Developer tools

iBuildApp expands EZ-programming to Android

Barely a day goes by that some company doesn't pitch me on its mobile application developer tools. It shows just how hot the market has become.

I'm not a programmer, but when I got the announcement that iBuildApp now supports Android as well as iOS, I thought I'd dabble a bit. The sales pitch is that anybody can create an app with their tools for free, after all. The company asserts that 10,000 people have already used it.

Not every app is necessarily great, though, and unfortunately, I found iBuildApp's tool unsatisfying. It was workable … Read more

Google adds feature to link content to its author

Google users interested in the work of a particular author or writer should now find it easier to track down that person's articles, stories, and bio.

Starting yesterday, the search giant started supporting a feature in HTML5 that allows Web sites to link content from a particular writer to that writer's bio or other relevant pages.

As one example cited by Google engineer Othar Hansson in a blog posted yesterday, The New York Times could use the special authorship markup tag to link every story by a particular reporter to that reporter's bio page, which could then … Read more

CSS 2.1 emerges as official Web standard

Much of the Web world has moved on to CSS 3, but today the World Wide Web Consortium has declared the CSS 2.1 standard for Web page formatting to be done.

In W3C standards lingo, CSS 2.1 has reached "recommendation" stage. Phillipe Le Hegaret, leader of the HTML working at the W3C group, announced the milestone on Twitter today.

Browser makers, even longtime laggard Microsoft, have turned much of their attention to CSS 3, which offers glamorous new features such as animating the transition from one page to another, endowing boxes with rounded corners, and if … Read more

Microsoft: Speak up about Silverlight in Windows 8

After Microsoft unveiled details on Windows 8 development last week, developers quickly realized that Silverlight had been left out of the discussion. And that was proving worrisome.

And now, Mary Jo Foley from our sister site ZDNet is urging Microsoft to make sure the platform comes back into the discussion, and soon.

At issue is Microsoft's upcoming handling of app development for the application marketplace in Windows 8. Foley says that by staying mum on Silverlight in connection with work on "immersive apps," Microsoft has caused some to wonder whether the platform will be supported. But Foley … Read more

Adobe's Web design work lands in WebKit browser

Adobe has begun putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to improving Web page design.

Today, the first bit of Adobe-written code landed in the WebKit browser engine project, an early step to try to bring magazine-style layouts to Web pages using an extension to today's CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) technology. Adobe calls the technology CSS Regions.

The move begins fulfilling a plan Adobe announced in May to build the technology into WebKit and--if the company can persuade others to embrace it--furthers Adobe's ambition to standardize the advanced CSS layout mechanism.

WebKit is the browser … Read more

Google Docs offline: Coming this summer

SAN FRANCISCO--Somewhat later than had been planned last year, Google is addressing a significant weaknesses of Google Docs and Google Apps: the inability to use the services while not connected to the Net.

"We will make them [Google Docs offline apps] available this summer," said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, in an interview here last week at at the Google I/O conference. "We've all been using it internally. It's imminent. We want to make sure they're good."

It's not clear just how high the demand for the feature is. … Read more

JavaScript: Now powerful enough to run Linux

Step aside, Google Docs, there's a new JavaScript tour de force in town.

I'm talking about the latest project from programmer Fabrice Bellard, a JavaScript program that emulates an x86 processor fast enough to run Linux in a Web browser.

The JavaScript PC Emulator can do the work of an Intel 486 chip from the 1990s, but doesn't have a built-in floating point unit for numeric processing, Bellard said. Happily, Linux itself can emulate that, and a version of the operating system's core--2.6.20--runs on the foundation.

Bellard published a technical description of the JavaScript PC EmulatorRead more

Google App Engine goes for Go language

Go, Google's experimental programming language, is coming to the company's App Engine cloud-computing service--and a bit closer to reality in the process.

Google hopes to use Go to tackle modern programming challenges such as getting useful work out of chips with multiple processor cores. Getting new languages to catch on is difficult, though--it took Sun Microsystems years with Java, and its Fortress never really caught on widely.

But incorporating Go into App Engine could help make it more relevant, or at least easier to test out, by reducing the hassles involved in trying it. App Engine is a … Read more

Google I/O day 2: Chrome and the Web (live blog)

Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers and CNET reporters. For those of you who just want the updates, we've included them in regular text here. To get the key points from today's announcement, you can check out our summary of what got announced, in our story here.

Google I/O day one was about Android and music, but the second … Read more

Adobe issues CSS Web publishing prototype

SAN FRANCISCO--Hoping to bring magazine-style layout tools to Web publishing, Adobe Systems tonight released a prototype browser specifically designed to let Web developers test the company's proposed formatting technology.

The technology, called CSS Regions, lets programmers easily create multi-column layouts, place text in various polygonal shapes, and flow around objects in the middle of text. That technology has existed for years in the print publishing world, but it's generally missing from the Web, and its absence grows ever more conspicuous as magazines and newspapers move to digital publishing, especially on tablets such as Apple's iPad.

The formatting … Read more