Software development techniques behind the magic user interface

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This is a checklist of items you need for an all-encompassing personal branding strategy. Personal branding is the process of marketing and selling yourself as a brand in order to gain success in business. Personal branding is a continual process just as knowing yourself is a continual process. As you grow, so does your brand. The need for personal branding arises from the fact that globalization has increased competition in the workplace. As the wheat is separated from the chaff, if you are left standing, you are left standing with others of good caliber. The playing field is now that much more challenging since your competition is as good as, or better, than you. To paraphrase David Samuel, the bloke who got me into personal branding after I saw him speak a few years ago; he spoke about of why you need personal branding. His audience was a group from a large teleco... (more)

ColdFusion 8 Makes Developers' Lives Easier

On May 30, Adobe released the public beta of ColdFusion 8, which means that we at CFDJ can now begin writing and talking publicly about all the great new features. I’ll add a disclaimer to that statement: CF 8 is currently in public beta and things, though not likely, can change between the public beta and the final release – so the CF 8 specific content in CFDJ will be kept light to null in order to ensure that the content we deliver is accurate for the final release. That said, the features included in CF 8 are unlikely to change between now and the official release, so this month I thought I’d give a high-level overview of some significant new features and why developers and companies should be interested in ColdFusion 8. The first thing to know about what’s new in CF 8 is performance. Not that we didn’t have good performance prior t... (more)

Are Humans Really Necessary for Maintaining SLAs in the Cloud?

Eric Novikoff's Blog Are humans really necessary for maintaining SLAs? In today's cloud computing deployments, especially with systems like Amazon's EC2, the users' application is responsible for both measuring and taking action on application performance issues. This complicates deployment and coding, as well as tying your application to a particular cloud provider. However, I believe that the next generation of cloud deployment frameworks will be able to do this automatically, by integrating general-purpose monitoring applications with policy-based cloud management engines.  When I was watching the recent the election returns on CNN, I wasn't sure what was more amazing: Obama's historic victory, or CNN's technology. CNN was able to display up-to-the minute results of each state's elections simply at the touch of their news anchor onto the screen of an election-repor... (more)

Intelligent GUIs Should Require No Thought to Operate

In Bernard J. Baar's book "A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness," he describes the brain as having a single conscious area that can be occupied by one thought at a time. The unconscious part of the brain stores memories and experiences and, like the conscious brain, is capable of performing tasks; however, it does so automatically, unlike the conscious area that requires the intervention of the "self." The first time we are given a new input, sensation, or experience to deal with, the conscious brain is responsible for analyzing it, comparing it to something that has occurred before, and dealing with the action accordingly. Repeated exposure to the same input drives the response into the unconscious area of the mind, so the next time the same experience is encountered, an automatic reply can be recalled without requiring conscious intervention. An example of this is... (more)

AJAX World Expo to Take Place Monday Through Wednesday in San Jose, CA

View Full Conference Schedule Here On Monday October 20 in San Jose, California, the top Rich Internet Applications event of the Fall opens its doors: the 6th International AJAX World RIA Conference & Expo, with top industry keynotes from Microsoft's Silverlight supremo Scott Guthrie and Adobe's Chief Technology Officer, Kevin Lynch, headlining a lineup of speakers that includes some of the finest front end engineers, UI experts, user experience specialists, and software industry innovators anywhere in the world. There will be a Full Expo Floor for two of the event's three days Delegates to the 6th International AJAXWorld will be able to join Guthrie as he discusses how Microsoft is contributing to help move the Web forward via a commitment to standards development and Rich Internet Applications - and learn from him how Silverlight, AJAX and media all enable a whole n... (more)

Mobile Operators Seek Incremental Revenue from the Mobile Internet

Mobile operators are in a precarious position. Airtime revenue is decreasing faster than fixed costs, and competitors are multiplying. Not only is there high overhead for customer acquisition, but retention costs are also increasing. Mobile operators need to act now to ensure that they can derive the incremental revenue streams they need to survive. While there remains no question about the effect it will have on the way people transact with each other, the mobile Internet's slower-than-anticipated uptake has had an immediate impact on a number of businesses. Because of this, many enterprises have taken a slow and more strategic approach to rolling out wireless services. Mobile operators do not share the luxury of a slow approach. In North America and around the world, the mobile operator space has seen increased competition, bringing great results for mobile users -... (more)

