Smartdown Revealed at Eugene Web Devs

It’s been a while

For the last couple years, in between job-hunting and job-working, I’ve been exploring the space of creating lightweight, serverless web applications that I’ve been referring to as Web 4.0 applications, enduring the gentle ridicule and eye-rolling of my friends and colleagues. My goal has been to build a way for non-programmers or not-yet-programmers to share their ideas by authoring web content that is informative, interactive, and engaging. I want to avoid or minimize the requirement to know a programming language, framework, or proprietary tool.

I’ve isolated the rendering components of InfoClay into a soon-to-be-open-source library and specification called Smartdown. I’ve significantly enhanced InfoClay and Smartdown since my last post, including the generalization of the P5JS Play/Pause concept into a general playable concept, which is more amenable to adding modular functionality. I’ve added WikiData integration as an example external data source, as well as several new examples. Lots of stuff in the last two years.

Anyway, I introduced Smartdown at a local Eugene Meetup tonight, and I wanted to assemble a bunch of links if anyone wants to follow up.

Eugene Web Devs Meetup - June 29, 2017

The event was registered in Meetup and Facebook, so I’m putting both links here. I think that the Meetup RSVP is important, in order to reserve the proper amount of beer and pizza.

Thanks to Antonio Ortega Jr for encouraging me to participate, and to everyone who came out, and to IDX for hosting the event. It was great to meet Nate Otto and learn more about Open Badges and the Badgr software.

Slides/Video of the event

Here are my slides. The lower right corner is left open because the post-processing of the presentation will put a video feed of me presenting in that space. So I wanted to avoid putting content there.

The video is being worked on; there were audio problems. I’ll post a followup when it’s available.

Smartdown Viewer Site

The Smartdown Viewer site provides several examples of Smartdown usage, as well as providing a way to view local and cloud-hosted Smartdown content. It also enables a URL to be constructed and shared, so that anyone can view Smartdown content by opening that URL. In addition, the Viewer allows Smartdown source to be viewed and edited side-by-side its live rendering.

Smartdown Example Site

This is a simpler example of Smartdown deployed as a static website without any of the editing capability of the Viewer site above. If you View Source, you should be able to see how Smartdown is initialized and made available for use. Simple Smartdown Site

InfoClay/KnowBench Workshop Demo

Much of Smartdown was originally developed in the context of an authoring environment originally called InfoClay and now available at KnowBench. KnowBench is an authoring environment for Smartdown notebooks, featuring offline-capability via browser local storage, as well as a novel drag-and-drop editing interface. It features most of the examples from the above sites, as well as examples particular to the KnowBench environment. KnowBench’s Tablets are an experiment in breaking Smartdown into composable fragments that can be dragged and dropped, ideally providing an easier learning path for those new to Markdown and Smartdown. KnowBench is not a finished product, but it is useful and I intend to resume work on it once Smartdown is released.