Various authors, Nov 30, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Yiibu has been mentioned in the last few days by a number of commentators (for example, here), and it's interesting enough to pass on. Essentially, the idea behind Yiibu is that small content applications (called 'widgets') can be created and shared through RSS under a Creative Commons license. These widgets may be played not only on your computer, but also on your iPod, PSP or smart phone - they are, after all, nothing more than collections of JPGs with a viewer. I analysed one of the widgets, which is created using an authoring environment called OpenLaszlo, which essentially takes a bunch of resources and combines them into a single package viewable in (say) Flash; what Yiibu does is to combine the Flash with the raw resources and present it as a downladable zip package. What would it take, I wonder, to substitute a simple Javascript viewer instead of Flash? Then I could create a new widget just by editing the XML (though possible at the cost of rendering it viewable only using web browsers), something I can't do with Yuiibi (I tried).
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