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We just finished a very interesting hybrid application called Ilio Fun Facts for the Army Corps of Engineers (mahalo to Native Hawaiian Veterans for pulling us in on the project.) The project provides free MacBooks to a group of public grade schools in Waianae. The MacBooks have special logins and screensavers that help educate kids about unexploded ordnance. In addition to being technically interesting it was one of those projects that makes you feel good because it helps the community.
The desktop client uses an embedded browser for the questions and the associated images. It uses native APIs for things like text-to-speech, the screen saver, and kiosk mode. The ability to update content after the app has been deployed is incredibly useful. My initial thought was to do a pure Cocoa client and simply integrate the data via webservices, but the hybrid architecture proposed by Pat (our CTO) turned out to be much better. We enjoyed faster development velocity and we can update 95% of the app functionality on the server without having to redeploy anything. This is the third hybrid client architecture we have used. The first two were for banks - one Swing / Firefox app using the excellent
WebRenderer component from JadeLiquid. The other was a WinForms / IE reporting app. In all three cases we were happy with the end result. Hopefully Adobe Air and standalone Silverlight will evolve to the point where we can do everything in a more integrated manner, but for now, when you need access to native code / resources
and the ability to update from the server, hybrid apps are the way to go.

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Comment by Nate Sanders on January 29, 2010 at 1:04am
Just wanted to mention that ease of porting is another huge win with the route you took here.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on January 29, 2010 at 12:34am
Hi Brian - Its a native Cocoa app using WebKit. We work with Air, but this needed to utilize native APIs to integrate with the login process.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on January 23, 2010 at 10:47am
Kevin - I'm not really sure what you are trying to say. Can you clarify? This is a program that teaches kids how to recognize, retreat and report unexploded ordnance that they may encounter. Its being run along with a massive effort to clean up UXO in that area, some of which dates back to WWII (no small task.)
Comment by Kevin Luttrell on January 23, 2010 at 10:27am
I love the screenshot
Kimo wants to know about rockets, hand grenades and bombs. Or perhaps cannons, rocket launchers and rifles.

Good stuff for elementary kids to to know.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on January 13, 2010 at 1:59pm
> Very cool project. You'd mentioned some reports building for some of your bank clients, was that
> reporting on financial information?

Yes. I can't go into the details because of our NDA, but it was essentially a custom web browser designed for management and navigation of financial reports.

> Also, how prevelant are the issues with Unexploded Ordinance out on the West side? I have to
> be honest and say that I'd never known that was an issue.

Neither did I. Ordnance Reef in Waianae apparently has a significant amount of WWII era UXO. Occasionally some of it washes up on the beach (I'm not revealing any secrets here - this is all published.) The Army Core of Engineers, NOAA and their partners are actively working to clean up this old UXO and educate the community about how to recognize and report it.
Comment by Kimo Watanabe on January 13, 2010 at 1:17pm
Very cool project. You'd mentioned some reports building for some of your bank clients, was that reporting on financial information? We're looking at building out some reporting functionality in the next quarter or so, and so I'm trying to stock pile information that might be useful when it comes time for us to start fleshing out requirements. Also, how prevelant are the issues with Unexploded Ordinance out on the West side? I have to be honest and say that I'd never known that was an issue. What a worthwhile project.

A hui hou,

Kimo

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