W3C Workshop on The Future of Off-line Web Applications

The W3C and Vodafone are hosting a Workshop on The Future of Off-line Web Applications on 5 November 2011, in Redwood City, California. According to the workshop website,

The goal of this workshop is to identify a clear path forward for innovation in the Open Web Platform related to offline Web application invocation and use.

As I’ve done for previous events, I’ve prepared a paper entitled “Misconceptions about W3C Widgets” (PDF, I know… I’ll publish it here in HTMLs when I get some time).

As I am on the program committee, it means I get to review papers. I’ve actually read all the papers that have come in thus far, and it looks like it’s going to be fun workshop. The other program committee members have been a bit slack, however. I’ve only seem papers from about 2 or 3 of them. I hope Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla submit something.

What usually happens after these workshops is that a new Working Group is established. This will probably either mean:

    • The death of W3C Widgets: Google and Moz will make a powerplay and dump in their own JSON based widget format on the w3c (Moz’s offer, Google’s offer).
    • Or,  the rebirth of W3C Widgets: Google and Moz will come to their senses and finally embrace the W3C widget format (unlikely, but here’s to hoping:)).

Web Actuators API

Having gone through the pain of trying to bust up Apple’s shitty patents around Widget Security, I learned that if you have a good idea, then you should put into the public record as quickly as possible (unless you intend to patent the idea, for fun and profit). It seems that the US patent office will grant a patent for just about anything, probably even a knife and fork. The state of the United States patent system truly is an embarrassment (for more info, thepublicdomain.org).

Idea: Web Actuators, an API for  Web Browser to allow control of physical output component, including, but not limited to LEDs, speaker, motors, or anything detectable by any human sense (sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing).

interface Actuator(){
   //details coming soon...
   //pulse width modulation
   void pwm(); 
}

This Actuators API would compliment a general purpose Web Sensors API: an API for detecting and reacting to events generated from reading “low level” sensor data (e.g., a flew sensor, a switch, a pressure sensor, a temperature gauge, etc…. any sensor that can take a reading).

Arduino + Java = error “Serial Port Already in Use”

If you try to run the Arduino IDE and the RXTX Java library on MacOS Lion and you are hitting a “Serial Port Already in Use” error,  try:

$ sudo mkdir /var/lock
$ sudo chmod 777 /var/lock

That should hopefully allow you to run them both (though only one at a time!)

If you want  interface your Arduino with the Java, see the Arduino documentation.