This is Packet.
This is Denby.
I mention in the video that it’ll end up being “like TweetDeck”. I breezed past that a tad too quickly — it’s definitely not going to be an HTML5 clone of TweetDeck! (Turns out they’re working on one of those already.)
Instead, it will take inspiration from the multi-column approach, but hopefully improve the user experience on a number of levels:
- It’ll be 100% Free Software / Open Source… and one hopes, peer produced.
- No Adobe AIR, and thus, no vicious memory and CPU abuse! Seriously:
FirefoxTweetDeck is wasting more CPU time sitting “idle” than Chromium and node.js are using to run Denby. Oh, and node.js is 12MB resident.
- It can work a bit like a desktop app… use the “web page as application” tool your browser provides. Firefox has Prism, Chromium has… a menu item. Denby will support things like desktop notifications, audio bleeps, drag-n-drop (for media uploads), inline display of media, etc.
- Run local or hosted. Once I’m happy with the user experience, I’ll start thinking about cool things the server could do while you’re not connected to it! For now, it only maintains the connection to Twitter while a client is connected.
- I want to build delicious multiple account support, without complicating the single account experience. It’ll merge streams, detect the context you’re acting upon (click reply and you’ll be replying from the appropriate account), etc.
Please comment if you have any thoughts or suggestions… crimes committed by other Twitter clients, ideas for lovely web/desktop integration, and so on. Thanks!
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Note that I’ve already had questions about StatusNet and identi.ca support. Thus far, they don’t have user streams, which was one of the main reasons behind building Denby. That said, it is entirely possible for the Denby server to poll the REST API (given that it already talks to Twitter’s) and send the results down the WebSockets tube… so, we’ll see.
Hmm. Perhaps this is the best way to build a user streams API for StatusNet anyway? The web app could send JSON messages to node.js, which could relay them to the intended users… via multiple protocols! Long-running HTTP, WebSockets, whatever. If anyone is inspired to do this, StatusNet could have a bi-directional WebSockets API before Twitter does!
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Update: I made another quick video, showing a few improvements (including update bleeps — no chicken noises as yet), Denby in Firefox’s Prism environment, and sharing some thoughts about the web as a development platform. Enjoy!