meid sparkles?

Dax Pandhi has a nice screencast video on creating a simple animated button in Microsoft’s Expression Interactive Designer. From the commentary it’s obvious that Dax comes from a Microsoft world but I found his insight comparing some of the features to the Flash IDE helpful. Good stuff.

Good timing too, with Microsoft’s Mix06 happening this week and the various impressions of Sparkle, err, Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer, coming from some Macromedia community luminaries who are in attendance.

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watching apollo

The Article I Think I Read
I burned a good hour of time that I didn’t really have today looking for an article that I’m pretty sure I read a few years ago. The way I recall things it was sometime in maybe 2002, the article was published on macromedia.com and it described a fictional “day in the life” in which the principal “character” was helped in their day to day routines by various “intelligent”, occasionally connected devices and software. Things like reading and writing email, buying concert tickets, tracking current events and making social plans all being done while she made her way to the coffee shop, rode a train to the office etc. A vision that’s pretty common today but back when I read this article it all seemed quite revolutionary to me and ever since I’ve been watching for it to become reality.

Did Kevin Read the Article?
In October I was lucky enough to be sitting in the audience during Kevin Lynch’s keynote at Macromedia’s Max when he first talked about “Apollo”. Something tells me Kevin read the article too. Here, go check out the video from that keynote and you’ll see how familiar it sounds. Choose ‘Day One’ > ‘Platform Future’ (3rd thumbnail from the right), then jump ahead to around 1:08:00 (yup, the ability to direct link that would be easier for me too).

Read the rest of this entry »

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sparkle beta

Microsoft have released a public community technology preview (CTP) of their Expression Interactive Designer (Sparkle). Its built upon the “in pre-release” Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) so be sure to check the system requirements if you’re thinking about giving it a go.

Check out Manuel Clement’s blog for some commentary. He links to some insightful thoughts from “Jared” at mindfury.com.

I’m going to grab a beer and take a look at today’s channel9 interview with some of the Sparkle gang.

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what do sparkle and toolbook have in common?

John Gossman, who is currently a developer on Microsoft’s “Sparkle” Interactive Designer, has blogged a backgrounder on how he came to work on the application.
The History of Sparkle: Year One

Apparently he was a “technical lead” on Toolbook a number of years ago. What that bodes for Sparkle is unclear ;-)

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sparkle reaction roundup

Wow, what a week. Way back on Tuesday Macromedia released Studio 8 and the Flash Player 8. Then on Wednesday Microsoft announced Sparkle. Topping things off is a looming deadline at work which makes me even more grateful for the distillation folks have been providing. So here’s a collection of Sparkle reactions that I’ve found interesting.

Robert Scoble started the week off by saying that Sparkle is no Flash killer.

The Expression Suite press release is here.

Of course the Channel9 video. A 1+ hour, nearly 1 gig, .wmv of Scoble lobbing softballs at members of the Sparkle team. Freakin’ inspiring and worth the entire hour. Something cool about what they’re doing over on Channel9 – the content is genuine. No editing when software or people slip from the “script”.

Macromedia’s John Dowdell trudged through comments on Slashdot’s “Flash, meet Sparkle” article and linked to those he considered noteworthy. (Thanks JD!).

Jon Meyer, who at one time was a PM on Sparkle, has an interesting point of view. He seems to be suggesting it is the ubiquity of Ajax that is the main threat to Sparkle. He also mentions Flash a half dozen or so times and there’s some good discussion in the comments section.

Sparkle vs Flash on publish.com. Interestingly Matthew David feels that the term Flash-killer should be hyphenated. Seriously, it’s a decent read. (Tom Adams pointed this one out).

Eweek has another blurb by Matthew David on Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E).

Dax Pandhi thinks about programming power and predicts that “WPF/E will most probably revamp the Internet itself“.

I think Scott Barnes feels the same way. Regardless, the enthusiasm makes it worth the read.

Peter Elst looks at Sparkle from a Flash user’s perspective.

Víctor Bayón thinks about how Window’s Vista is part of the Nike-ization of the software industry. The focus shift being from the functionality of the OS to the user experience. He points out that Sparkle is how MS see that shift being made:
http://www.virart.nott.ac.uk/idue/eng/weblog/2005/09/experience-iii.html

Tinic Uro, who is an engineer on the Flash Player, was at PDC and got a look at Sparkle:
http://www.kaourantin.net/2005/09/microsoft-sparkle.html

Okay this one isn’t on topic Sparkle wise but Molly Holzschlag takes Steve Ballmer to task for declaring that Microsoft will “win the web”:
http://webstandards.org/buzz/archive/2005_09.html#a000573

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