess. First impression: cool. Second impression, nice. Third impression…

I browsed some of the other movies displayed in the context of that movie and found another video by the same Jordan Rudess playing the Harpejji. And suddenly the app turns out to be a boring replica of the original:

Technologists are often biased towards technological solutions. Of course the cool thing about the instrument being an app is that you can use the device for something else as well (“you know that the iPad is also a mobile recording studio!”)… but I'm sceptical towards the idea that a two dimensional touch screen with some motion controllers can ever replace a real multi string instrument.

When playin…

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Werkt met internet™

An article, posted almost 14 years ago filed in business, internet, future, html, html5, app, toekomst & zakelijk.

Wired redacteur Chris Anderson heeft weer eens een stuk geschreven waar wel weer een tijdje over gepraat gaat worden (Chris Anderson was ook degene die The Long Tail als marketing concept neerzette, en vervolgens ook 'gratis' als businessmodel uitlegde). De titel van zijn laatste artikel: "Het web is dood. Lang leve het internet." In het kort komt het er op neer dat gebruikers langzaam vertrekken van het web als in met hyperlinks verbonden HTML pagina's naar zogenaamde 'apps' (lekker twitterbaar kort voor 'applicaties'). Naar HTML pagina's moet je zoeken, met apps komt het naar je toe. Het voordeel van apps is dat je er misschien wel voor betaald, maar je wel gewoon netjes, op een gecontroleerde manier, de dingen krijgt die je wilt hebben. Of in ieder geval goed genoeg vind.

Het internet wordt steeds volwassener. Waren het gisteren nog vooral technici die droomden van het open internet als ideaal, dan zijn het vandaag jan en alleman die content genereren en bedr…

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Why I stopped using

An article, posted more than 14 years ago filed in ipad, work, app, internet, mac, office,, productivity & simplicity.

As promised. There was a time when I was a true fanatic. I even helped actively promoting it by redesigning the homepage . Although I'm still a fan of opensource and open document
storage which ideally should lead to a world in which anyone can use
open software and exchange documents freely without any barriers. Still, I'm no longer typing this in opensource software. I'm typing this in Google -how evil- Docs (update may 2017: Google Docs has been replaced by Apple's notes and iAWriter / Notational Velocity, the latter being markdown based).

It's not that I'm a big fan of Google Docs, but it makes a difference that, and other Office systems for that matter, aren't able to make. Not stand alone, nor in a usable way in combination with a proper operating system:

  • Relieving me from worrying about storage
  • Boot insanely fast (…

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