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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tools for mashups

I will be reporting from the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, starting Oct 17. Today it was announced that the event will use the Popfly Mashup Aggregator to give the participants a consolidated view of what’s going on using popular internet services like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

Popfly, still in a private alpha, is designed to allow non-professional programmers and hobbyists to build mash-ups, gadgets, Web sites and applications using pre-built “blocks.”

The interactive design surface enables you to drag and drop these “blocks” and connect them together to build your own application. As of now, there are 40 of these Web-programming blocks from which they can choose, including Flickr, Windows Live Spaces, Virtual Earth and news service blocks. Popfly users can tie together these data-source, transformation and display blocks to create their own customized mash-ups.

I like the explanation to the name “Popfly”. From the FAQ: “Left to our own devices we would have called it ‘Microsoft Visual Mashup Creator Express, May 2007 Community Tech Preview Internet Edition’, but instead we asked some folks for help and they suggested some cool names and we all liked Popfly”.

Thanks to Robert Folkesson, Developer Evangelist at Microsoft, Sweden for explaining the technical aspects of Popfly on his blog (in Swedish).

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