disek disek

Niner since 2005


  • Manuel Clement and others - Introducing Sparkle

    Hi, I'm a Mac person, and part time OSX developer and I was totally blown out of the water watching this Sparkle presentation. There really has never been a tool like this on any platform ever. Of course, being a Mac person, I suppose I should show some skepticism at this point and make some unknowledgeable comments about how Microsoft will mess it up or something, but I don't really have any, apart from the fact that This tool is going to kill a lot of Adobe and Macromedia's business in years to come, especially when Acrylic is brought up to speed to compete against Illustrator and Microsoft brings out a Bitmap/Image editor to compete with Photoshop. Flash and Director are going to have a hard time competing with projects made with Sparkle, their only saving grace being that they are cross platform and Sparkle is Windows only, but Sparkle offer deep and incredibly easy integration with the OS and data sources which they cannot easily match. I expect that a lot of smallish apps will appear in the next few years made with Sparkle and that many of them will be utter junk in the beginning as developers with no eye for design or usability throw in gross and unwieldy 3D elements all over the place simply because they can, very much like the beginning web years were famous for embedded MIDI songs and Marquee tags and terrible graphics. But with time Sparkle will find its uses in making subtle 2.5D interfaces where the added feature of depth helps usability. To be honest I think it was only a matter of time before Microsoft started taking on the graphics and design market and I think Microsoft has both the talent and the resources to make Adobe really have to fight hard to maintain their market share, especially since so much design these days is for the web and the Expression tool will make web design much easier than it has been. I think the only real conspiracy I, as the token Mac devil here, can come up with is that the ability of XAML apps to be launched directly from the browser reminds me of one of Robert Cringley's more absurd theories that Microsoft will use XAML to try and kill html by subversion. Obviously, however, that isn't going to happen. Websites will be around for a long time to come and not everyone is going to go to the trouble of making XAML apps (even if they are a factor of magnitude easier to make with Sparkle than with html) if they also make a web application. It's very much like Flash in that regard in that Flash never became a major player in web apps, despite having all the possibilities of data bindings etc, because most large sites have to consider the html audience as well and wouldn't have the time or budget to make both html and Flash and went for the lowest common denominator. What I do think XAML apps, made with Sparkle or with VS will do, is do what Sun with Java WebStart never did, get easily downloadable web apps done right. I congratulate Microsoft on an excellent product with Windows Vista and tools like Sparkle based on Avalon, and hope that this spurs Apple to get off their behinds and to introduce similar technologies for Mac OSX. I believe that Mac OSX contributed to Microsoft innovating with Vista, in that Microsoft almost redid the entire Vista Experience to compete with OSX and I hope that Apple will do the same because of Avalon. After all, competition is good for all of us. P.S. Sorry about the formatting. It seems like Mac line breaks are not recognised and I wouldn't know how to do a CRLF manually. Big Smile