Posts Tagged ‘ekkio’

Ekkio feed 2.0

A new feed for the Ekkio desktop client. This replaces the flat buttons with hyperlinks, for a more concise and elegant look.

The real challenge here was creating a WinForms controls where text and links could be rendered side-by-side. The standard Label and LinkLabel controls don’t allow for this.

ekkio feed v2

I’ll do writeup and post some code soon on how to make a control like this.

The end of :hover

Interesting post on the realization that :hover (in CSS, this defines what occurs when the mouse is over an HTML element) is no longer viable for layout on touchscreen devices.

When I sat down to a redesign of the Gameplan2 admin interface I suddenly came to a realisation, :hover doesn’t work. It’s entirely possible I’d skim read this somewhere, but somehow the implications for my design work had passed me by until I saw an iPad in use.

I came to the same realization when designing the Ekkio web client, and realizing I couldn’t open the file and folder submenus on my Palm Pixi.

Ekkio web client submenu

The arrows on the left would only appear when the user hovered over a file or folder. The solution, as shown, was to always show the arrows, but make then a lighter shade; on hover or when the dropdown is open, the arrows become a darker shade. This works well, despite the visual clutter of the arrows always being visible.

I agree with Croll’s conclusion,

So my proposition is this: :hover as an web interface design tool going forward is going to be less and less important.

I see :hover (and javascript mouse events such as onmouseover, for that matter) being unused or used only for non-essential stuff, such as added visual flair.

On a related note, touchscreen also don’t allow viewing the alt-text when hovering over an image. This is probably not a big deal when it comes to web layout, but it sucks for reading xkcd.


At some point last year, FragmentSync morphed into Ekkio. Aside from a name change and a facelift (a major facelift), Ekkio introduces some new concepts and features that push it beyond the peer-to-peer sync functionality offered by, the now deprecated, FragmentSync.

ekkio logo

I was planning on doing one massive blog post, but I think it would be best to do a series of smaller posts highlighting major features, it’ll be easier to understand and easier to write. In this post, I’ll introduce the 3 core concepts surrounding Ekkio, that is, the ability to sync files, store them online, and allow for collaborate with others working on the same document or set of documents.

ekkio core concepts

Sync files

Ekkio allows you to sync files to a number of different devices and services including, of course, other computers running Ekkio; you can also sync with USB devices (really, anything that show us as a removable disk in Windows), Bluetooth devices, Amazon S3, Google Docs, and Flickr (other online services will be supported based on what users demand).

I use the term files pretty loosely because Ekkio can also sync things that can be treated like files, which is pretty much anything. Ekkio will have support for syncing contacts and calendars, initially supporting Outlook, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar.

ekkio dashboard

When syncing with other computers, Ekkio can do a peer-to-peer sync, either over the web or through a local area network connection, or sync with the Ekkio cloud service (see below), automatically choosing the best connection that will give the best performance and most up-to-date files.

Store them online

Ekkio offers of a cloud storage platform allowing you to store your files online (allowing easy access to them from any internet-connected PC) and keep them in sync with your computers running Ekkio.

ekkio cloud

Storing your files in the cloud also allows Ekkio to keep files in sync between computers that may not be online at the same time (e.g. a home PC and work PC that are used independently), and this is one of the big benefits over a pure peer-to-peer sync. As long as the most recent copy of a document is in the cloud, the Ekkio desktop app can sync and update outdated copies of it on your PCs.


One of the big benefits of syncing files comes when you need to share or work with others on documents. Those who’ve been in this position will probably know the hassle of emailing files back and forth or trying to track down who has the latest version of a file. Ekkio alleviates this problem by allowing you to sync a folder with other users. When a document is updated, the new version is automatically sent to everyone else, making the necessary updates on their PCs and/or their folders on the Ekkio cloud service. Ekkio’s feed helps on the collaboration front. It displays who updated a document and when they performed the updated. Users can also leave and reply to messages in the feed, which is invaluable when it comes to explaining what was actually done during an update.

ekkio feed

We’re always looking for users, testers, and various assortments of people. It’s easy to connect with us: follow us on twitter or our Facebook page for updates. Our official blog is also up (though lacking content, at the moment).