29
May 09

Google Wave – What Does It Mean?

If you are a nerd, or a technology enthusiast, then you must have heard about Google Wave. I mean literally it was all across the web, from twitter to techcrunch (aren’t they both the same?) Anyways, if somehow you missed it here is a video that you must watch.

So what is wave? why am I talking about it? While the demo itself is simply amazing and the application looks like the next generation of Gmail evolution, what excites me more than anything is behind the scene technology.

If you are a web developer you might remember those good old days of web, when Javascript was a “client-side validation” scripting thingy. Now with the new and upcoming HTML 5 and Javascript ECMAScript5 coming to almost all browsers, we are seeing a new powerful platform. One that can help us built really high quality web applications.

So what’s all that special about HTML 5?

To get some context around this, let me recap what we currently use. Most of the websites (pretty much all of them) are currently on HTML 4 standard — which is a decade old standard. Web has evolved therefore HTML standard needed to evolve too.

So HTML 5 is being developed since 2004 and so far it is still being specd out. Which means that it will change over the next year or so before it is finalized, but the guts are out there now.

I won’t go into a lot of details about HTML5 in this post but would like to touch upon two things that really stood out for me:

1. Structure

How many times you have defined your HTML with class/id attributes structure it with header, footer, content, sidebar etc? HTML5 fixes this issue by providing new elements for representing each of these different sections. So elements like <header>, <nav>, <aside>, <article>, <footer> etc.

Makes it better for everyone to write and read the HTML code. Search engines can target your content and designers get to leverage it as well.

2. Video & Audio

We all have been embedding youtube videos for a while now. There is one in this blog post. HTML really didn’t have any way to allow embedding video and audio content easily into a website. So people had to use flash. So now in HTML5 we have an <video> and <audio> tags. Along with DOM API to manipulate and interact with the video and audio.

There is a lot more to the story. I will write in more details about the upcoming Javascript changes and what it means to us web developers. I am truly excited at the possibilities that it will bring to the web.


28
May 09

World’s Best CAPTCHA

via 90 Percent Of Everything.

worlds-best-captcha


26
May 09

PakTranslations.com – A small redesign

I love cool technology. Maybe it is the nerd in me that gets excited after seeing something awesome but I sure do love cool technology.

One such great technology is powered by PakTranslations.com – To see how awesome the technology is you can see the urdu version of Mazaydar.com!

paktranslations

So what’s this blog post all about? While I love their technology, one thing that bothered me was their UI. I think they can make the site and technology a great hit if can make users life easier. They already have a great way to do it but its sorta hidden.

So I spent about an hour or so last night, while I couldn’t sleep and came up with this small mock layout.

Some thoughts behind the layout:

1. My goal was to keep the focus on the cool technology. I certainly didn’t spend too much time on the logo, which can certainly use some work

2. The “Instant Translation” is a nifty feature. Users need to know that they can place http://www.paktranslations.com/? infront of any url to get it translated.

3. Bookmarklets are also awesome, I have been using them and they are just simply great to translate anything instantly.

I think the whole website is an amazing idea, a much needed innovation coming out of Pakistan. I am sure as they progress the technology will just keep getting better and better. But I also strongly believe that a good technology which isnt’ accessible is not worth much. People need to be able to use the technology easily to be able to provide feedback that is needed.

Note: The design is totally opensource for PakTranslations team to adapt.


21
May 09

HelpIDPs.com & Free Banner Spot

So in an effort to raise more awareness to the current IDP issue in Pakistan, we decided to launch www.helpidps.com – a twitter aggregator and a landing page for those looking to help out with the current crisis.

We encourage all of you to contribute with whatever you can. If you are a twitter user please remember to tag  any IDP related tweet with either #IDP, #SWAT or #helpIDP and our system will aggregate that automatically.

Also, we want to do something to raise funds quickly, so we are offering 5 banner spots on the following sites for 1 year for free for anyone who donates a sizable amount to any recognized charity organization who is helping out in SWAT relief effort.

You will be able to put your banner on helpIDPs.com and Mazaydar.com for 1 year.

Let us help those in need. Let’s spread the word via all the social networks that we can think of.