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ANGARAI, a company based in Prince George’s county, signed an MoU with CI to pursue opportunities in mobile and web applications. The MoU was signed during the signing of ‘Sister State Agreement’ between Andhra Pradesh and Maryland.

To read more:

The Hindu

The New Indian Express

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The technology market is buzzing with news about Windows 8 after Microsoft showcased it in the recently held developer conference. It sure looks promising. But what would motivate a user/company to upgrade to Windows 8 if they have recently invested in Windows 7.

  • UI experience: Windows 8 has embraced Metro language to the core. It is similar to the Windows Phone 7 interface. In Windows 8, live tiles are used to display the required information from the start. It is almost like the gadgets that are displayed in desktop sidebar. Tiles are user interface elements replacing icons. They can be pinned/unpinned in the Start Screen. Windows 8 Metro will be powered by IE 10. The Metro interface is powered by Trident rendering engine and Chakra JavaScript engine from IE 10. Three instances of IE10 will be running: Metro and apps, Metro style IE 10 and desktop IE 10.
  • Faster boot: This is going to enable the computer to launch the screen within seconds of pushing the power button.
  • Windows Explorer: In Windows 8, user can copy, move, rename and delete files especially large groups of large files faster and with better control. Multiple conflicts can be seen in a single box. Menu and toolbars have been replaced in ribbon layouts. Contextual tabs help the user in finding the tools based on the task being performed.
  • Multitasking: Although multiple applications may be running simultaneously only those displayed on the screen should draw power. The rest are in freeze-dried state not drawing any processing power unless they are made active again.
  • Task Manager: The task manager is redesigned to provide more insight on the processing power and the power used by the apps.
  • Windows Store: Metro apps will be made available only through Windows Store. The store is similar to Mac App Store.
  • Anti-Virus: Windows Defender would be an anti-virus suite. It will be automatically turned off on installing other anti-virus software.

These are some basic features which I found interesting after reading through different features of Windows 8. Windows 8 is supposedly going to work well with touchscreen as well mouse and keyboard. The features are leaning towards touch enabled computers mainly. To learn about Windows 8 features terminology you can click here. References for this post have been taken from cio.com.au.

~ Ramya

Windows Phone 7 is shipped on devices that meet Microsoft’s design guidelines. Microsoft enforces specific requirements around the types and locations of buttons and logos, and there are rules requiring the single screen resolution supported by Windows Phone 7.

The user interface of WP7 is different. Rather than icons, WP7 uses start page with tiles that can indicate status like the number of emails, facebook notifications etc with easy access to launching the application. Once launched from tiles or the list of applications, non-game applications appear quite visibly different from other platforms in their design, which uses side scrolling design metaphor intended to organize information into unique views or tasks on individual pages.

Similar to iOS, Microsoft approves applications before they can be downloaded. WP7 does not support multi tasking. It also offers limited user customization options.

Reference: Redmond mag

Microsoft has been reaching out to iPhone application developers to develop their existing applications to work on Windows Phone 7. Microsoft has released an API mapping tool for iPhone/iOS to Windows Phone 7. With the tool, iPhone developers find out the equivalent classes, methods and notification events for the iOS API calls. A developer can search a given iOS API call and find the equivalent WP7 along with C# sample codes and API documentations for both platforms. The code samples allow developers to quickly migrate short blobs of iOS code to the equivalent C# code.

The following tool shows the functionality mapping between iPhone and Windows Phone 7:

Functionality

iPhone / iOS

Windows Phone 7

Application UI and phone integration Cocoa touch WP7 framework, Silverlight controls
Graphics and animation Media layer XNA for games

Silverlight media and graphics for others

Base services, Networking, XML, storage Core services layer Common base library

iOS API’s can be broadly classified into the following categories:

  • Audio / video
  • Data management
  • Graphics / animation
  • Network / internet
  • Performance
  • Security
  • User interface

API tool currently maps data management, network/internet and user interface categories. The API tool provided by Microsoft can be accessed from here.

~ Ramya

Last month, Microsoft release version 9 of Internet Explorer browser. The release has definite implications for programmers focusing on the use of HTML5. HTML5 makes it easier to use multimedia and construct applications that run in the browser with the expectation increasing about applications running inside the browser. The browser will function as the GUI to cloud hosted apps.

Why is HTML5 important for browsers?

For running web applications in the pre HTML5 days there were two alternatives:

  • Use JavaScript, which eventually slowed down the applications
  • Install browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash. Users might be willing to download a plug-in from Adobe, Google or Microsoft but they definitely would not be willing to download a plug-in for every app running the browser.

