Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
David Kushner has writen a piece on Blake Ross, and his new product Parakey that is:
a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do.â€ Translation: it makes it really easy to store your stuff and share it with the world. Most or all of Parakey will be open source, under a license similar to Firefoxâ€™s. There are differences between the two projects, however. Although Ross plans to incorporate the talents and passions of the free-software community, heâ€™s building Parakey around a for-profit business model. And heâ€™s leading the charge with a simple battle cry: â€œOne interface, not two!â€
We saw many Web OS attempts in the first bubble, but has the landscape changed enough to enable this vision in 2007?
Parakey comes with a new language to build apps upon it:
Ross wants independent developers to create a variety of applications for Parakey. To that end, he and Hewitt have created a programming language for Parakey that they call JUL, a mashed-up acronym that stands for â€œJust another User interface Language.â€
JUL is specially designed for the online world in which Parakey applications will reside. JUL applications are themselves comprised of other applications that come in all shapes and sizes. The interface for Mrs. Andersonâ€™s recipe application, for instance, might include much smaller ones such as a metric-to-English-units converter or photo-goes-here. â€œYouâ€™re not thinking at [the HTML] level anymore,â€ Ross says. â€œYouâ€™re thinking one level up. That will make it easier to build desktop applications on the Web.â€ And despite Rossâ€™s connection to Firefox, Parakey will work with any browser.
JUL applications also notice Web events that take place when someone is reading a Parakey pageâ€”an update to a sports score, for example, or a new blog entryâ€”and instantly update the page accordingly. Users of these applications donâ€™t have to request these updates, and neither do the JUL developers who wrote them. They simply include â€œformulasâ€ behind the scenes that reference different information sources. If a source changes, JUL automatically reevaluates the formulasâ€”much as a spreadsheet does.
Hopefully JUL allows us to take our HTML/CSS/JS/Ajax skills and apply them (else it is DOA).
Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:30 am