If you’re using last.fm, this might be interesting for you. LastGraph is a free service that plots your music listening history as a stream graph. After a short rendering process you can download the complete graph as a .pdf. The picture you see is my personal graph. At one point, I have a significant drop of the amount of music I listened to last year, due to an off-line project I was working on. Give it a try for yourself at http://lastgraph3.aeracode.org/.
The service was created by Andrew Godwin using Python in the back end.
A few posts ago I talked about how user experience will change. This will be one of the most significant changes on the web in the next few years and I truly believe this. I’ve seen some smaller experiments on the web and at conventions in this direction (I especially like the work of marcos weskamp). I’m coming across this topic more and more every day. Just recently I found the yahoo innovation group (now called next) and could see some of their amazing and beautiful work. Today I discovered the labs at digg and it was really happy to see confirmation in what I think will be seen more often in the near future.
I have a strong feeling that future social networking sites are increasingly going to have strong visual enhancements and a more playful touch and feel to them. An important role will be using vector graphics, which aren’t being used that often on the client side for functional reasons. The most obvious benefit of using vector graphics is the scalability of the graphic without loss of quality. It is mostly known in Flash games or Flash Ads, where it serves it’s purpose really well. But many web developers haven’t realized the power of vector graphics used in a functional manner that contributes directly to the application itself.
A nice example of this is what Geni.com implemented using ActionScript. Their usage of the scalability makes the whole web application actually interesting and is the core of their user experience. The basically same application was implemented in Flex by verwandt.de (or the English version itsourtree.com).
Unfortunately most browsers don’t support vector graphics without a plugin, like Flash Player or a Plugin for the SVG-Format. You also have to use some tricks if you are dependent on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But sometimes it’s not necessary, too. Think about it.
The time we are living through these days is the time I have been waiting for since I did my first project with Flash 5 and ActionScript 1 (AS)!
I think finally people outside of the ActionScript community are starting to understand that with ActionScript (3.0), more can be done than just control movies. The language is finally taken serious from other coders and people in the computer business and that is because what is going on the scene. It’s nuts!
Ever since I saw Colin Moock’s presentation in 2003 at the Shockwards event at my school (Stuttgart Media University), when he was promoting the ActionScript 2.0 language and it’s object-orientated characteristics, I was overwhelmed by what could be done on the client-side. After a nice chat with him I was extremely motivated in learning all this stuff and already started to create some visions. Unfortunately my professors at my school didn’t take me and my seriously, which was very frustrating. Luckily, I could do some small projects in AS 1 and AS2 together with the talented designer and my friend Daniel HÃ¼bschmann, but courses at school kept me very busy and I couldn’t focus on coding in AS, like I can do now.
I’m so glad I believed my gut feelings in sticking around with Flash and AS, because the future with AS 3++ will be AMAZING! It’s basically what Kevin Lynch from Adobe says at the beginning of his speech from the AIR Roadshow It’s for everyone who loves client-side programming
Here are some examples that already show the power of AS3 (with Flex):
Ribbit Phone: The Ribbit Phone Component will give Rich internet application developers the ability to make and receive calls, record/send and receive voicemail, as well as add and manage contacts.
buzzword: Buzzword, the first real word processor for the web, is a breakthrough in collaborative authoring for documents that matter.
- Abobe Premiere Express is basically a light version of Adobes Premiere Software for video editing, but on the web. It’s also developed in Flex and for instance used on YouTube as the YouTube Remixer
I’m currently working on a concept for Identity Sponsorship for the Stuttgart Media University (Hochschule der Medien). As far as I know there are no current papers on this topic. If you find one, please let me know.
This is a nice uniform configurator from Teamwork Athletic Apparel
I just came across a really nicely done Flex Application called Flex Book by Rubin Swieringa. It’s basically an application, where you have the feeling that you are really turning the pages in a virtual book.
It also supports “goto page”, transparency and tearing out pages, as well as a choice between a hard back or a paper back book. Check it out.