Fun Stuff

BuddyBlend Beta

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Today we are releasing the latest application for Ajaxonomy Labs. The applications is called BuddyBlend. BuddyBlend is a way to easily get all of your friends activities in one location without logging into a bunch of different Social Networks.

You may be thinking that FriendFeed already does this and you are correct to a point. The big difference between FriendFeed and BuddyBlend is that with BuddyBlend you don't need to make friends with a new set of people to see what they are doing, but it gets the latest updates from the friends you already have on various social networks. Because I consider FriendFeed as a type of social network you can get your FriendFeed friends information on your BuddyBlend.

BuddyBlend is currently in public beta, so we will continue to improve on the application to make it more useful and work with more social networks.

Below are the social services that are currently available on BuddyBlend.

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Twitter
  • flickr
  • FriendFeed
  • FaceBook

BuddyBlend uses your free Ajaxonomy account, so if you already have an account there is no need to sign-up for a new account. As we continue to improve the application we welcome your feedback, so please let us know how we can improve the application.

15+ Free, powerful and easy to integrate Flash image gallery

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If you have designed any cool web sites or applications that displays many images you may have been looking for some good image galleries. Well, over at NTT.CC the have put together a good list of 15 free flash image galleries.

Below is an excerpt from the post.

Following are some free but powerful flash image gallery which I collected. Hope you will enjoy it and share with your  friends.Note: listed in no particular order.

No.1 dfGallery

As stated on many other articles on this site, dfGallery is one of the coolest Galleries currently on the Web.It is a Flash Gallery to support both Flickr , Picasa , Fotki, Photobucket and Custom Images, enable / Disable “Print Screen” ( requested by Photographers ), liquid Layout - Fits to any size you specify, and free, etc.

dfgallery

No.2 Photo Viewer

The Photo Viewer uses both Flash and XML. All data is stored within an XML file making it easy to make modifications and update.

photoviewer

No.3 Flash Photo Gallery

Flash Gallery is a FREE, simple photo gallery built in Macromedia Flash 2004, that uses XML files to store the information about which images to display. The gallery is easy to configure and update since you need to change only the XML file.

flashgallery

No.4 SimpleViewer

SimpleViewer is a free, customizable Flash image viewing application.

simpleviewer 

No.5 Flash Photo Stack Gallery

Flash Photo Stack is a simple Flash template that enables you to click through a stack of your favourite photographs.

stack

No.6 AutoViewer

AutoViewer is a free, customizable Flash image viewer. AutoViewer is designed to display a linear sequence of images and captions.

autoviewer

No.7 Flash Page Flip Photo Gallery template for Picasa

This template is based on the free version of the FlashPageFlip flash engine on www.flashpageflip.com. It lacks the advanced functions of the commercial versions but still makes a very nice photo album on your website. You can see and hear the pages flip.

pageflip

No.8 TiltViewer

TiltViewer is a free, customizable 3D Flash image viewing application.

3dstage

You can read the full post here.

I hadn't seen many of these galleries before and it is always good to have more interesting ways to present image galleries. Because these are Flash based galleries they are able to have some more interesting effects than a JavaScript based gallery. If you have used any of these galleries or know of any other good galleries, I would love to hear about them (as usual you can leave them in the comments or write a blog post about them using your free Ajaxonomy account).

25 Web 2.0 Generators

So, you're just finishing the next great Web 2.0 app, but you still need a badge or logo for the application. Well, WebTracker.com has put together a list of 25 great tools to make your Web 2.0 fully Web 2.0. The list has everything from button makers to Web 2.0 domain name suggesters.

Below is an excerpt from the list.

Domain

  • MakeWords - MakeWords is a domain name generator that creates random words that you either supply or you don’t. It lets you know what domain name is available.
  • NameBoy - NameBoy creates domain names based on a word that you want in your domain. It then tells you what domain is available.
  • Dot-o-mator - Dot-o-mator is a web 2.0 domain name generator that allows you to select words and then have it combine them to form a domain name.

