HTML, CSS and JavaScript for Apps … why didn’t I think of that?

Recently I’ve been catching up with the the excellent new blog/podcast The Changelog which covers

what’s fresh and new in open source

Listening to [episode 0.0.8](http://thechangelog.com/post/334287138/episode-0-0-8-marshall-culpepper-from-appcelerator-titan) (you have to be a geek to appreciate the episode numbering!), I became aware of an interesting new application development platform called [Appcellerator Titanium](http://www.appcelerator.com/).
Inspired by products like Adobe Air and Microsoft Silverlight, Titanium leverages the open source WebKit web-browser engine (used in Safari, Chrome, iPhone and Android) to create a software development kit (SDK) that allows the development of native desktop and mobile networked applications (or apps). The unique selling point? The heart of the platform is a web browser, you can develop applications using standard HTML, CSS and JavaScript that will run, with native look and feel, on Windows, Unix, Mac OS/X, iPhone and Android. It’s one of those brilliant, obvious with hindsight, “why didn’t I think of that?” kind of ideas … and as a teacher of web applications technology ***very interesting*** indeed!
Now, can anyone think of suitable undergraduate projects to try this out on? Answers in the comments!
**The Small-print**
Like most modern web-based services, Titanium is available via a “[Freemium](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemium_business_model)” subscription model. You can sign up, create a project and get the generated starter code and development tools for free. Support plans are also available on monthly/yearly per developer contracts. There are also a collection of free and paid-for training videos available. [Video 101: Welcome to Titanium](http://vimeo.com/10024550), hosted on Vimeo, is worth a look.
**More good stuff**
For more breaking news on interesting open source projects see also [Explore GitHub](http://github.com/explore) and [Tail the Changelog](http://tail.thechangelog.com/). I’ll endeavor to highlight other interesting projects and podcasts here.

Pivot My Data

A couple of TED 2010 highlights that I stumbled on today. First Tim Berners-Lee reports on year one of his “More Data Now” campaign. Next I finally got around to watching Gary Flake on the data visualization features of Microsoft Livelabs Pivot (which I first saw reported on Swansea Yammer network a few weeks ago).

Try to find 30 minutes to watch all three videos then reflect like I did on what might be possible when Pivot and linked data colide!
It could be revolutionary – both for the citizen and for education!
Links:
– [Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web](http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_berners_lee_on_the_next_web.html) (TED2009)
– [Tim Berners-Lee: The year open data went worldwide](http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_berners_lee_the_year_open_data_went_worldwide.html) (TED2010)
– [Gary Flake: is Pivot a turning point for web exploration?](http://www.ted.com/talks/gary_flake_is_pivot_a_turning_point_for_web_exploration.html) (TED2010)
– [Making Data Public](http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/video/2010/jan/22/freedomofinformation-timbernerslee) (Video), Time Berners-Lee and Prof. Nigel Shadbolt at the launch of data.gov.uk. (The Guardian)
– [data.gov.uk](http://data.gov.uk/) – UK government data online
– Linked Data – [linkeddata.org](http://linkeddata.org/)