View Full Version : Parakey

June 14th, 2007, 01:17 AM
With all the talk about Web OS's and virtual OS's is anybody else excited or atleast interested in Parakey?


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Here is some 411 about Parakey:

founders, Blake Ross (http://www.blakeross.com/bio/) and Joe Hewitt (http://www.joehewitt.com/about.php)

What is Parakey?

Parakey is both a platform and a set of applications. The platform, written in Python, C++ and JavaScript, offers a means of building applications that merge the best of the desktop and the Web. Like desktop apps, these apps work offline, offer more privacy than pure websites, run quickly, and integrate with the system. But like Web apps, they are also more creative, visually alluring, accessible from anywhere and potentially accessible by anyone. In short, Parakey apps are designed to be both useful and social, a combination that is too rare today.
What separates Parakey from others in this space is that we're building not just the platform but also the first set of applications on top of it. We enjoy programming, but ultimately we started this company to make computers better for average users. When people need to call their "computer friend" in 2007 to install a program, scan a document, burn a CD or show a picture to a friend, there is a problem. Fixing it will take time and the patience to sit down with users and understand them. It is not unusual for Parakey employees to push bits around one day and teach a beginners' computer course the next.
So when everyone can finally do the kinds of things we experienced users take for granted, what new opportunities emerge? Parakey is about answering that question.
Why join Parakey?
As founders of Firefox (http://www.firefox.com/) and Firebug (http://www.getfirebug.com/), we have helped build software used by hundreds of millions of people, from kids to grandmothers, programmers to pottery makers and everyone in between. We intend to scale Parakey to an even wider audience, and you will be part of the extraordinarily small team doing it.
We are young guys—Blake is 21 and midway through his degree at Stanford, and Joe is 29. We will be working with you as peers, not kings. No TPS reports here.http://www.parakey.com/jobs/summer.html

June 14th, 2007, 01:21 AM
Another article about Parakey:

Parakey: WebOS for Mom and Pop (http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/parakey_webos.php)

Written by Richard MacManus (http://www.readwriteweb.com/about_readwriteweb.php) / November 1, 2006 / 7 comments (http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/parakey_webos.php#comments) Those of you who read John Milan's insightful article on R/WW (http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/elephants_and_evolution.php) about the coming convergence of Web apps and desktop apps, will be interested in a new development by Blake Rosshttp://shots.snap.com/images/v2.8.1/t.gif (http://www.blakeross.com/) - famous in the Web world for co-founding Firefox. Blake has an intriguing new startup called Parakey, which is going to be a WebOS for the masses. In a long IEEE Spectrum articlehttp://shots.snap.com/images/v2.8.1/t.gif (http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/nov06/4696), Blake describes the product:
"As he describes it, from a user’s point of view, Parakey is “a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do.” Translation: it makes it really easy to store your stuff and share it with the world. Most or all of Parakey will be open source, under a license similar to Firefox’s."
Readers of my ZDNet bloghttp://shots.snap.com/images/v2.8.1/t.gif (http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/) will be familiar with my obsession earlier this year with the WebOS. There are a lot of small, mostly European, startups building a WebOS systemhttp://shots.snap.com/images/v2.8.1/t.gif (http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/?p=178) - a virtual desktop, if you will. Check out my WebOS market reviewhttp://shots.snap.com/images/v2.8.1/t.gif (http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/?p=166) from April, to see some of the startups in this space. None of them have made any headway into the mainstream market yet - in fact most are still building out beta versions of their products. Let's not forget also that Google (in particular) and Microsoft are very well positioned to come stampeding into this market, like a herd of.... er, elephants.
Also I should note that the WebOS startups have banded together to create a community called "WebOSApi". Right now it's a private mailing list - I tried to get in a while ago, but they wouldn't let me So it'll be interesting to see what comes of that and whether Parakey is a member.
Here's another key quote from the IEEE Spectrum article:
"Today, something like e-mail can involve two completely different experiences, depending on whether or not you’re using the Web—Outlook versus Hotmail, for example. A Parakey e-mail program, on the other hand, provides a single access point for your mail, “unifying the desktop and the Web,” in Ross’s words. Parakey is intended to be a platform for tools that can manipulate just about anything on your hard drive—e-mail, photos, videos, recipes, calendars."
Also Om Malik has some details about the fundinghttp://shots.snap.com/images/v2.8.1/t.gif (http://gigaom.com/2006/11/01/firefox-kids-new-start-up-parakey/) and Matt Mullenweg has a post toohttp://shots.snap.com/images/v2.8.1/t.gif (http://photomatt.net/2006/11/01/firefox-followup-parakey/).
To use Parakey, you'll need to download a small app onto your computer - which essentially turns your computer into a local server, thus enabling offline access. Kind of similar to how Dave Winerhttp://shots.snap.com/images/v2.8.1/t.gif (http://scripting.com/)'s Radio Userland blogging tool works. This description could equally apply to Radio Userland:
"...everything is ultimately stored locally, your computer being synchronized with remote servers whenever you are online. “You never have to care about the uploading process,” says Ross. “That just happens transparently.”
I'm looking forward to testing Parakey out. It sounds like it has the potential to help bridge the current gap between Web and desktop applications, in an open source way. I'm also interested in the reaction of the other WebOS vendors.

June 14th, 2007, 01:31 AM
It looks like someone is trying to get the jump on Bill Gates and his web os dreams. Wouldn't work for me as I like to have all of my software residing on MY pc, not on somebody elses webserver.