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IBM Blue Spruce

IBM is working actively on Blue Spruce, a fully browser based application development platform. To be precise, IBM is NOT working on a brand new browser but on a platform for developing and delivering applications through the existing browsers. This is a direct challenge to Microsoft’s Silverlight and Adobe’s AIR platforms, that aim to bring application level functionality to the level of browsers.

Motivation behind Blue Spruce

IBM’s customers reportedly abhor lengthy and heavy applications installs. They are looking at rich applications providing the core functionality, delivered through the web browsers. Also, IBM is looking at collaboration between the application users and sharing of information, with Blue Spruce.

Components of Blue Spruce

Conceptually, Blue Spruce is made up of 2 components:

  • Blue Spruce Client Toolkit
  • Blue Spruce Web Server

Blue Spruce Web Server provides Conference Management and Real-time Application Synchronization facilities, thus facilitating interactive communication.  Also, the Server can subscribe to Push services, that can serve as data for the mashup components.

Blue Spruce Client toolkit provides the collaboration API that the application developers can use to communicate with the Web Server.  Also, the architecture will most likely be plug-in based, that enhances the extensibility.

Blue Spruce uses lots of open standards like - WebKit Open Source Browser Engine, HTML, Javascript, CSS, XMPP, Ajax etc. But it is clear that, Blue Spruce will NOT be “open source”, but “community sourced” meaning that the members of the community can contribute.

Blue Spruce in action

Right now, IBM is focusing on finance, health and “heavy industry” for their application development.  The Proof of Concept demos are mainly characterized by mashups (containing various audio, video and map components in a single page) and real-time collaborations by users across geographies, all within the scope of a browser.  These demos were performed on the Safari browser.

So, the Big Blue is again all set, to be noticed by the likes of Microsoft, Adobe and Google.

Presentation - IBM Blue Spruce Demo

Via ReadWriteWeb

December 26, 2008   Comments

BrowserShots - Test your website appearance across OS and Browsers

Every web developer must have confronted with the need to test the - layout, appearance and behavior - of their web site across Operating systems and browsers. Though the behavior testing requires the physical installation of the browser, the appearance and layouts can be easily tested using BrowserShots, an open source initiative.

BrowserShots takes in the web site URL and the list of browsers to test, that varies across Linux, Windows, Mac and BSD. Then the jobs are queued up, processed by distributed systems and results are uploaded as screenshot images. These screenshots can be downloaded by the web developer.

This is a really quick way of performing a smoke test on the web site, during development.

Via Smashing Magazine

December 26, 2008   Comments