Monday, April 11, 2011

IBM getting into the HTML5 authoring game with open source Maqetta - IBM Launches Maqetta HTML5 Tool as Open-Source Answer to Flash, Silverlight

IBM announced Maqetta, an HTML5 authoring tool for building desktop and mobile user interfaces, and also announced the contribution of the open-source technology to the Dojo Foundation.

LAS VEGAS – At the IBM Impact 2011 conference here, IBM announced both Maqetta as well as the open source contribution of its Maqetta HTML5 visual authoring tool to the Dojo Foundation.

Maqetta is an open source project that provides WYSIWYG visual authoring of HTML5 user interfaces using drag and drop assembly, and supports both desktop and mobile user interfaces. The Maqetta application itself is authored in HTML, and therefore runs in the browser without requiring additional plug-ins or downloads. Maqetta is available under a commercial-friendly open source license. Ands users can download the source code and install it on their own server, customize the code to fit their needs and contribute improvements to the open source project.

IBM officials said HTML5 is an umbrella term for dozens of new features that ship in modern browsers (desktop and mobile) that allow rich user interfaces, graphics, multimedia and fast performance using open standards. HTML5 ships in the latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari, and on modern smartphones, including iPhone, Android, RIM BlackBerry and Windows 7 Mobile.


< id="snark">Okay, never heard of "Windows 7 Mobile" and Windows Phone 7 won't be getting HTML5 support for a bit yet... </>


The Maqetta application itself is authored in HTML5/Ajax, and therefore runs in the browser without requiring additional plug-ins or downloads. Maqetta features include:

  • a WYSIWYG visual page editor for drawing out user interfaces

  • drag/drop mobile UI authoring within an exact-dimension device silhouette, such as the silhouette of an iPhone

  • simultaneous editing in either design or source views

  • deep support for CSS styling (the applications includes a full CSS parser/modeler)

  • a mechanism for organizing a UI prototype into a series of "application states" (aka "screens" or "panels") which allows a UI design to define interactivity without programming

  • a web-based review and commenting feature where the author can submit a live UI mockup for review by his team members

  • a "wireframing" feature that allows UI designers to create UI proposals that have a hand-drawn look

  • a theme editor for customizing the visual styling of a collection of widgets

  • export options that allow for smooth hand-off of the UI mockups into leading developer tools such as Eclipse

  • Maqetta's code base has a toolkit-independent architecture that allows for plugging in arbitrary widget libraries and CSS themes

The Preview 1 release of the Maqetta application is available for the community to use for free at the open source project's Web site, Alternatively, users can download builds that they can install on their own servers.



For what ever its worth, this currently only seems to run in Chrome and Firefox (v4 in my case). With IE9 I can't seem to get past the first page (for example IE isn't happy with the initial dialogs, like New File Dialog, etc... maybe a security thing? I tried turning off pop-ups, etc, but no joy...Oh well, stuff like this is expected for betas/previews...)

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