HTML5 changed this by specifying the range of capabilities that the browser must support including video, drawring, text manipulation and offline storage.

Internet Explorer is still the dominant browser (Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Browser Market Share) in the market and any HTML 5 development needs to be tested in the IE browser. Trident 5.0, the rendering engine of IE can render much of HTML5, CSS 3.0 and Scalar Vector Graphics (SVG). SVG uses XML to specify a drawing of text. It relies entirely on the browser to take the data elements and render them as lines, curves, colors and shapes. You can check the new web tools in IE 9 for developers here.

Other posts related to HTML5

~ Ramya

Reference: Information Week - April Edition M-Dev

HTML 5, the latest version of HTML is actually an umbrella term that envelopes CSS, JavaScript and HTML. HTML is used for creating web applications and the new version definitely has several features to create better web applications that work well with all kinds of computers. HTML5 has gained significant importance due to its ability to provide users with richer web applications and improved usability in mobile devices.

To summarize the key features that HTML5 with respect to mobile devices:

  • Hybrid web applications – There are several mobile frameworks essentially HTML5 app platforms that allows the developer to author native applications with web technologies and get access to API’s and different app stores. This means that an Android user can download a HTML5 application and access it like a native Android application.
  • Offline web application support – AppCache and Database in HTML5 has made local storage more powerful. The developer can get the web app to cache content on the device that accesses it.
  • Web storage – Web Storage is a web application software method for storing data in a web browser. Web storage supports persistent data storage similar to cookies. HTML5 provides a client side method for saving session information.
  • Background computation power – When performing advanced load-heavy operations in a web browser, both the web page it is run in as well as the web browser UI becomes unresponsive till it’s finished. HTML5’s ‘Web Workers’ spawn processes that work in the background without interrupting the user interface and its response level.
  • Native device features – WAC is working with W3C, is developing libraries that allow the developer to access native camera capabilities. WAC API’s allows the developer to get latitude without worrying about the GPS capabilities of the device. Currently this works only for packaged downloadable apps but it is expected to soon work in mobile browser apps. The geolocation API lets you share your location with trusted web sites. The latitude and longitude are available to JavaScript on the page, which in turn can send it back to the remote web server and do fancy location-aware things like finding local businesses or showing your location on a map.
  • Codec neutral – HTML5 video is an element introduced in the HTML5 draft specification for the purpose of playing videos. The current HTML5 draft specification does not specify which video formats browsers should support in the video tag. User agents are free to support any video formats they feel are appropriate.
  • CSS3 selectors – CSS3 selectors provide new, more powerful ways to select nodes using CSS. This helps when styling complex documents or making CSS that can apply to a document as its structure changes.
  • 2D canvas animation – HTML5 allows 2D drawing, graphics and animations. Cross platform games become possible in mobile browsers.

There are many more features but I have listed some of the features that are being used widely.

~ Ramya

(Reference: gomonews.com)

In this post I am going to focus on the common IP version dependencies that exist in application. (You can read the previous post here).  The following points summarize the common IP version dependencies:

  • Presentation format for an IP address: IPv4 and IPv6 do not use the same presentation format.  IPv4 (32 bit) uses a dot (.) to separate the four octets written in decimal notation, and IPv6 (128 bit) uses a colon (:) to separate each pair of octets written in hexadecimal notation. The string buffers used to hold the addresses should be changed to accommodate IPv6 addresses.
  • Transport Layer API: Communication applications often include a transport module that establishes communications.  Usually this module manages everything related to communications and uses a transport-layer API, typically as a network library. Generic data structures which can store any address family needs to be used. Protocol independent API’s should be used for communication.
  • Name and Address resolution: With IPv6, there are two new basic resolution functions, getaddrinfo() and getnameinfo().  The first returns a list of all configured IP addresses for a hostname. These queries can be constrained to one protocol family; for instance, only IPv4 or only IPv6 addresses.  The second function returns the hostname associated to an IP address. The application should try out each of these returned IP addresses till the communication with the remote host succeeds.
  • IP Address selection: Unlike the IPv4 model, IPv6 promotes the configuration of multiple IP addresses per node, however, applications only use a destination/source pair for a communication.  Unless applications have a specific reason to select any particular destination address, they should try each element in the list until the communication succeeds.
  • DNS does not indicate which IP version will be used: The DNS name resolution issue related to application transition is that by only doing a DNS name lookup a client application cannot be certain of the version of the peer application.
  • Multi cast applications: When multicast facilities are used some changes must be carried out to support IPv6.  Applications must change the IPv4 multicast addresses to IPv6 ones and the socket configuration options must be changed.

(Source: IETF RFC 4038)

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