Should SWF need to be searchable?

We hear people asking questions, how to make swf (more) searchable? Is SWF searchable?
Not many people know, most of the search engines index text within swf files. My question is:

Should SWF need to be searchable?

I have got different opinion on this entire idea:

  • SWF is *not content* rather an application.
  • To make it searchable, it require special effort, which doesn't make sense.
    • hardcoded text in swf
    • extra deep-linking workarounds, apart from basic support, to instantiate view-state

Some questions:

  • Should search-engines index applications?

  • Does desktop-search index desktop-applications (executables)?

Why do we need to prove swf is a good option? I think, it is. The whole idea of searchability applies to content, and I already said swf should not be seen as content (like html, xml, text, etc).
I can imagine a few ways to add search support without doing special workarounds, these are known things:

  • As we know, it's good practice to have support for deep-linking or REST URIs
  • Having that in place, metadata can be injected in html-wrapper or a supporting xml file with all possible deep-links to view-states within Flash/Flex apps (swf)?

Structure (view metadata - heading, some info, etc) of application can be semantically encoded in html with appropriate deep-links to views in an application.
What you think about it?
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Yahoo! Live != Mogulus

In my previous post, I mentioned about Mogulus while talking about Yahoo! Live. I thought, Yahoo! Live is like Mogulus but after playing with Y! Live, I realized it's totally different.
Mogulus is like a tv-channel and users(who broadcast) get their own studio. They can create content using existing data (video, images, text, audio, live-video-audio-feed) and do the programming (scheduling). Think of a tv-news-channel, where not only you get to see live-feed but various stories are in form of video, audio, text, images, etc.
Mogulus targets different audience, however, it would be great to see, if Mogulus allows embedding Yahoo! Live feeds in content/channels. Yahoo! Live has a developer API which can be used to fetch details about live-channels and embed in any app, even flash/flex apps. Not a bad idea though.
I think, Y! Live is very close to Ustream (and other similar services). BTW! Ustream allows an user to record the entire session (video, audio, chat) which can be played back later.
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LocalConnection Rocks! - Check out Yahoo! Live

Just figured out, you can open Yahoo! Live in different tabs/windows and broadcast works everywhere. That's the coolness of LocalConnection. Simple algorithm, check if there is already an established-connection, use it, sweet :-)

Yahoo! Live goes live

I know it's old story now but I thought of posting about. Yahoo! Live is cool, I can see some interesting live channels.
The main Yahoo! Live application is done using Adobe Flex and using the power of the Flash Platform. Well do they have any better choice to do video/audio on web ? ;-)
Just wondering, how Mogulus and UStream are taking this news?
BTW! Does Y! Live filter f*** word in chat or voice-chat? I was on one of the channels and heard (beep) it getting filtered? If yes, how is audio-filtering happening in real-time?
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Semantic Web: How would it happen?

Yesterday at DevCamp, one interesting session was about Semantic Web and skepticism around it. I listened different perspectives. I realized, some part of discussion was around:

  • How to make web more semantic?
  • Does annotating all data (existing or future) using microformats, rdf, etc make sense?
  • Should we really need to annotate everything ourselves?
  • What about non-technical users who use/contribute-to web?
  • What about smart algorithms/tools that can make meaning out of existing web without us doing much?

I have been advocating/using microformats for sometime, which is totally useful but above questions also make sense? Yesterday's discussion made me think more about it and I started finding about different perspectives/realities. I found an informative article series on ReadWriteWeb.

Let's help some web more structured, as said in readwriteweb article above, by tagging, annotating, etc as much as we can. We can also spread the word. Most importantly, we developers can write smart tools that can capture and expose the data in structured-way. Every bit helps and that's what I said in yesterday's discussion, the idea is to make things better. Sooner or later, we would have a perfect web, well there is nothing perfect but you got what I mean :-)
BTW! If you want to feel how tools/user-experience would get better with Semantic Web, Check out of Adaptive Blue extensions (BlueOrganizer and SmartLinks) to browser (s). These tools recognize data/object/information in a web-page and provide you very contextualized choices (action items). They are doing things using existing, mostly unstructured web, imagine - how things would be structured web i.e. semantic-web?
You can explore it but let me give a simple example. Suppose you are reading movie review of Transformers on IMDB. Adaptive Blue tool would deduct about director, movie-name, casts, etc and provide you relevant choices/options like:-

  • add to twitter, bookmark, delicious, facebook, etc
  • comparisons from various sources
  • Transformers pages on wikipedia, amazon, netflix, etc
  • Rent from netflix, etc
  • Michael Bay (the director of the movie)'s movies on amazon, images on flickr, blogs on google, etc
  • list of stars and related links

There are so many contextualized choices, I don't want to list all of them. However, you can see the screenshot and check out the extensions.
I am wondering, is it something that can cause privacy concern? If they are collecting page-info on their server?
Update (Feb 11, 2008): Reuters has announced OpenCalais service API, which analyzes the data (text, html, xml), processes it to a semantic content by returning RDF/XML and also stores the processed data in it's server for future searches, it can be disabled via API params. You can check out this sample app.
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DevCamp Update

I am in DevCamp, currently sitting in Mozilla Prism session. I attended some interesting sessions:

During my session (on AIR, AJAX centric), I ran out of time and couldn't complete it. I should have scheduled one hour instead of thirty minutes. I got pissed off and didn't talk about Media RSS. BarCamp/DevCamp should have longer sessions, otherwise it sucks.
Some people seemed to be interested in AIR, asked about it's availability on different platforms (Linux, Mobile etc). I have uploaded my presentation-slides on, you can download the PDF or see the presentation below:-

SlideShare | View | Upload your own

Note: Most of the images used in this presentation are from Adobe slides/articles and screenshots of various AIR apps. Please let me know, if I can not keep those images, however, I feel it's fair use.
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DevCamp: Talking about AIR and Media RSS

I am going to be at DevCamp and would be talking, if my proposed sessions get a slot, about Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) and Media RSS.
This event is going to be interesting, proposed-sessions sound very interesting. I am going to attend sessions related to semantic-web, microformats and Ruby-On-Rails (ROR).
BTW! This is an unique opportunity to meet Martin Fowler, he is also going to talk about something(not yet decided).

