And so we bid farewell to another search engine. Alas Cuil we hardly knew thee.
Launched with much fanfare by the press in late July 2008, Cuil boasted a larger index than any other search engine. It displayed it’s results with a nicely composed page of long descriptions and thumbnails, which at the time was a rather refreshing change to the stark Swiss-like simplicity of other engine . It seemed at the time a breath of fresh air but as is the fate of all search engines people collectively shrugged their shoulders and went back to Google. Leaving us once more to ponder it’s unstoppable monopoly.
Google have updated their HTML5Rocks website with all new content – http://www.html5rocks.com/ While obviously targeted at Chrome developers in particular the site has grown from the demo slideshow presented last year into a useful point of reference now containing samples and tutorials.
Also gaining some traction are sites offering basic HTML5 frameworks such as HTML5 Boilerplate – http://html5boilerplate.com/ – which help ease the development time which stock implementations of basic code. Even with such reference code becoming commonplace web application development still lacks tools to speed up the process. Two that are headed in the right direction though are Glimmer – http://visitmix.com/labs/glimmer/ – a Flash-like jQuery animation builder and 280North’s Atlas – http://280atlas.com/ – which mimics Apple’s Xcode. With an acceleration of support for new web standards we hope there will be an increase in the availability of such tools.
The demo scene has been around for a long time. Starting out as intros for cracked software titles back as far as the Commodore 64 days it wasn’t long until tech heads were admiring the work of the coders putting together the jaw dropping technical displays pushing hardware to it’s limit more than the software they had obtained by less than legitimate means. The idea of a demo is to push hardware to produce effects that shouldn’t in all reason be possible while doing so with the least amount of code possible. 64k is seen as pretty roomy for a program, 16k is still enough room to swing a cat but the true hardcore programmers show their skills with a limit of 1k. That’s 1024 bytes. To put that in perspective this article is already 775 characters long at this point.
Barely one year after the announcement of Wave Google have decided to discontinue it’s development as a standalone product. Although there was a huge amount of hype behind it’s launch Google Wave was always plagued by the simplest of questions – what do I do with it ? The blog posting announcing it’s cancellation suggests that even Google themselves didn’t know what to do with it. The “future of email” is no more.
A recent mock up for a new design had a couple of us musing on the avenues for adding interesting discoverable content to websites. By interesting I of course mean silliness that may not be appreciated by the clientèle and so the thought ended there. There are however websites that have audiences that are perhaps more appreciative of easter eggs. A growing subset of these use the Konami Code first seen back in the heady days of the NES. Enter the elusive code on such a site and all manner of wackiness occurs. Try it on Facebook for instance. Clearly it’s a bit onerous to try this on every website you visit just on the off chance they have something for you but thankfully wikipedia steps up with this handy list – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Konami_code_websites
Want to add it to your website ? Konami-js provides an easy drop in solution http://www.snaptortoise.com/konami-js/ and there’s a jQuery plug-in for fans of that library http://www.gethifi.com/blog/konami-code-jquery-plugin-pointlessly-easy
P.s. It’s Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A