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Web Standards. Interoperability. Documentation. Tutorials. Unfortunately, the web development landscape has become exceedingly fragmented over the years and accessing these resources can be a struggle. However, the W3C has just announced the alpha release of the Web Platform Docs project. Seeking to provide a “comprehensive and authoritative source” for developers, this community-driven, wiki-styled site will help them more confidently build modern web applications with consistency across browsers and devices.

All materials will be freely available and anyone will be able to share their own expertise. Initial contributors to the project include major industry players such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Adobe, Facebook, Mozilla, Opera, HP, and Nokia. Users will also have access to forums and a chat powered by a dedicated IRC channel. There is a clear need for such an ambitious project and expect this growing community to be extremely well-received.

RealPresence CloudAxis

Polycom is a true pioneer when it comes to video-communication hardware. However, after seeing tremendous value in videoconferencing solutions, it is now attempting to beef up its software game with the launch of the RealPresence CloudAxis Suite. Looking to extend its platform beyond strictly massive B2B users, it will bring enterprise-grade video collaboration to users of Skype, Facebook, GoogleTalk and other existing platforms.

For example, the browser-based teleconferencing package allows a user inside a corporate firewall to send video call invites out to their external contacts on Skype or Facebook. Participants then receive an instant message containing a link directing them to join the call. All audio and video is fully secured in the interface as well as the sharing of screens and documents. The strong interoperability effort is commendable; integration with Apple’s FaceTime is coming soon. Certainly a step outside of the company’s comfort zone, it will be interesting to see how well this resonates with its target customers when it officially launches in Q1 of next year.

Shelby Genius

The latest release from the team at Shelby.tv, this new mobile app has been referred to as the “Pandora for video”. Users simply enter a search term and are presented with a continuous stream of related video content. Powered by the team’s “Genius API”, it currently aggregates relevant videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion. When paired with Apple TV, videos can be streamed using AirPlay creating a lean-back experience that consumers are already used to. The API and app will evolve over time based on usage to constantly improve the relevancy of the videos it serves up. Assuming the app can deliver on its value proposition, expect to see it gain some traction in the next few months.

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