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November 02, 2005

Windows Live is out

So Windows Live has been introduced, Scott and
are good places to start for detailed info.

There's a lot to digest there, but the part that's got my attention is really Scott's Atlas framework. I'm late to the party on this one since I missed PDC this year. The idea that I can make a small chunk of DHTML/JS and wrap with with a small bit of xml, then others can use the component I've created without touching any source code is awesome. The chunk can then be pulled into sites like live.com that use the Atlas Framework. It's like konfabulator widgets for the web. When you look at what he's designed it really makes existing blog badges seem clunky. This idea of cutting and pasting a chunk of JS into my blog template just seems ridiculous now.

Atlas enabled sites grab the xml descriptor for the JS "gadget" and then bootstrap the JS/DHTML into the current page. They framework explicitely asks the user if they really want to do this, and then you are done. If you go to microsoftgadgets.com and add something like MSN Virtual Earth to your live.com homepage, you start to get that he's designed something really fantastic. There are some useability issues around the live.com and start.com sites themselves, but those can easily be worked through.

The framework really enables MSN to do what a lot of us want, which is to allow developers to create web components that non-programmers can actually reuse and mashup. That's the key part for me, users only need to know how to drag and drop to start remixing gadgets and customizing their UI. Developer's on the other hand can just focus solely on the functionality they want to deliver in the gadget itself.

MSN is using Atlas in all of it's next-gen offerings, so it's pretty easy to imagine what kind of user experience they'll be creating for their bloggers soon.

Cool stuff...

Posted by edward at November 2, 2005 12:20 AM