The latest Remoku Firefox Add-on has been fully approved by Mozilla for distribution in the Mozilla Add-Ons gallery. This version is a complete rewrite from the last major version, 1.3. Changes include:
The add-on no longer requires restarting Firefox to install
Settings are available to adjust the panel size, go to Firefox's Add-Ons window>Remoku>Options to change.
Here's the break down of Major browser versions at the time:
Internet Explorer: 8
Chrome: 6/7 ;-)
Safari Mobile: iOS 4.2 :-)
At the time, HTML5 support was only beginning to appear in browsers but fortunately there are many options to make an app work in older browsers, if you're willing to put in the time to research and test. The best part is that browser technology keeps getting better and in the nearly two years since my first release, there are many more devices and modern browsers that can access Remoku, and I have been able to continue adding features to the app that work across all of them.
I pushed a build of Remoku last night (Build Date: September 02, 2012 12:45:59 AM), with a change to how the page looks when you first visit it. Previously, when you first visited you would immediately be taken to the settings page, with an introductory help text placed at top. With this update, first time visitors will see the main remote page until a button is pressed, then they will be taken to the Settings page so they can connect to their Roku. This was a very small and non-dangerous code change that I believe it will have a dramatic impact on first impressions, as now you can see what it looks like before you start using it it :-)
Remoku started as simple enough idea: I wanted something on my phone and pc that could control my Roku. After using some other apps, I decided it would be a fun way to introduce myself to programming for Roku and simultaneously teach myself about the new html5 features, as well other emerging web technologies.
I decided early on that because it was going to be a web app, I wanted to support a broad range of devices, including pcs & macs, phones (especially iphone and android), tablets, e-readers, handheld gaming systems, and so on. That choice helped to define the scope of the project, and would impact many design choices going forward. It meant that the features I could support would be dependent on what the browsers on those devices were capable of. Some devices make it possible to treat a web app nearly the same as a native app, from a user perspective; others still don't fully support web apis that have been standardized for years. Wherever possible, I've tried to make a feature work across a broad range of devices, but I wouldn't ever call it complete :).
So that's my introductory post about the tech of Remoku. In future posts I'll call specific topics such as the html application cache, localStorage, JSON, security, CSS, creating browser shims, and unusual bugs and the eventual solutions to them. While the topics may be geeky, I'll do my best to make the posts accessible for more casual readers.