June 09, 2010

Help a brother out?

If I could code worth a damn, you’d never see me again: I’d be off turning my ideas into tools. I can’t, though, so I try to hijack the brains of smart people. And now I’d like to hijack your brain, if you’re up for it.

I’ve long advocated that complex apps let you take notes right in them. For example, when working in Photoshop, you learn something useful. Jot it down in a panel. Period; done and done.

Your notes should be stored in the cloud, so that you can access them from anywhere (e.g. via your friend’s copy of Photoshop, or via a Web browser). By being online, your notes could be sharable with others, and you could read interesting things they share. (See ancient mockup.)

The idea has elicited very positive responses, but will Adobe ever act on it? I don’t know, but I long ago stopped holding my breath. That’s where you could come in.

Photoshop & other CS5 apps now embed WebKit alongside the Flash Player. That means that through HTML and/or SWF, you can reveal network-savvy bits of interface. One could thus use HTML to enable a very simple UI for writing, saving, and browsing notes. I have the (naive?) sense that many developers could bust this stuff out in their sleep.

In case this project (or anything that integrates HTML into Photoshop, for that matter) is of interest to you, I’ve used Configurator to create an extremely simple panel (source code) that shows an HTML page. You can download Configurator 2.0, open the project, swap out the URL and panel name, and then export. That’s it: your HTML content is now integrated into Photoshop. All the rest happens on the server side. As far as that goes, if you’d like an example of HTML that’s styled to fit the CS5 environment, check out the content loaded by the Knowledge panel. (Here’s the stylesheet.)

Anyway, it’s just an idea. At least the door is now open to doing powerful things much more easily. If you’d like to discuss the concept, please
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11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [23]

(rt) Type: Never Gonna Give You Up edition

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