Archive for Desktop

Netgear agreement with Dekoh

ReadyNAS Photos

Pramati Technologies recently signed an OEM Agreement with NETGEAR, Inc. Under this agreement Dekoh Media Sharing Platform will be shipped with ReadyNAS product targeted at home consumers market. Home users who are experiencing explosive growth in their digital photo collection can buy ReadyNAS ($399 on Amazon now for 500GB) and they will get easy-to-use ReadNAS Photos, which is rebranded and customized Dekoh Photos.

Users can easily import, organize and transfer photos on their PC to their NAS storage for lifelong archival and also sharing with friends or family. Dekoh Photos will enable users to selectively share photos with who they want and no software installation is required for those who would see the pictures and they would be served directly out of NAS.

For those of you technical, who would like to know why Dekoh, here are a few key points:

  • Dekoh simplifies setup required to make NAS content accessible from outside internet, even when the NAS is behind firewall or DSL (no static IP address). Earlier, home users had to install additional open source software, obtain dynamic IP, open ports, etc.
  • Dekoh gives better user experience with its Ajax interface, which today’s web 2.0 users have come to expect. NAS by itself has limited CPU power and memory for sophisticated user tools.

More in my next posting on Dekoh architecture and how it can play a central role at digital homes where device-PC-Web should come together for better user experience.

More and more, hardware vendors are finding that Web 2.0 technologies can be a good way to improve the end user experience of their devices…read posting by Om Malik.

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Yahoo! acquires Zimbra

Today Yahoo has announced acquisition of Zimbra. This is great news. Zimbra was a brilliant team with very good product. With Yahoo owning Zimbra, the product will have greater reach. Zimbra had an offline client, it will be interesting to see if Yahoo mail will have an offline version. Offline and desktop-web integration technologies will see increasing usage over coming years. Watch for Dekoh developer release soon :).

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Desktop integration increases user interaction

An active internet user may voluntarily visit up to 15 websites like email, social networks, shopping sites, online banking etc. However, the number of services and interests of a person is much higher. Typically, what gets attention and a visit to a web site is the current interest (momentary). The reason why it is difficult to get a daily dose of all interests on the web is because, web works in a request-response mode. You type a URL or click on a link to visit the website and access the services. The moment you close the browser or go to a different site, there is no way the website can interact with you.

Desktop integration helps websites and consumer brands increase interaction with the user and offer valuable and timely alerts that can benefit the user. As long as the user has control on receiving such alerts and these widgets don’t mess up the computer (desktop icon, startup program, tray icon etc.), it serves a great purpose for the user. These widgets act as agents on behalf of the user to filter content and bring useful information periodically.
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Desktop Apps built like the web

I was heartned to find this early posting on Netwizard’s blog that points to the thinking behind Dekoh.

Writing applications using markup instead of platform-API-based code is so much more easier. Browser-based UI brings significant advantage of using combined teams with programmers (who generally can’t build great looking UI) and graphics and UI specialists (who can’t wire it up with the backend). The last decade of focus for developers has largely been on building to the web. The programming model and the deployment environment are all too familiar.

A browser-based application need not necessarily mean a hosted application, when a desktop runtime such as Dekoh can serve to your local browser. You have the twin advantage of a common environment for quickly building to the desktop (and web) as well as a fluent integration between the such desktop applications with existing web applications. The best way to build web-desktop integrated applications of the future.

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My interview at blog.Lifebeyondcode.com

Rajesh Setty has published my interview with him Behind the scenes – Dekoh; Interview with Vijay Pullur. I have talked about several topics like our history, why Dekoh?, how is it different from Adobe Apollo and Google gears, enterprise and SaaS ISV use cases for Dekoh etc. Thanks Rajesh for interviewing me and publishing it.

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Google gears – offline web applications

Google has today announced Google gears. It allows web applications to work offline. Google gears is a browser extension that can be downloaded and installed. It exposes Javascript classes which can be invoked by web applications to provide offline functionality.

While it appears cool at first look, it needs to be analyzed in detail. Here are some initial questions that needs to be answered:

1. Does the user have control over deciding which applications to make offline? How much data should be available offline?

2. Does the offline functionality run in-process (in the browser)? If it runs in-process is there a chance of browser bloating up in memory due to offline caching or run slow?

3. What about security? Is it possible for a rogue application to cache and use background threads to connect to their site just because the user visited the website and the Javascript accessing Google gears got loaded?  

4. Does Google gear intercept all HTTP requests going out of the browser? If I am offline and just type google.com/mail how does it capture this request and present me with offline content?

5. It appears the offline functionality is going to work only for pure Javascript applications. How does it work when application has other tiers like Java, PHP, Ruby….?

6. Writing applications to handle connection status and gracefully transition is going to be a programming  challenge (nightmare).

Interesting to note Adobe Apollo support for Google gears (or viceversa). “Kevin Lynch, senior vice president and chief software architect at Adobe, said his company will join Google in the effort to develop a standard cross-platform, cross-browser local storage capability. The Gears API will be available in Adobe’s Apollo tool that enables Web applications to run on the desktop, he added.”. I thought they did not accept this – Adobe Apollo – On A Collision Course With Web Browsers 🙂

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Examples of 2 RIA approaches

Here are 2 examples of Rich Internet Applications:

eBay San Dimas Project: Provides offline functionality for eBay. Can create desktop alerts for eBay bids. Written using Adobe Apollo platform.

Dekoh Calendar: Is a desktop counterpart to Google Calendar. Allows creating desktop reminders and audio alerts for Google calendar events. Works offline and syncs events next time connected. Written using Dekoh platform.

Functionality offered by both the above is similar. Both applications can be accessed in an airplane (no internet connection) The big difference is in the way user interface is rendered. eBay application is run like a native desktop application outside the browser. Dekoh calendar is accessed from the browser.

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