Archive for October, 2007

* Alwees Froosh

Posted on October 28th, 2007 by Dave Johnson. Filed under AJAX, JavaScript, Nitobi, Web2.0, adobe, adobeair, air, hackday.

That is the name of the application that Jake, Chris and I made for the inaugural Nitobi Hack Day last Saturday.

Yes, we may have had the biggest team and yes some teams didn’t even stick around until the sweet, sweet beer but we came within a whisker of winning it all! Of course, how you split up a single iPod Nano amongst three people is anyone’s guess.

The idea behind the application was that we wanted a desktop app that would be running all the time and would bring in information from many different sources about music artists / bands that you like. In particular, I never know when new albums come out from bands that I like. The trick is that we use, in this case, your top tracks XML listing from to determine what you like - ie what you listen to most is what you like. Then we use that info to look up different information about the bands. At the time of building the application we decided on two things to bring in; new releases and events. The original reason that we went with the AIR application was because I wanted to use my iTunes XML file. We found a problem with that early on - my iTunes XML files is >7MB and AIR has a tough time opening it. That is when we decided to go with

I will release the app shortly once I get some time to fix it up.

We were able to deal with the new AIR security model pretty easily and of course chromeless windows and all the great CSS3 support was much appreciated!


* Ajax Experience Come and Gone

Posted on October 28th, 2007 by Dave Johnson. Filed under AJAX, Conference, Nitobi, ajaxexperience.

The Ajax Experience East 2007 conference is now all done, I can tell because I am finally back at home in Vancouver :)
Yesterday was a long day since we were up at 4am PST for our flight to Seatle, where we met up first with Ryan Stewart of Adobe for a quick beer at the Airport (Thermo sounds _really_ cool) before he went on to MAX in Tokyo and then had lunch with Adam Phillabaum of Payscale somewhere in Seatle. After that we drove for three hours back up to Vancity at which point I was starting to get a bit tired but instead had a few beers ad when to check out the Parade of Lost Souls.

Very scary stuff! (picture from blackeyedpete)

I gave my presentation on Ajax Testing and Debugging on Friday and Andre was part of a panel discussion about the future of Ajax with John Resig, Doug Crockford and Aza Raskin. All in all the conference was really good and I finally met fellow Canadian Brent Ashley face to face along with a pile of other smart people.


* Ajax Experience

Posted on October 25th, 2007 by Dave Johnson. Filed under AJAX, Conference, Nitobi, Uncategorized, ajaxexperience.

Andre and I are in Boston for The Ajax Experience!

I am presenting tomorrow at 3:45 on Ajax Testing and Debugging so be there - or be around after to go for a beer.

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* Hack Day Epilogue

Posted on October 21st, 2007 by Dave Johnson. Filed under Nitobi, RIA, adobeair, air, hackday, vancouver.

Nitobi Hack Day today was a great success! We had over 35 people in total throughout the day and ended up with about 8 or 10 presentations at the end of the day. Joe Bowser of Nitobi ended up being voted the coolest hack and won himself an shiny new iPod Nano. There was streaming video for most of the day and there will be videos put up on YouTube soon. Tweets can be seen from Andre, Brian, Roland and myself.

At the end of the day the keg of beer was tapped and there was a flury of activity as people tried to put the finishing touches on their applications.

Thanks to everyone who came out and made this event a very fun time! We will definitely be doing it again soon!

I will report on my Adobe AIR hack tomorrow once I get some much needed rest :)


* Hack Day Eve

Posted on October 19th, 2007 by Dave Johnson. Filed under Nitobi, RIA, hackday.

Tomorrow is the day - first ever Nitobi Hack Day!

The details are now all set. Starting at 9am or whenever people can drag their asses out of bed, programmers and designers from around Metro Vancouver are gathering at the Nitobi world headquarters in Gastown for a day of hacking. After building some cool soft or hardware (and playing xbox / wii) we are going to gather at 5 to have some beer (a keg of local R&B Red Devil Pale Ale micro-brew) and pizza while people present their hack results. The favourite hacker will receive some sort of Apple hardware I believe and there are also some O’Reilly books + shirts to be given away.

A little birdie told me that their will be some iTunes AIR apps being built, some Wii controller robot hacking, and some free wireless hacking. You will have to stay tuned to hear about all the cool concoctions and there may even be a live video stream of the event over on ustream. Of course there will also be live tweets from at least myself, Andre and Brian.

After we will be retiring to one of the many great local pubs for a drink or two.

Hope to see you there!


* How Do You Jiibe?

Posted on October 16th, 2007 by Dave Johnson. Filed under Nitobi, Web2.0.

We have recently been working hard on a new “Web 2.0 social networking” application and are finally ready to release the beta to the world.

Say hello to Jiibe.

The problem that Jiibe is trying to address - as if being a social networking application wasn’t enough - is to help people think about the culture at their place of work and how well that culture jives with what they would find ideal. By answering a few quick questions about their workplace culture the user creates their own personal Jiibe and at the same time contributes to the overall Jiibe culture signature for the company they are currently working at. It is a great way for people to figure out what they like and don’t like about their company culture and also to help them find companies that have a culture they would mesh well with.

One of the other cool features is that people can ask questions to everyone at a company which can generate discussions around certain topics at a company. If only Joe had Jiibe to ask people who actually worked at EA what it was actually like to work there!

I would definitely encourage people to go and check out Jiibe and answer some questions for their current and / or former employers to help people make more informed decisions about where they want to work. As with any Web 2.0 application Jiibe is currently in Beta so things will still be changing as we work more on the application and add features that users demand.

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* Nitobi Hack Day Update

Posted on October 10th, 2007 by Dave Johnson. Filed under AJAX, Nitobi, RIA, hackday.

Ok so we have some news. The nice folks over at O’Reilly have contributed some swag for people that attend hack day - this will most likely be given away as prizes. We are also trying to swing some more free stuff in the way of software and hopefully Andre will contribute some hardware for the best hack day app! We have also almost secured a keg of beer for those thirsty hackers and I will try my best to prevent it from being tapped until sometime in the afternoon just to keep the coding quality up to par :)
Just to be sure the day is Sat Oct 20 from 9am till whenever - we will likely go out for some drinks afterwards in Gastown and maybe even beyond.

Let us know you are coming (on facebook or upcoming) so that we reserve a spot for you in case there is no room on the day!

For those that don’t want to hack then at least come by to have a beer and say hi!


* Complete UI Q3 Released

Posted on October 2nd, 2007 by Dave Johnson. Filed under AJAX, Components, Nitobi, Uncategorized, dreamweaver.

This time around we left the major Complete UI release in Beta for a month to give us a bit more time to work out all the quirks with our major new feature - Complete UI Dreamweaver Extensions. Now you can go from a database to an Ajax application in minutes using the awesome Dreamweaver Extensions that allow you drag and drop Nitobi components into your web page and have server CRUD (ASP, PHP, JSP, CFM) generated according to the database that you are connecting to!

Check out a screencast here - very cool stuff!

Also if you are at Adobe MAX in Chicago ping Andre or Alexei who are there representing Nitobi and presented an Inspire session today about AIR and Ajax!

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