Favicon

  • Favicon Generator - Favicon Generator takes an image that you upload and makes it into a favicon.
  • Favicon.cc - Favicon.cc allows you to create a favicon icon online without having to upload any file.
  • Favicon Editor - FaviconEditor allows you to upload a photo or you can create a favicon.

Gradients

  • Gradient Maker - Gradient Maker allows you to generate a gradient of 3 types, with instant previewing so you get exactly what you had in mind.
  • Gradient Texture Generator - Gradient Texture Generator allows you to create up to 4 different types of gradients with any colors that you want.
  • Online Gradient Image Maker and Button Generator - This generator is the most in depth I’ve seen it has so many different options. It is a must see for any one.

You can see the full list here.

This list has some cool tools that are very useful if you are looking to make your application look fully Web 2.0, especially if you are not very artistic. If you have used any of the tools on the list I would love to hear your comments on them (as always you can leave them in the comments).

Explore Dojo with Dojo Campus Feature Explorer

Dojo Campus has an interesting application called the Dojo Campus Feature Explorer. The application allows you to see examples of various features of the Dojo library and the HTML for each example. The application has an incredible amount of information.

You can go to the Dojo Campus Feature Explorere here.

I recommend this application to anybody that is wanting to learn more about using Dojo.

Widgetbox - Easily Create and Distribute Your Widgets

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You may remember that not that long ago we released the del.icio.us Spy Widget. Well, after the initial release I started looking into Widgetbox to extend the capabilities of the widget.

Widgetbox allows you to create or extend widgets that are Flash based, HTML/JavaScript, A Web Page, Blog/Feed or a Google Gadget. Creating a widget is easy, you just click on Make a Widget, then choose the type of content that you want made into a widget and you finally fill out the information in the forms to create your widget. Your widget can also be made to add to social networks like Facebook and MySpace (only Flash widgets can be put on MySpace) using a very simple wizard like process to setup the widget for these networks.

Widgetbox allows you to track subscriptions and hits of your widget. This tracking can help you easily see if your widget is gaining traction or if nobody cares about it. The service also has a directory that has a social feel (with it's user ratings and helping you find related widgets) and helps your widget gain in popularity due to it's viral features.

Below you can see the del.icio.us Spy Widget after using Widgetbox (If you are viewing this in a feed reader you will probably need to click on the del.icio.us Spy link to view the widget in a browser).

Widgetbox is a great tool for any developer wanting to make cool widgets that can easily be shared all over the web. Perhaps I should make a widget of the Ajaxonomy blog next. If you have used Widgetbox, I would love to hear about your experience (as usual, you can leave it in the comments or if you would like you can write a post on this blog using your free Ajaxonomy account).

Introducing TubeSpy, the latest creation from Ajaxonomy Labs

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You might have caught on to the fact that we here at Ajaxonomy appreciate the spy game. We are happy to announce a Beta version of TubeSpy, the latest addition to Ajaxonomy Labs. TubeSpy is a web based spy that allows you to see what videos are being watched on YouTube right now. YouTube has a widget like this on their homepage and TubeSpy was an effort to turn that widget into an app.

TubeSpy was built with jQuery, a fantastic JavaScript framework, the jQuery UI library for the tab controls, and of course, the YouTube API. Tested in IE6, IE7, and Firefox 2.

With TubeSpy you can:

  • see what others are watching
  • watch videos without leaving the page you're on
  • save videos as you see them scrolling
  • easily watch related videos
  • and more...

The more you use TubeSpy, the more interesting it becomes. Watching as videos scroll by creates a small, constantly shifting, window into the world. Visit TubeSpy after news breaks in the political world and you'll find some political videos, check it out after your favorite reality show airs for clips people have posted.

We hope you enjoy using the app and find some value in it. Feel free to post any feedback in the comments. Do keep in mind that this is a Beta release, and calling it a Beta release is a CYA (Cover Your Apps) measure to have an excuse in case a bug pops up in the app.

