Since I arrived in Japan my work on AOS have been sparse but is still going on. However, as requested by some people on the development mailing list, I’m focusing my spare time efforts to write documentations. Indeed, people wanting to help this project seems to have a hard time finding clues about the design of AOSL or AOS Designer (the edition tool). No full description of the design of any of those projects have been done yet, because of obvious lack of time. It is still necessary to help others to help me, so I think it’s important to do this work in priority.
So far I’m in the middle of describing the vision, principles and objectives of AOS Designer. Soon I should add a description of the technical architecture/organisation of this tool’s code. After which I should probably setup a list of basic use cases that the tool should make possible to solve.
Of course, AOSL also need some documentations at least to explain the basics of how it is structured, how to setup a basic story, etc. I described orally the details of the language to a coworker recently and I figured that it is less hard to understand that it seems, when you have someone who knows how to read the definition file of the language for you. I am still frustrated that a basic Web Player isn’t available yet to show a simple example that I would then explain in a full tutorial about AOSL. That time will come anyway, but it is still frustrating.
For a few weeks I have been talking to people (including bosses) of the company I work for about AOS because it’s the kind of company that seem perfectly suited to put energy in such project. I don’t know yet if any effort from that company will go into the project, I hope so, but it is not an easy decision. AOS, once stabilized allow businesses to be built based on it. However, until we reach this stabilization point, it is only some code and ideas. How do you justify investing money in this? A very long term view and full understanding of the project meaning and potential would be required to decide to put some effort in this. Unfortunately, I feel that only a handful of people are only starting to get the point of the project and it is really difficult to transmit that understanding to other people, in particular when they try not to see it as a “new market opener” instead of “a bunch of tools to make digital comics”. AOS goes beyond that and is more abstract. Any explanation then becomes fuzzy, or get stereotyped by the lack of variety of examples.
I made a presentation to some people of the company that I might modify to make public soon.
I must add that “real” work, aka coding, is still going on but is strongly halted these days. One important change in the AOS Designer code I need to do is a stronger separation between the part that represent the state of the work and the part that graphically show that work. Currently the separation already exists but is too weak. In particular, I cannot at this moment exploit any parallelization of the tasks that the user want to do. I designed a solution for this and started working on it in a private repository (that I should put online when it gets more stable).
In the same time, interesting things are currently happening in the digital-comics world. For example, the public opening of http://www.thrillbent.com/ that is a collaboration of both Turbo-Media creator and famous american comics makers. One other step in the direction of the world AOS is meant to open the gate of. I can’t wait to see the project of Balak and his friends. Also, french communities like Pilmix.org are getting organized to spread more knowledge about digital narration.
I wish I could to more to help with all this. But I guess I’m already doing as much as I can.