Launching Popfly (teh artist formerly known as Springfield)

Words can't describe how excited I'm about the launch of Popfly. Are you one of those people who wants to create a mashup but doesn't know what a mashup really is? Do you kind of silently nod along when people talk about web services or JSON or how to programmatically consume RSS feeds? Bottom-line : do you avoid Javascript every chance you get, because you know, its Javascript?

Popfly is a web-based tool that lets you build a new site, application, gadget or even just "pimp" your site, very very easily. It helps you build these applications without really having to deal with code. The Popfly experience is brilliant - you can drag and drop "blocks" on to your workspace, which will form the core of your site. For example, d-n-d a 'Flickr' block on to your site, give it some parameters like, oh, I don't know some tags, and pass the output of the block on to say the 'Carousel' block which shows the images extracted from Flickr (with the parameters you specified) in a carousel.

popfly2    ---------------->  popfly3

Imagine doing that in code - how long would that take you? That, up there, took me, like, 30 seconds. Seriously.

Popfly comes with a certain number of blocks, but you're not limited to just those (you can see the blocks in the left pane on the image on the left above). You can build your own blocks. And you can share those blocks with others. The user interface itself is just mind-blowing. The first question I had for Dan when he showed us Popfly was, when is Visual Studio going to look like that? (the answer was, it's not :|) It has such an awesome and intuitive interface for building apps. Seriously.

Popfly is going to have an incredibly viral element to it. Not only can you build sites, but you can then share that site with your Popfly friends. Your friends can then 'rip' your site or whatever it is that teenagers do today.

Have you tried building a Vista gadget? I have. And it sucks (for one I just linked to an MSDN site, which automatically means building a gadget is not going to be as trivial as one would hope). And the reason I think it sucks is because I have to deal with Javascript (unless you use Nikhil's Script#). With Popfly, you can create a gadget ever so simply. The same concept : d-n-d blocks on to your workspace which is your app, then just make it a gadget. That simple.

You're probably thinking, what about projects I create using Visual Studio? How can I upload them to Popfly? Use the Popfly explorer!

So, all said and done, here's the awesomest thing about Popfly, the big bottom-line, what really thrills me about Popfly - guess what, it's built on Silverlight. That's right. I just got goose bumps.

Now you know why you need to be at MakerFaire. Come play with Springfield Popfly.


PS: Here's Dan's interview on Channel 9 where he talks about Popfly, and Soma's post about the launch of Popfly.

Comments (2)
  1. Channel9- Popfly Scoble- Microsoft releases neat mashup tool TechCrunch- Microsoft Launches Popfly- Mashup

  2. Kingsley says:

    Looks like Yahoo pipes. I missed the entire MS section at makerfaire (I had very little time before combots), so is there anyway I can snag an invite (kingsleyj + gmail)?

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