Yes, I have a license to Spy, take me to TubeSpy

ProtoFlow

Have you been looking for a cool way to display information on your web site or application. Well, one interesting script that can display information in a cool effect is ProtoFlow.

ProtoFlow is very easy to use and below is how you use it as described on the ProtoFlow web site.

How to use it?

Its fairly easy to use this lib. Just follow the steps:

  1. Download ProtoFlow and extract it.
  2. Add Prototype and Scriptaculous and Reflection.js to your page
  3. Add ProtoFlow.js and ProtoFlow.css to your page
  4. Add Markup and onLoad event (as described below)

Implementation:

Your HTML Markup would look like:


<div id="myCoverFlow">
	<img src="image1.jpg" alt="Caption for this image 1"/>
	<img src="image2.jpg" alt="Caption for this image 2"/>

	<img src="image3.jpg" alt="Caption for this image 3"/>
	.....
	<img src="imageN.jpg" alt="Caption for this image N"/>

</div>
			

Than you can initialize ProtoFlow like:

Event.observe(window, 'load', function(evnt)
{
	var ProtFlowExample = new ProtoFlow($("myCoverFlow"), {
		startIndex: 2,	//which image do you want the flow
						//to focus on by default
		slider: true,	//show or hide slider?
		captions: true,	//show or hide captions, by default we hide it. 
				//So YOU MUST turn it on here
		useReflection: false	//Add reflection to your images. Please 
				//note that this will slow down rendering.
	});
});
			

While there are other scripts that create a similar effect, ProtoFlow is the only one that I know of using Prototype and Scriptaculous. This makes it perfect if you are already using these libraries (just remember to compress the script files as appropriate as the libraries are a little large).

You can get more information about ProtoFlow and see a demo of it here.

If you find any interesting uses for the script I'd love to hear about it (you can leave a comment or you can write a blog post using your free Ajaxonomy account). So, start making that cool website or application and use this or some other interesting effect to make it stand out.

Quick Ajax Loading Icons

If you've done any Ajax development then you know that much of the loading of data is done in the background. This is great from a developers stand point, but from a users stand point it can be confusing as to what is happening while the data is being loaded. The solution to this is to show a loading indicator.

A loading indicator is a great idea and a nice animated image that could be hidden would be nice. However, if you are like most developers making a nice animated image may not be your strongest point. Well, today while seeing what was getting bookmarked on del.icio.us, using the del.icio.us Spy, I found an interesting and simple service that makes it very easy to get a nice looking loading indicator.

The service is call Ajaxload and is very easy to use. You simply choose the loading icon that you like and the background/foreground colors (you can even have the background transparent). Then you just save it to your computer using the "Download It" button and then you have your own customized loading indicator.

You can go to the service by clicking here.

If you have used this or a similar service I would love to hear about your experience with it (you can leave a comment, or if you would like you can write a blog post about it on this blog, using your free Ajaxonomy account). So, remember that your users would love to see a loading indicator when it is appropriate.

Apple's iPhone SDK is Finally Here

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If you have an iPhone and are a developer, you have probably thought about writing a cool application for this phone. Well, today at the iPhone SDK press conference Apple announced that they have released the iPhone SDK.

You can watch the Keynote here.

Or if you prefer to read about it you can read a live blog about it here.

Below is an excerpt from the blog that I thought was particularly interesting.

10:19AM - "Ok, I'm here to tell you about how developers can build great apps on the iPhone. Before I get into the SDK, I want to give an update on web apps. This has been incredibly successful, there are over 1,000 web applications for the iPhone."

He's highlighting some web apps, including Facebook. Yep, great, let's get to the SDK dude.

"Already the iPhone is the most popular mobile device with Bank of America -- it accounts for 20% of ALL mobile banking with them. But today what I really want to tell you about is the native iPhone SDK."

10:21AM - "Starting today... we're opening the same native APIs and tools to build our iPhone apps."

"3rd party developers can build native iPhone apps using the same SDK that WE do. There are a lot of pieces that make up the SDK in a set of APIs -- that suits us well, Apple is a platform company. We have the most advanced platform in the world in the form of OS X. It's comprised of four layers..."

