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Influential interactive media technologies timeline

Developers are these days spoilt for choice when it comes to powerful interactive media technologies. There are so many quality systems out there it's nuts. It makes my head spin just trying to grasp it all.

This article explores the humble beginnings and the evolution of tech that makes modern digital communication possible. Please feel free to add or comment on your most loved ones, or even those that annoy you most, if you prefer.

1985 - VideoWorks / Director

A multimedia application authoring platform. Created by Macromedia, now owned and developed by Adobe Systems since 2005. Director is the primary editor on the Adobe Shockwave platform, which dominated the interactive multimedia product space during the 1990s. It started as MacroMind "VideoWorks", an application for the original Apple Macintosh. Animations were initially limited to the black and white of early Macintosh screens. The name was changed to "Director" in 1987, with new capabilities and the Lingo scripting language in 1988. A Windows version was available in the early 1990s.

1993 - User Experience

Don Norman came to Apple, in 1993, as Vice President of Research and Head of the Advanced Technology Group (ATG); he brought with him the new term User Experience Design (UX). Depending on the product, UX can integrate.

  • Interaction design

  • Industrial design

  • Information architecture

  • Visual interface design

  • Instructional design, and

  • User-centred design.

UX ensures coherence and consistency across all of these design dimensions.

UX design defines a product's form, behaviour, and content.

1995 - Flash / Shockwave Authoring

The precursor to Flash was Macromedia acquired a product named SmartSketch, published by FutureSplash in 1996. Flash was a two-part system, a graphics and animation editor known as Macromedia Flash, and a player known as Macromedia Flash Player.

Adobe Systems acquired the entire portfolio of Macromedia products in 2015. Macromedia Flash became Adobe Animate. It is a multimedia software platform for animations, browser games, rich Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications and mobile games. Flash displays text, vector graphics and raster graphics to provide animations, video games and applications. It allows streaming of audio and video and can capture mouse, keyboard, microphone and camera input.

1995 - JavaScript

A high-level, dynamic programming language. Alongside HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of the three core technologies of World Wide Web content production; most websites employ it, and all modern Web browsers support it without the need for plugins. In addition, JavaScript is prototype-based with first-class functions, making it a multi-paradigm language, supporting object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.

1995 - Flash Player

Freeware software for using content created on the Adobe Flash platform, including viewing multimedia, executing rich Internet applications, and streaming video and audio. Flash Player can run from a web browser as a browser plugin or on supported mobile devices.[6] Flash Player was created by Macromedia and has been developed and distributed by Adobe Systems since Adobe acquired Macromedia.

2003 - WordPress

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress users can install and switch between different themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website, and they can be installed without altering the content or health of the site.

2007 - Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight is a deprecated application framework for writing and running rich Internet applications, similar to Adobe Flash. While early versions of Silverlight focused on streaming media, later versions supported multimedia, graphics, and animation. Silverlight is also one of the two application development platforms for Windows Phone. Still, web pages that use Silverlight cannot run on the Windows Phone or Windows Mobile versions of Internet Explorer. There is no Silverlight plugin for Internet Explorer on those platforms.

Since September 2015, Silverlight is no longer supported in Google Chrome. Microsoft has set the support end date for Silverlight 5 to be October 2021.

2007 - HTML5

It is a markup language used for structuring and presenting content on the World Wide Web. It is the fifth and current version of the HTML standard. Published in October 2014 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it both easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices such as web browsers, parsers, etc. HTML5 is intended to subsume not only HTML 4, but also XHTML 1 and DOM Level 2 HTML.

2009 - GitHub

GitHub is a web-based Git or version control repository and Internet hosting service. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git and adds its own features. It provides access control and several collaboration features such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project. It offers both plans for private and free repositories on the same account, which are commonly used to host open-source software projects. As of April 2016, GitHub reports having more than 14 million users and more than 35 million repositories, making it the largest host of source code in the world.

2010 – Sketch

Sketch is a proprietary vector graphics editor for Apple's macOS, developed by the Dutch company Bohemian Coding. It won an Apple Design Award in 2012. Sketch was first released on 7 September 2010. On 8 June 2016, Bohemian Coding announced on their blog that they were switching to a new licensing system for Sketch. Licenses would allow users to receive updates for 1 year. After that point, they could continue using the last version published before the license expiring or renew their license to continue receiving updates for another year.

2012 - Bootstrap

Twitter Bootstrap is a highly customisable HTML/CSS framework that speeds up development time and handles cross-browser issues. Just like WordPress, it features themes. It is meant to be very time efficient compared to similar development platforms.

2014 - PaintCode

This application enables the developer to draw controls, icons, and other graphical elements as one would in programs such as Sketch, Photoshop, or Illustrator. Except PaintCode has one major difference – it generates Objective-C or Swift Core Graphics code from your drawings in real-time!

Please feel free to add to this timeline ..



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