Google Tech Talk: Mashups – Combining Web Applications to Make Desktop Productivity Tools

An interesting tech talk by Mark Birbeck CEO of X-Port. Some of my colleagues saw Mark talk at the mashup* event in London last month. Although I have reservations about the Sidewinder framework he proposes, we at Talis are doing more and more work to make API’s available to developers that can be called from desktop based applications like the widgets and gadgets Mark describes. The problem with Sidewinder though is it provides a wrapper around web based applications allowing you to run them on your desktop – and im struggling to see the value in that.

I’ve done a fair bit of work creating Yahoo (Konfabulator) Desktop Widgets that use our API’s which will be released in the new few months, as exemplars of how developers out there can mashup our API’s with other services to create interesting and even compelling new applications. We like mashups at Talis, in fact we held a very successful mashup competition last year, which we are running again this year so if your interested why not enter the competition.

2 thoughts on “Google Tech Talk: Mashups – Combining Web Applications to Make Desktop Productivity Tools

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the mention. One quick comment, though; you say:

    “The problem with Sidewinder though is it provides a wrapper around web based applications allowing you to run them on your desktop – and im struggling to see the value in that.”

    Have you not seen the coverage that Adobe’s Apollo is getting? There is a lot of interest in turning web applications into desktop ones! (Note to self…take a look at Talis APIs and maybe produce Sidewinder app to show them what we’re talking about. ;))

    Sidewinder differs from Apollo in that we use standards for just about everything, whilst Adobe are understandably focused on their own proprietary technologies (i.e., Flash). But I think we can safely predict that Apollo will be huge, and of course, I hope that those who want to produce ‘internet-facing desktop apps’ that don’t need Flash, but do need standards, will find their way to Sidewinder. 🙂

    All the best, and thanks again for the link,

    Mark

  2. Mark
    Thanks for the comment, perhaps your right seeing a Sidewinder app that makes use of our api’s in some way might help me better understand what it is your trying to achieve, or the value in it?

    The push towards Apollo and similar frameworks was to provide ways to develop applications with richer user interfaces than you can be developed inside the limited confines of the browser. I think there’s merit in what your trying to achieve by creating a framework thats standards based. However you could argue that although Adobe’s technologies are proprietary they have become defacto standards for many developers who have invested a great deal of time in learning them and building web based applications with them. I think that’s perhaps one of the major reasons why Apollo will be successful.

    I think i’d like to learn more about what your trying to do. You’ve piqued my interest.

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