Overstating understanding

I’m hanging out at a coworking space in Berlin-Kreuzberg called Co.up

I like the vibe of the place a lot. I’ve been very focused the days I’ve worked there near to a bunch of developers and designers working intently on their web and mobile projects. A couple of times in conversation I’ve tried to summarise my project for these digitally literate coworkers.

I typically mumble something about ebooks and interactive mobile content and digital popup books. It’s easy to call it an iPhone project, but I’ve only spent 2 out of the last 10 months on iOS development, so from my point of view it’s mostly somewhere else. It’s a … platform. Or something. My summary of it changes depending on who is listening, naturally.

I haven’t previously laid out here all the software components of the picklets platform. This summary of the picklet platform technology stack explains the range of software I spend my time on.


Screenshot of PickletExport r9 for Photoshop

This is a group of scripts that assist a picklet author to handle a large number of PNG files without losing interest in the creative process. Currently the only supported script is a Javascript called PickletExport.jsx for Photoshop.

picklet-export is a github repo


Python on App Engine. A web app using the Django framework running on Google’s scalable server infrastructure. The advantage of this backend is that I never have to do server management. Ever.

Picklet Builder screenshot showing editor app


Javascript. A drag-and-drop graphical editor that runs in the browser. Written in javascript using jQuery with a half-arsed hand-rolled model and event notification ‘system’.


Screenshot of @benhutchings picklet in a browser

Javascript/Actionscript. There are currently two picklet player implementations. One in Javascript that runs as part of the editor environment, standalone in a browser (desktop or mobile), and also in a UIWebView in the native Picklets app. And a fallback implementation for non-webkit-based browsers that requires Adobe’s Flash Plugin.

picklet-player is a github repo


Python on App Engine. The same backend app as the builder, handles in-app purchase transactions from the iOS client. All connections are over https, unlike the builder interface. It should be RESTful but it’s not that clean.

PHP. The picklet delivered from the store to the Picklets app is a zip file with a structure borrowed from the EPUB standard. To generate this zip there is a php script that runs on a MediaTemple GridServer host.


Picklets for iPad screenshot

Objective-C. The reader component is called Picklets, and is a native app for iOS. Essentially a shell for discovering and delivering zipped web app content. In exchange for money.

Summary of the summary

I have a vision and what often feels like the minimum level of competence required to realise it. And I have a couple of months before I need to get a job. So let’s get on with it, oder?

Go team.

This entry was posted in A Picklets Progress, Coding, Picklet Builder, Picklet Store, Picklets. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Overstating understanding

  1. Zummizwei says:

    Yay! Go team! Can we do it? YES, we CAN!

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