Today’s “Hello World”

I watched part of Microsoft demos yesterday, and realized something that had been brewing for awhile… we saw it a few years ago with “RIA” demos, and the spread of “Experience Matters”, but now it’s coming down to a more granular level.

It was at the “spinning postcards” demo, which Apple had worked the week before in its 3D CSS extensions * … in similar vein to the JavaScript homage to Papervision3D “cloth” demos of the week before, and a whole bunch of projects before that.

Innovative Flash work is the new standard to which other technologies aspire. Gifted people create intriguing examples to take advantage of new technology, and then these intriguing examples are the role models for others to work. “Can I code *that*!?” is the driving question.

No big deal, and we all had an awareness of it already. But it’s getting more clearly defined these days… today’s Flash grooviness becomes tomorrow’s “Hello World”.

* re: Apple’s “3D CSS”, WTF is up with putting “3D” libraries into a spec about styling? That’s one of the worst examples yet of proprietary extensions to what should be sensible and implementable standards… why not call it something other than “Cascading Style Sheets”, which is ostensibly about mediating styling options between creator choices and user choices? Only reason I see that Apple calls it “3D CSS” is that they hope to ride coat-tails in on a “standard”, get some opensource blessing for Apple’s proprietary “Safari” runtime. I hope someone can show me a way this makes sense, but right now, “3D in CSS” just seems sick, sick, sick.

5 Responses to Today’s “Hello World”

  1. senocular says:

    Some people said the same thing about Flash 8 (or even before) and Java. A lot of what Flash 8 introduced in terms of bitmap effects, people had already done and been playing with in Java years before. And Flash still hasn’t caught up to Java, if it even ever will (I would think not). Is everyone really catching up to Java in terms of functionality? Is the only reason it seems like they’re chasing Flash due to the tooling Adobe provides that makes it a much more approachable development platform?
    As for CSS, what you’re seeing there is the expansion of “Presentation” bucket it’s been thrown into. HTML is for content, JavaScript is for Behavior, and CSS is for presentation. And isn’t 3D just another style? Styles currently include transformations such as position and size. 3D is just another extension of that – an alternate way to present your content. These transformations also cascade through parent hierarchies not unlike other visual styles.
    What scares me most is the amount of change and variation we’re seeing in our web technology stack and how most browsers can’t even correctly implement what’s out there now. 3D in CSS? What a great idea! I think my browser just caught on fire.

  2. Mike Britton says:

    Apple is the new Microsoft. I love how everyone c-blocks technologies with their proprietary stuff, all in the guise of advancing open standards.

  3. foresmac says:

    John,
    Apple does not call it “3D CSS.” They call it CSS Transforms. I referred specifically to the transforms that work in three-dimensions as 3D CSS Transforms since it is a subset of the transforms that currently is only enabled in MobileSafari—though the abilities are there in WebKit.
    The CSS Tranforms are visual transforms applied to DOM elements, and frankly seems disingenuous to say it has nothing to do with style. Those DOM elements exist without the style… they just might not look as cool.
    The amazing thing to me, however, is changing these transforms over time results in some amazing animation effects. Whether you like it or not (clearly you do not), it’s impressive technology that doesn’t require learning Flash and some add-on library that enables 3D graphics within it. And it runs on my iPhone… Flash doesn’t.

  4. foresmac says:

    Also, it’s worth noting that these 3D demos are not new… I recently discovered them when Apple redesigned its web developer info area. Another developer told me he was working on some stuff to really push the limits and see what it could be used for, and I was surprised no one was really talking about it.
    CSS Transforms as a publicly discussed topic go back as far as Oct 2007, and the 3D transforms go back at least as far as iPhone OS 2.0.

  5. yoh, I’m sure the Flash/Flex use of CSS is not sick sick sick, even though it only supports a fraction of CSS, plus of course the new adobe features that while a boon to the developer, the user never gets to see.
    The pot is calling the kettle black.
    [jd sez: Please read it again. 😉 ]