"The core OS, core services, media layer, and Cocoa -- to build the iPhone OS we took the bottom three layers to form the iPhone OS. Cocoa is interesting and it's the best app framework out there, but it's based on a mouse and keyboard. So we took everything we knew.. and built Cocoa Touch."

10:22AM - "This here is the architecture of the iPhone OS -- let me dig a little deeper. We'll start with the kernel. This is the same OS X kernel based on the same project and same source files of OS X; the networking layer we use is the same BSD networking layer we use on OS X. And power management... Apple has more than a decade of experience in advanced power management."

10:25AM - "We started with those advanced power management techniques and went beyond that -- the core OS power manages all of the chips, all the sensors, your application, automatically. Now, core services, I'll just highlight a few. We have a complete set of APIs for your app to talk directly to the contacts DB on the iPhone, and an entire database API with SQLite.

"Core Location - we've taken that and patched it into an API so you can create location-aware applications. The media layer... starting with Core Audio, this is the low-level audio layer; on top of that we've built OpenAL, an industry standard."

10:27AM - "Video playback: seamless video playback, uses our h.264 codec, built right in." So we can add new video codecs right? RIGHT? Sigh. "Core animation... OpenGL ES, the embedded version of OpenGL and a screamer for 3D graphics on the iPhone. In fact, this entire layer is heavily hardware accelerated."

10:29AM - "Cocoa Touch - our advanced touch event system; the accelerometer - what you might not know is that it's a full 3-axis sensor, and you can use that in your apps as well. ... this is the architecture for the iPhone OS, the most advanced mobile platform out there. We think we're years ahead of any other platform. We borrowed heavily from OS X -- we started on the shoulders of a giant."

"We have a comprehensive set of tools to help developers create and debug apps -- let's start with Xcode. We started there and enhanced it to support the iPhone; now we use Xcode to build the OS and apps for the iPhone. What is Xcode? It starts as a great source code editor -- it knows all about the iPhone SDK, will code-complete the APIs for the iPhone SDK."

10:30AM - "... it also integrates directly with source control management system, subversion, cvs... integrates with iPhone SDK documentation, and also has a nice debugger -- it's also a great remote debugger. Plug an iPhone in, run the app live on your iPhone, and be debugging it from your Mac. This is incredibly powerful."

10:32AM - "The next tool I'd like to talk about is Interface-Builder -- this is the tool you'll use to... wait for it... build your application interface. We have the complete library of iPhone interface assets, just drag them onto the canvas." Showing making connections from the view layers to control layers; it's also localizeable. "Next: Instruments..."

"We took those three and enhanced them for the iPhone, but there's a brand new tool: the iPhone Simulator. It runs on a Mac and simulates the entire API stack on your computer."

10:34AM - "So, we have a fantastic set of tools in addition to an amazing set of frameworks." Demo time. iPhone Simulator gets going -- looks identical to using an iPhone. Tiny bit creepy, actually.

Below is the blurb that Apple puts on their site about the SDK.

The iPhone SDK includes the Xcode IDE, Instruments, iPhone simulator, frameworks and samples, compilers, Shark analysis tool, and more.

You can download the free SDK here.
Please note the technical requirements are an Intel processor-based Mac running Mac OS X Leopard

You can get more information about the SDK here.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to a Mac, so I won't be able to make any applications for the iPhone (although, I haven't tested the del.icio.us Spy or Digg Burry Recorder on it yet, so maybe I've already made an iPhone application). However, if you have access to a Mac and want to make iPhone applications you can now go for it. If you do create the next killer iPhone application let us know about it by writing a blog post about it using your free Ajaxonomy account.

del.icio.us Spy Widget Released

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You may have used our del.icio.us Spy application and hopefully it has been useful in finding new websites and bookmarks. If you have a blog or website you may have thought that it would be cool to have a widget of what is on the del.icio.us Spy. Well, we have just released a del.icio.us Spy widget for your blog or website.

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