As usual this week in Friday Four, I hand-select four topics from around the Net that will elicit developers' keen attention.
Appcelerator signs 10 new partners
The mobile framework company held its second CODESTRONG conference and announced 10 major new partners. These add to the stable of 300 or so on its Open Mobile Marketplace, all of which provide capabilities that developers using of Appcelerator's Titanium service can build into cross-platform mobile apps.
Among the new partners are AT&T (sponsor of this site), OneTok, and WeLink. AT&T's APIs will give developers access to speech-to-text transcription, in-app messaging, and other telephony services. OneTok will provide its natural-language understanding platform so developers can implement voice control of their apps. WeLink offers a suite of SDKs to let apps plug into and play with social services.
Appcelerator claims to have 350,000 developers, who have fielded 50,000 apps on the platform to date.
Rob Pike's vision
Today's computing environment has a lot of power and storage at the edges. While the cloud is claiming more of our storage and CPU cycles over time, many of us walk around with the computing power of a Cray-2 in our backpacks (the iPad 2 is about at that level). Rob Pike, ex-Bell Labs employee, current Googler, and general Unix god, has a different vision, one that was forged in his days at AT&T. He wants the environment to provide the computing power and to hold the state. "I want no local storage anywhere near me other than maybe caches," he says. "No disks, no state, my world entirely in the network." Pike allows as how he "would allow the setup to force me to carry a computer screen around, as long as it rolled up and fit inside something the size of a pen and had touch input when unrolled."
20 online coding tools
.NET Magazine is running a fine roundup of tools for online coding and sharing. The reviewer, Mark Penfold, writes opinionated, 100- to 200-word characterizations of each of the 20 tools. He urges you to dig in and try out the fiddles, the pens, and the almost-IDEs not just for the collaboration, but also for the inspiration they provide. "[N]ot... everyone is evolving towards becoming an IDE," Penfold notes. "Each site has taken a different spin on what the Web can offer."
92 GB of secure, redundant storage, for free
This is one clever hack. The anonymous proprietor of BitCartel.com has tweaked the open-source Tahoe-LAFS project to turn a collection of free online storage offerings into a single, secure, 92-GB volume. He calls it BRIC, for Bunch of Redundant Independent Clouds. The distributed, encrypted storage system is striped across the free storage of Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft Skydrive, Spideroak, and five others. Actually using the storage system is rather command-line heavy, but intrepid developers comfortable on Linux should have little to fear.
The Friday Four gives a hat tip each week to Ron Miller, whose collection of five links for developers and IT pros runs weekly on Ness.com.