Open Source Projects Must be Bigger than the Languages They're Written In

When WordPress was first created, PHP was the obvious language to write it in. The language was pervasive, was all but ubiquitous on hosting servers and was considered a current language. That has changed. PHP is as ubiquitous as ever, but now showing its age. The next generation of developers aren’t flocking to PHP and most modern web apps are written in something else. So what is an open source project like WordPress to do? With a PHP codebase, you are effectively creating an interest barrier for many younger developers to contribute to your open source project. WordPress may be the biggest current example, but this conundrum is going to be a continual problem for other large open source projects. How do you keep an open source project modern and relevant when it’s built on top of an aging language?

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Prototyping the Future American City

Our cities and towns have long since fell behind the technologies citizens use daily. At some point, this gap will hold back advancement. How can we envision the future public space while actually making it a reality?

San Francisco is the center of the center of American innovation. The future of software, medicine and transportation is being created within a 60 mile square radius of the city. Based on that, it’s striking to notice at how old the city feels. Everything from its mass transit systems to its architecture seems dichotomous to the “everything-new” energy of the city.

San Francisco is an example of where society is outpacing its habitat. While San Francisco and other urban dwellings are experiencing this phenomenon now, it’s only a matter of time until every town and suburb goes through the same phenomenon. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how we got here. Making any significant infrastructural modification takes considerable time, money and will. The amount of disruption of daily life for its residents would be considerable. On the occasions where projects like these fail, it becomes harder for future projects. Continue reading “Prototyping the Future American City”

Flash, the iPad, He Said, She Said, the Frying Pan and the Fire

Even if the iPad is not a success, media producers are understanding the implications of using a technology that could be rendered lame almost overnight. It is as if in an instant the world saw what has been taking place for years; HTML/CSS/Javascript has been catching up to Flash – pushing it closer to being inessential. You cannot put the cat back into the bag. However, Apple is not to be applauded. They are upping the ante for how closed an experience can be for next-gen mobile devices. After the unveiling of the iPad we have heard sniping from both Adobe and Apple, however neither have the best interests of the public in mind. Continue reading “Flash, the iPad, He Said, She Said, the Frying Pan and the Fire”

What Annoys Me About Flash

Earlier this week, I asked readers what they disliked about Flash. The post spearheaded a large and helpful discussion on the various issues where Flash needs improvement. Many issues brought up were well know and expected, while others were things I had yet to consider. While I tried to respond to each person’s thoughts, I felt it may be interesting for me to lay out what does not excite me about the Flash technology as a whole. Let me preface this by stating, once again, that I make a living in Flash and there are many, many things that I like about it. I have spent time defending it – however, until some of these issues are addressed, I will continue to have my doubts.
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