Developer Software

Adobe Muse: Creating sites out of thin AIR

Adobe bills its newest Web design software, codenamed Muse, as coding-free site creation for InDesign and Illustrator users. And as far as the interface goes, the development team did a good job mimicking what it could from those applications using the lighter weight, far less mature AIR programming platform. But as I see it, in a market glutted with site creation tools for all levels of sophistication and budget, Muse looks like Adobe's first real chance to wrest designers away from using tools like Photoshop for designing and prototyping sites. However you plan to use Muse, it needs a … Read more

Google building Skype-alike software into Chrome

Heads up, Skype.

Shortly after releasing software for audio and video chat as an open-source project called WebRTC as open-source software, Google is beginning to build it into its Chrome browser.

The real-time chat software originated from Google's 2010 acquisition of Global IP Solutions (GIPS), a company specializing in Internet telephony and videoconferencing.

The obvious beneficiary for the project is Gmail, whose audio and video communications ability today requires use of a proprietary plug-in. Gmail chat is getting more important as Google's VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) efforts mature and integrate with the Google Voice service.

But Google … Read more

iOS 5 could fix some slow Web apps

It looks likely that Apple's iOS 5 will will address an issue that deprived some Web apps from a speed boost that came to the mobile version of Safari.

On iOS, Web sites and Web apps can be launched from an icon that the user places on the home screen from Safari. Those apps didn't benefit from a speed-up that came with Safari in iOS 4.3, though: the Nitro engine that runs Web-based code is written in the ever-more-important JavaScript language.

It appears iOS 5 could address this issue, though.

"Did they fix the bug from … Read more

Microsoft: Port your Android apps to Windows Phone

In an effort to get more developers on board, Microsoft has unveiled a tool designed to help Android developers port their apps over to Windows Phone.

In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft cautioned that there's no "magic wand" for Android developers that can automatically port their apps to Windows Phone. But the company is hoping that a new API tool, white paper, and other technical resources can take some of the pain out of the process.

The Android to Windows Phone API mapping tool is designed to serve as a translation guide for developers, comparing different program … Read more

Firefox nudges Aurora to version 6

Mozilla updated its bleeding-edge browser Firefox Aurora to version 6 just before the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S., finally giving Firefox fans the same range of in-development browsers that have been easily accessible to Chrome users for some time. Firefox Aurora 6 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Linux, and like its Google counterpart Chrome dev, it offers fewer major changes than what people are used to, but it offers them more often.

In a blog post, Mozilla said that this first release of Firefox Aurora 6 includes an improved add-ons manager that comes with a plugin check … 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

Mozilla jumps into Node.js server project

Mozilla, taking interest in the Node.js project to run JavaScript programs on servers, not just browsers, has passed an early milestone with its own flavor of the software.

Node.js is built with the V8 JavaScript engine from Google's Chrome browser, but Mozilla is transplanting Firefox's JavaScript technology in a project called SpiderNode. (The JavaScript engine in Firefox is called SpiderMonkey, and the hybrid technology used in SpiderNode is called V8Monkey.)

"We now have a Node executable running on V8Monkey," though it still crashes at this early stage, said SpiderNode project member Paul O'ShannessyRead more

Photoshop Touch SDK drives three Adobe iPad apps

Adobe's traditional user base of creatives are some of the most computationally resource-intensive folk I can think of (along with hard-core gamers and scientists). So how does a company like Adobe jump on the tablet money train without having to develop a host of new applications? Let others do it for them. And voila: the Photoshop Touch software developer's kit, which will make it possible to create an ecosystem of tablet-based products capable of driving Photoshop. Along with the SDK, Adobe's delivering three iPad apps designed to use it: Color Lava, Eazel, and Nav.

Related links • Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 • Adobe's new subscription model • Adobe wakes to mobile world, Web standards

It's a great idea; since a tablet is too underpowered to do "real" work, why not make it the interface to a computer that does the heavy lifting? Of course, it's not a new concept--just a thin client reborn for the 21st century, or alternatively, turning your PC into a cloud. It will enable app development for Android, BlackBerry, and iOS platforms, in addition to Mac OS and Windows systems.

Plus, since the apps only work with Photoshop CS5 (with a free update patch to 12.04), it may serve as an inspiration for all those laggardly CS4 upgraders to cough up the bucks. Or subscribe. By default, the SDK communicates via iTunes and Bonjour, if you don't have either, you can configure it to operate via a peer-to-peer network. … Read more

Adobe Wallaby looks to leap over Flash controversy

Steve Jobs thinks that HTML5 is the future of media-rich content on the Web, and eventually he might be right. But Web designers and their clients are working with Flash now, so to address this schism between the two, Adobe Labs today unveiled a new free tool called Wallaby that will convert Flash into HTML5.

Originally demonstrated at Adobe's MAX 2010 conference, the conversion process is currently workable but rough, said Adobe Flash Professional Senior Product Manager Tom Barclay. "HTML5 will be an important technology for banner ads and Web publishing," he said but cautioned that Flash … Read more

Google issues Android anti-fragmentation tool

Google has made good on a promise to release technology it hopes will curtail Android's fragmentation problem, a complication for programmers who want their software to run on diverse devices.

Yesterday, the company released a "Fragment" library for older versions of Android. The library is built into the Honeycomb version of Android, offering new tools to sidestep issues like different screen sizes more easily for those using the brand-new Android 3.0. That version of the OS appears on Motorola's new Android-based Xoom tablet and will arriving on other tablets.

Now, though, the Fragment interface will … Read more