Eclipse Special: Bill Dudney Looks at Eclipse M8 Close-Up

To view our full selection of recent Eclipse stories click here As a kick off for this new column I figured I'd go over some of the good, bad and ugly in the new Eclipse M8 drop. I have been using M8 for two weeks now and I've accumulated a lot of notes of what I like and don't like in this latest of the drops before we get 3.0 final. Over all I am really impressed with this release. I went through the release notes and tried to comment on each aspect of what was documented as well as a couple of nice things that I found that are not in the release notes. Eye-candy - in the form of new welcome stuff. I like the look of it and seems to be very useful for RCP based apps. Since I'm not writing any RCP apps I probably won't have to write anything to plugin into the new Welcome extensibility points it's nice to know it's there. Cheat Sheets - very cool and very useful for... (more)

Corporate Applications on a Mobile Device Near You

In the enterprise building mobile applications is as much about integration and the corresponding challenges as it is about pure application development. Recent industry reports reveal that more than 70% of mission-critical data and most of the pivotal business logic that runs worldwide commerce still resides on existing host systems. Based on this dependency, as well as their speed and power, host systems are unquestionably here to stay for most large organizations and will continue to be a foundation for business success as organizations design and implement new business initiatives. However, many of those same organizations have also invested in packaged applications (SAP, Siebel, Oracle Applications, PeopleSoft, etc.) to manage their businesses. When building mobile solutions that leverage these systems, enterprise developers want to use the existing business logi... (more)

Who Are The All-Time Heroes of i-Technology?

I wonder how many people, as I did, found themselves thrown into confusion by the death last week of Jean Ichbiah (pictured), inventor of Ada.  Learning that the inventor of a computer programming language is already old enough to have lived 66 years (Ichbiah was 66 when he succumbed to brain cancer) is a little like learning that your 11-year-old daughter has grown up and left home or that the first car you ever bought no longer is legal because it runs on gasoline in an age where all automobiles must run on water. How can something as novel, as new, as a computing language possibly already be so old-fangled that an early practitioner like Ichbiah can already no longer be with us? The thought was so disquieting that it took me immediately back to the last time I wrote about Ichbiah, and indeed about Ada Lovelace for whom his language was named. It was in the context ... (more)

TechWave 2007

This year TechWave 2007 took place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For those of you who didn't make it, the following is a recap of the events, with a couple of thoughts and suggestions thrown in. Sunday Officially the only thing going on Sunday was conference registration. However, there is a private TeamSybase/Sybase reception on Sunday evening where, among other things, new TeamSybase members are inducted. This year we added one new member: Roland Smith. Photos of the reception - along with all the other photos I've taken at TechWave - are available at http://public.fotki.com/brucearmstrong/techwave/2007/. The quality is a little spotty. I just purchased a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 just for TechWave to get better shots (it's still a compact point and shoot, but it has 10x optical zoom), but it really chews up the battery and I didn't have a spare battery. So some of ... (more)

The "Uncanny Valley" Theory Doesn't Apply to Desktop UI

If you design an application that runs on Windows but doesn't look exactly like Windows, so the old argument goes, the effect will be unsettling for users. But sticking to the native look and feel (L&F) should not be the end-goal of designers. In May of 2007 Bill Higgins penned a thought provoking blog post called, “the Uncanny Valley of user interface design.”  His assertion was that any UI that tries to emulate a modern Windows look and feel (L&F) but is not exactly the same as the native operating systems L&F (i.e. Windows, Mac, Linux), will be unsettling to developers. He refers to this as the “Uncanny Valley.”  The Uncanny Valley is a theory proposed by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970, that says that people’s impression of robots grows more empathetic as robots become more human looking – but only to a point. There ... (more)