February 9, 2008 8–7pm – DevCamp– at Bangalore
DevCamp is an unconference for the software development community. DevCamp will focus on all aspects of crafting software in any language and on any platform, so if you're a developer, architect, analyst, tester or manager, this event is for you.

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Google Social Graph API shows the power of microformats

XFN (XHTML Friends Network) is one of the microformats, I have been using for sometime. I have used (where)whenever I can.
XFN goes more interesting and would become more popular with Google's Social Graph API .
Google Social Graph API allows you to find all such social connections using XFN and FOAF. Thousands of pages/feeds already have XFN and FOAF data.
There are XFN Graphing tools/libraries but Google provides the similar thing in the form of webservice (API), which takes different parameters and returns JSON as output.
This is going to push XFN microformat usage and I am already seeing the effect, some of my friends/acquaintances have edited links on their blogs/pages to add XFN data, so am I doing now :-)
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Is MXML presentational markup?

Some random thoughts/questions:-

Is MXML presentational markup? I think, it is.

How does the idea of semantic web/html and microformats fit into Flex based RIAs?

How can we design applications that can be progressively enhanced or gracefully degraded?

MXML seems to be very powerful, hence very useful. If best-practices are not followed, it's very easy to end up with bad-design/app? That's true for AJAX (= DTHML now) also.

What should/could be the design of future flex framework (s) so that lightweight runtimes (FlashLite etc) can run flex-applications without requiring more powerful hardware and latest capabilities on devices?

MXML can be broken down into subsets:-

  • Schema for application/component structure
  • CSS for presentation - limited
  • ActionScript for behaviour/action
  • Data (XML/Model/inline-data)

Right now it's very easy to mix all these. Experienced developers have found different ways to keep things separated but no standard as such.
Shouldn't there be a standard way of drawing a line of separation between these as a part of development workflow/requirement? I believe, same is true in AJAX world but things (best-practices, workflow, LSM, semantic, microformats etc) are well established there?
Just wondering, if all these pieces can be separated within flex-framework, applications can be run on lightweight client by replacing cpu/memory intensive bits (which are required to parse/process/render one of the parts mentioned above) with compatible-lighter version of bits?

Does this post makes sense? ;-)

Never mind the subject, I wanted to ask one question and came up with many unanswered. I have answers for some but I would be posting after some more thinking. BTW! It's good to work with different technologies/standards, it makes me think like this.
Kevin Hoyt's latest post made me think some of these. Kevin has posted some more nice posts, one should read.

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Is Apple better than Microsoft?

Let's accept the fact Apple products have better user-interface and are more innovative. Let's assume Microsoft is not superior in those areas. I love the fact Mac OSX is based on Unix and I find some of important tools as part of Mac OSX, on windows you need Cygwin or something similar.

Let's think as an user/developer and try to answer some questions? I am going to put down some questions about Apple, I don't need to raise questions about Microsoft because everyone seems be asking for it quite long.

Is Apple better than Microsoft? Why does everyone say so?

Apple has closed platforms too. I am not even sure, if Apple has any or many pre-release programs (alpha/beta etc) to get user/developer's feedback ?

Apple releases developer tools, if they feel not because developers want?

Why is Apple TV not open yet to be extended i.e. no SDK/tool? Why am I so dependent on Apple software-update for new features? Why I can't install tools/extensions done by amazing hackers/developers without hacking the Apple TV box?

Why do we have to hack/crack Apple stuff all the time? Why are other Apple platforms (iPod or others) so closed, oh yeah exception,iPhone SDK is coming up?

Why do I need to use Apple aiport-utility to manage Airport extreme (or other similar products)? Why can't I use web-browser just like I do for other routers (netgear, linksys etc)?

Why does Apple threaten to sue bloggers and shut down a site?

Microsoft is, most of the time, talked in a bad way over the blogsphere/slashdot, probably more than hundred times everyday, however, they keep working on to make users/developers happy? AFAIK, they involve developers/users even before they start working on products?

Microsoft Windows has been more backward compatible, which Apple doesn't even bother to think of?

Everyone cribs that Microsoft keeps coming with new version of Windows and forces us to upgrade, well isn't that true about Apple products?

I feel bad that Apple has launched Time Capsule to complement Time Machine in Leopard? Why didn't they add the feature (storage) in their original Airport Extreme last year, I am sure they could have done that?

It's all business tactics/strategies and Apple is not doing it differently. Then why special love to Apple?. Why not Microsoft, even when they are more kind and flexible than Apple?

I guess, Microsoft has been victim of anti-proprietary propaganda. Apple has not been to that extent. In my opinion, Apple is not better than Microsoft.

I am trying to figure out why I fell for Apple's expensive products, perhaps for user-interface, form-factor, rare-commodity, luxury-that-makes-you-feel-different etc? Whatever, I was expecting things to be much better.

BTW! These questions would be heard more because a lot more people are using Apple products now and I hope, I am not the only one who feels this way. With growth comes responsibility, Apple would have to change the way they do things now. Apple can not deny some of these needs of users and developers?

Like everyone, a good user-interface and innovative products/features matter to me, however, I am bothered by above things everyday, hence I am trying to figure out the answers.

Anyway, everyone seems to love Apple.

It seems, I get into ranting-mode during nights, it's happening lately, redbull is not helping ;-)

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