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The new Flash Player beta version is ready to download on the Adobe Lab web pages: Flash Player 9 Update 3 Beta 2. Most important: The support of the video codec H.264 and the audio codec AAC. Both belong to the best codecs in quality and efficiency on the market. And both belong to the MPEG-4 standard. Jon Dahl on Rail Spikes provides more background information on codecs and their advantages. The Adobe developer Tinic Uro gives more details on the codec implementation.
Attention should be paid to the Adobe announcement especially against the background, that there is still no confirmation on a Flash Player for the Apple iPhone. Youtube, which encoded their videos only in a Flash-video format, now started to encode new videos also with H.264 to serve the attractive target group of iPhone (and Apple-TV) users.
Maybe the pleasant step of Adobe is also a first sign that the wish of a Flash Player for the iPhone is eventually coming true. This would be great news – especially for innovative GUI- and interaction concepts.
We can be anxious what the future will serve us
Skype kept shtum about the cause of the massive breakdown of the Service infrastructure within the last days. They only emphesized that it was not a hacker attack. Now the company Skype sheds light on the reason: A patch of the Microsoft Windows operating system caused the breadown of the entire Skype system serving over 200 million registered customers worldwide. The Windows monoculture has some perfidies … also for us Mac and Linux users … but luckily everything is runnning back again.
The PDF-book of Dave Thomas and David Heinemeier Hansson has just been updated to Version 2007-5-6. It now covers the newest developments within the Rails development community. Especially the "observer" and "sessions" sections have been updated.
Although I can recommend the paper-version of the book … it’s really great for reading in the park … Dave and David really show with their PDF-version how to make innovative use of electronic books.
All standard e-books I bought before always made me angry afterwards: The rigid Acrobat-DRM treated my like a potential criminal. And the e-books had no extra features compared with the paper version – only the disadvantages of an e-book.
Dave and David used another approach with their second edition of "Agile Web Development with Rails": Mehr …
It really get’s hot within the Rails developer community. Joyent, the creator of Rails-web-based collaboration applications from California, is developing Slingshot: By using Slingshot you can deploy Rails applications as stand-alone apps on Mac OS X or Windows. The Rails apps can be used without the browser and in an offline environment. Back online the stand-alone Slingshot application and the online server based app can be synchronized.
The project is in an early stage – although it proves again that the Ruby-on-Rails community is pure innovation in these days. Slingshot is another argument for elegant coding with Ruby-on-Rails.
By the way, also Adobe is trying to merge the Web online and the Desktop offline world with their Apollo project. However they do not use Ruby-on-Rails but their Flash programming environment Flex.