Richard Kilmer, Founder, InfoEther, Inc.
Digital independence is a desire of many computer users today. Access to your information from anywhere is becoming not just a desire, but a requirement. Most solutions to this problem currently revolve around creating web-based applications and off-loading your information into that application. It's obvious why, with the ability to use the application without installing software on your PC, and then being able to access that application from any computer, the benefits are compelling. One issue with web-based applications is the sacrifice of high interactivity found with traditional desktop applications. Another issue is privacy. There are many applications on your PC whose information you don't necessarily want to host on the Web.
About a year ago, InfoEther set off to build a new type of application that leveraged traditional web-based technologies to achieve transparent access to information without sacrificing interactivity or privacy. The application uses a highly interactive Flash-based user interface and a network-based service to store and manage that information written in the Ruby programming language. Sounds traditional, but this application is housed completely on a USB thumb drive. We named it "indi," and with a simple insertion of the indi drive into a PC running Mac OS X, Windows--even Linux--and the indi environment is presented.
This talk focuses on the indi architecture, design, and the benefits of running on a PC. Kilmer's presentation also discusses the choice of Flash and Ruby, and the pieces of the development that have been open sourced along the way, including ActionStep, a port of the OpenStep Application Kit to Flash, Revolution, a Ruby API for Evolution on Linux, and many others. Building a cross-platform client-server architecture that you can carry in your hand sounds powerful and that power may well deliver on the vision of digital independence.
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