If you missed Part 1 of my interview with Wes Carr, Co-Founder of Gtalkr yesterday, it’s located here. Today Wes and I talk about the new features of Gtalkr and where he sees Flash and Flex going in the future
6) How do you see Flash in terms of the wider Web 2.0 community, and the web platform?
I really didn’t know how the Web 2.0 community would view Gtalkr, since it was all Flash based. Then I took a look at the tags we’re getting on Del.icio.us. “web2.0″ is the second most popular tag next to “google” for Gtalkr. So I would say they are definitely embracing Flash as being apart of the Web 2.0 movement.
I think you’ll start to see greater use of Flash in the near future. Applications like Yahoo Maps, Goowy, and Gtalkr show that Flash is the future of building on the web platform. And now with Flex2 and Flash 8.5, hardcore developers can really sink their teeth into Flash as a serious application platform. The stuff is just amazing
In may ways I think you’ll start to see a bit more innovation from upcoming Flash based applications. AJAX is being pushed too some great limits for what should be relatively simple features. By the time the W3C makes new additions and all the browsers decide to implement them, with their own little quirks of course, Flash will be way ahead again.
It should be interesting to see how it evolves!
7) One of the cool things about Gtalkr is that it works seamlessly with YouTube, which uses Flash Video and the Flash version of the Flickr slideshow. What other kinds of Flash apps would you like to see?
I’d like to see Flash apps that bring you more desktop like functionality to the web, just like Gtalkr does with IM. One application in particular that I would like to see is an awesome web-based Calendar. It’s a pretty though nut to crack as you can tell by the recent and unimpressive AJAX attempts. Flash is already being used to do some cool things with web-services like you mentioned. That’s a real area of interest for us, lots of possibilities!
8) Now you recently announced a Gtalkr extension API that will allow people to write and embed Flash and Flex applications into Gtalkr. What kinds of things are you hoping to see people create?
Hehe, I would like to see developers creating all the enhancements we get asked for That’s one of the main reasons we developed the Gtalkr API, so you could make it do what you want, without having to wait for us to catch up
But we also hope people will start experimenting with the network aspects of the API. I think there are some really cool extensions that can leverage your contacts and presence. One extension I’m hoping to build pretty soon is an addition to the Yahoo Maps extension that shows you where all your online contacts are at the moment.
9) What would you like to see from the next generation of Flash, and have you checked out the Flex 2 beta?
I have a long list, but the most important thing I would like to see is better text-interaction and HTML support. Content is king and Flash isn’t catering very well to it right now. You can’t tell when users are moused over a link for example and it’s difficult to integrate things like buttons and images with text. Inline image and movieclip support in textfields would be huge! I would also like to see some of the browser integration issues get resolved. Things like key events, scrolling, and focusing are still a bit clunky. One thing most Flash developers probably don’t use very much is LocalConnection. We use it to communicate with the Gtalkr Notifier and while it works pretty well. LC is still pretty clunky though and we would love to see a boost there, like synchronous and bi-directional support. LC can do some cool stuff, I would encourage developers to play around with it more if you haven’t already.
I’ve definitely checked out Flex2 beta and it rocks. My list was significantly shortened when that came out Things like being able to dynamically re-parent movieclips are going to result in much cooler interfaces and I’m sure we are all happy with addition of method closers. Building Flex Builder on top of Eclipse was also a great move for Macromedia and is very welcome by this developer!
10) 2 years from now. Where’s the web? Where’s Gtalkr? Where’s Flash?
Well I’m sure whatever I say, I’ll probably be way off I’ll tackle these one at a time.
The Web: I think you’re going to see people relying less and less on their desktop and getting more things done through a browser. You’re going to see a large concentration on user centric application, by which I mean applications that strive to personalized to your needs and provide new functionality around your social network. Social networking is in the midst of a resurgence, but it’s going to much more useful and interesting this time around. You’ll also see the term “Web 2.0″ swapped out for “Next Gen Web”
Gtalkr: Gtalkr is all about making it easier for you to interact with your friends and the wide variety services you belong to. We want Gtalkr to be your hub for sharing what you find interesting and giving your friends access to your complete web persona. We have a lot of ideas around features that involve your interaction with your friends and different web services which I unfortunately can’t comment on with any detail right now. Of course we will also continue to expand the number of services with which Gtalkr integrates and in the near term, you’re going to see AIM support, file transfer, and VoIP functionality.
Flash: I think Flex2 beta is setting the stage for what Flash will be like in the next 2 years. Flash is really starting to mature, so I doubt you’ll see a leap like you saw between Flash 5 and 6 for example. But while Flash itself may not change too much, how people use it definitely will. I think you’ll start to see other big players experiment heavily with Flex and hopefully we’ll see a critical mass of Flex developers within 2 years.
This interview was blast to do, so a big thank you to Wes for taking the time to answer my questions. Wes is usually posting something on the Gtalkr Blog and I know he has some very cool stuff planned in the next year, so keep an eye on it.Tweet