Yahoo as desktop application: The next frontier?

Yahoo as desktop application: The next frontier?

Summary: Yahoo has launched a project called Sideline, a Twitter monitoring tool built on Adobe's AIR platform. The effort is notable for three primary reasons:Sideline shows how Yahoo can meld user interface and programming to create a multiplatform application.

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Yahoo has launched a project called Sideline, a Twitter monitoring tool built on Adobe's AIR platform. The effort is notable for three primary reasons:

  • Sideline shows how Yahoo can meld user interface and programming to create a multiplatform application. 
  • This approach could be a way to push Yahoo to desktops in the future. I'd gladly take parts of Yahoo Finance and just let them update in a desktop app.
  • Twitter's future business model most likely resides with analytic capabilities for businesses. However, Yahoo shows that it's quite possible that a third party can analyze and surface Twitter activity better than Twitter can. 

You won't find those three aforementioned items in Yahoo's post about Sideline. Sideline is really about the programming---a grand experiment in desktop applications and showing off the Yahoo user interface library. As a tool Sideline is pretty handy when it comes to monitoring Twitter use. Sideline is lurking heaven. However, you may want to change the update settings so it moves a little slower. 

Yahoo says:

Our team of front-end engineers are experts in JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and PHP but didn’t have a great deal of experience developing desktop applications. So the question became, how to maximize our existing skill-sets for desktop development? The answer for us was to utilize the Adobe AIR platform, which “lets developers use proven web technologies to build rich Internet applications that run outside the browser on multiple operating systems”. Since AIR supports HTML/JavaScript development (in addition to Flex and Flash), we could build our application on traditional web technologies, on top of YUI, and have it run on the three main desktop operating systems.

Fair enough, but if you connect the dots it's not a grand leap to picture Yahoo, Google and company increasingly playing around with desktop applications to become more intertwined in the day to day computing environment.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Hardware

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2 comments
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  • better yet...

    make it a native application and you won't have a resource hog.
    Linux Geek
  • Please, no!

    With ISP metering, we don't need more cloud, we need less. So I follow the logic of a desktop app. I don't see any value to me, but your mileage may vary.
    ThePrairiePrankster