OS X Atmosphere Concept done with Flickr and clever scripting

OSX Atmosphere Concept

I wish I had a XML desktop. Why? Well I really want to do some of things which can be easily done online, with my desktop machine too. Kind of application development using web technologies. Yes it would be slower that writing in C++ or something like that, but it would mean more people could write stuff for there machines. So whats prompted this observation? Well I'm already thinking about this for my Xtech Proposal (which I should be working on instead of blogging) plus I saw the OSX atmosphere concept on electro plankton just recently.

So what I'm thinking is this is kind of possible using a weather feed or api and Flickr pictures. Obviously I've not seen the application running but the general idea of what the wather is like outside on your desktop is very achiveable. RSS Screensavers currently are pretty lame, for example my current favorate displays the headlines and a random picture from the local machine. But it will also display markup as actual non escaped markup, yeah sucks when you get a feed with pictures. You would have thought it would be clever enough to display that picture or something. I mean imagine subscribing to a feed like engadget or gizmodo which are heavy with high quality images. The experience would be a lot different.

But back to the XML desktop idea, yes Vista with XAML looks/sounds like what I'm after but knowing Microsoft its not going to live up to the promises. Geez this is certainly geting close to my proposal but wouldn't it be great to have read only (at the moment) XML feeds for commonly used APIs on your own machine? Its kind of like a widget engine and how they make common desktop api's available for use. Well extend that out so you don't have to build just widgets. I know for a fact this has security and privicy implications but say we could find a way through those very serious concerns? Wouldn't that be fantastic?

Update: It looks Adobe'e Apollo could be the solution to this? Thanks Gareth for the heads up on this. I started think about Apollo a lot more while reading the PDF and thought of the parallels between it, Xulrunner and a widget engine. And came up with this matrix.

Internet Application matrix

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.