Future of web sites – Big Expectations?

Just a quick thought I had:

I’m thinking of sites like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. Web 2.0/3.0, the semantic web.

These websites are created and developed by some extremely creative teams of people. Built on the foundations of many previous versions, inspired by web sites that came before them and developed around them and are working on constantly improving the user experience.

One aspect of Facebook that I highly praise is the automatic updating whenever a new message, status update, friend request, etc, comes through.

No more hitting F5/refreshing the webpage to find out if someone has messaged you back yet.


Will this sort of ‘On the fly’ updating be expected on the majority of the web sites created from here on out, based on our exposure to such high quality sites and applications? The web is very diverse, and so I doubt this sort of ‘push update’ will be expected on a page where it details history records that never change (static).

I’m just thinking over the implications of how new emerging web sites may have to come out ‘all guns blazing’ to meet up to the sky heights of those ever popular web sites we see so often that their features are a ‘norm’ if they wish to succeed in a user-driven market. This all depends on the users and how they perceive web sites should be accessed in the future.


This could be quite a challenge for a small development team, experienced or not, who have a very large hill to climb to reach the same platform. As always, technology, online and offline, is always developing and each new change, revolution, discovery or update is interesting to observe as it grows.

One thing I will want to see is the development of new websites trying to match the quality of those websites we visit on a daily basis, often without thinking of just how much time, effort, research and manpower has been invested in getting it to that point. Succeed, fail or improve on the model, above and beyond the expectations.


Animation Suite – Finished!


After just shy of 2 months (based on Release – Deadline), the turn in day of the Animation Suite came and went. I handed it in the day before, just to be certain that there would be no issues.

Thoughts on the project

I enjoyed the Animation Suite creation. Each section that we were either tasked to do or I challenged myself to do pushed me to learn something new, gain more experience with something I wasn’t clear on or help solidify those things that I am used to. There were some trivial bits and some challenging times. For the most part though, it was all really fun!

It was a good project to learn from and I feel I’ve grown from the process of taking it from start to completion.


So, did I learn anything else aside from more Java?

Definitely! For one, to start as early as possible. I started maybe 2 weeks after release. Mainly due to the Easter holidays and trying to find the time to program between family and friends. I did work a fair amount during the holidays, though the first week there wasn’t much time to code, there was a week before the holiday when I was still with my PC and could have made a good start.

While the time spent doing it earlier wouldn’t have affected me completing the full specification of the assignment brief, it would have given me the time to add even more extra features that I wanted to put in.

Another thing I have definitely learned is to plan ahead. For the most part, I knew where I was going. Especially for the features outlined in the assignment brief. When it came to additional features I added them as the ideas came to me. While the additional features add extra usability, they may have been able to be implemented far better would I have planned them into the design far ahead. By not planning ahead, I feel my GUI is not as clean or as intuitive as it should have been.




  • Create a simple image creation tool, to draw an image on a grid, save it and add it into a list of ‘frames’ for an animation.
  • Accommodate for a minimum of three colours, using the mouse left/right/click on colour to change between.
  • Basic load and save animations to disc in a particular format, as .txt files.
  • Play animations.

Extra Features:

  • Scroll through frames, previous and next, in the animation editor and player.
  • Change play back speed.
  • 36 colour palette.
  • 3 Different tool options: Pencil, Paint brush, Spill can.
  • Fill whole frame with particular colour.
  • Small preview images of all frames in the current animation.
  • Option to choose where to save/load the file from, with only .txt files visible and automatically appending .txt to the end of a file that does not already.
  • Option to load recently opened files.
  • Preferences: Display grid lines on/off. Change the way a new frame is created.
  • New Project options: Change the project dimensions and choose starting background colour.
  • Display to the user the current frame number, tool and colours ‘in-use’ on each mouse button.
  • ‘About’, detailing application.

Would add with more time:

  • Help Menu
  • Undo function
  • Export to GIF
  • Clean up GUI some more. (One thing I particularly feel that needed changing was ‘New Frame’. The only way a user can currently see how to do this is through the ‘Project’ menu or with a shortcut key. There should instead have been a visible button somewhere on the toolbar).
  • Ability to click on frame previews to jump directly to that frame.

A number of the features I would like to have added I know I am capable of. If I had used my time wisely in that first week, perhaps I may have been able to include one or two of them. (The button for ‘New Frame’ only occurred to me after my documentation. While possible to change, it would mean updating all documentation and perhaps delaying my submission closer to the deadline without time to be safe should an error in submission occur).


Once results have been release I may attempt to upload a copy of the Animation Suite here, as a download or an applet, for demonstration.