Ning!

5 Oct 2005 - 10:03am
9 years ago
2 replies
511 reads
Dan Saffer
2003

Hope you all have seen this:

http://www.ning.com/

A web application for making web applications. Without programming
knowledge.

Dan Saffer
Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
http://www.adaptivepath.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

Comments

6 Oct 2005 - 1:38am
Fredrik Matheson
2005

I haven't checked it out closely yet. Does it have APIs, etc that let you
pull in data from other sources? And can you customize the look and feel of
"your" service, or is everything presented with a standardized template?
The idea of having an infrastructure that non-/semi-technical people can
use to craft their own services is great, it reminds me somewhat of Jot and
SalesForce. Has anyone here tried their hand at making their own service
yet?
I've tried out Jot for a while and found it less-than-simple to customize.
Their components work pretty well for the standardized functions and they
have a proprietary scripting language for creating custom functionality
based on their set of standardized components, but it takes quite a bit of
effort to get it working well for a non-developer.
Theoretically speaking, is it possible to get a decent level of granularity
and precise functioning for a codeless development environment (e.g. Apple's
Automator in Tiger)? Wouldn't you need one set of commands for behavior and
another for presentation (do X, look like Y while doing it)?
On the other hand, the presentation bits could be taken care of using some
sort of pattern library (with the option of adding your own patterns).
- Fredrik

6 Oct 2005 - 1:48pm
Andrew Otwell
2004

> http://www.ning.com/
>
> A web application for making web applications. Without programming
> knowledge.

> Does it have APIs, etc that let you
> pull in data from other sources? And can you customize the look and feel of
> "your" service, or is everything presented with a standardized template?

"Without" is probably too strong a statement, and you'll probably not
find it easier to customize than Jotspot. (You need to at least be able
to read PHP for Ning.) It's not a general purpose tool for consuming
outside APIs at will, although it has some hooks into Flickr and Google
Maps. There seems to be no built-in way to consume an arbitrary RSS
feed, for instance. It is much more akin to Salesforce's recent offering
than to a generic programming environment.

You can customize the look and feel of your Ning app, although there
seems to be some benefits to keeping the right-hand sidebar of
Ning-specific tools. For instance, I think that "tagging" is not a
function of your application, but of the Ning-space in general. In other
words, a piece of data you tag as "chocolate" in your Ning application
would appear in a Ning-wide tag search for "chocolate." Which might be
good or bad for you.

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