I developed MioFactory in 1995 and then exclusively used it during almost 15 years, because it was an extremely efficient way to build Windows app.
MioFactory could generate native Windows apps, but also a very light, non binary file format that could run on any PC installed with MioEngine. It was possble to slide an app into multiple widgets, and to have them work together on the user’s device.
The development environment allows developers to choose a template, manage the application files, edit the code and build the apps. The output files was extremely small (400kb) and easy to distribute over low bandwidth Internet.
Type of applications that could be created with MoiFactory:
- Desktop Alerts;
- Desktop News Ticker;
- Desktop Tools and Gadgets of any kind;
- RSS Readers;
- Audio, Video, TV and DVD Players;
- Electronics / Multimedia Books;
- Slide shows, animations and full screen games;
- Robotics and home automation applications;
- Applications for Windows Media Center;
- Applications for Ultra-Mobile PC;
- Applications for Cars PC;
Here are the key features of MioFactory:
- Application Templates: Create a desktop ticker, a desktop alert, etc. using a template and adapt it to fit your needs.
- Test your application with a single click.
- Create light autonomous EXE files (500 kb or more) running on Windows 98 or later.
- Add an user-friendly installer to your application.
- The installer installs the application, add shortcuts and values in the registry database. An uninstaller and a repair feature are also installed.
- Your applications can download data from the Internet, show online web pages, stay up-to-date with RSS feed and other XML files, etc.
- MioScript, a scripting language to accede to hundreds of additional functions: Drawing, local files, registry database, web browser objects, RS232, multiple displays, shortcuts, icon in the system tray, windows and shapes, menus, dialog boxes, etc.
- Integrated Debugged to help you to find errors in your code.
Desktop Alerts was a great, non intrusive way for a website to keep a contact with the customer always active. Desktop Alerts was popular for both BtoB and BtoC. The company could push a message from a powerful web based interface, and could set a call to action. The desktop ticker was used from critical alerts to marketing messages.
The feature list was as follow:
- Customizable and Brandable
- Small EXE file (600 to 700 Kb), runs with all versions of windows (98, NT4, 2000, ME, XP, Vista)
- Low CPU consumption
- Status Icon with options menu, login Feature
- Alerts users when an update is available
- Scans for alerts every minute, 100% Content Delivery
- Scheduled content delivery
- Supports Expiration Date, repeats alerts at custom interval
- Send to a group or to all
- HTML, Pictures, Video, Flash, plays sound at reception
- Popup or full-screen alerts
- Optimized Band-Width usage (average 360 Mb/Month/1000 users)
Over one million end-users in over 70 countries used this solution, and customers used it to build loyalty, attract new customers and increase traffic to their web sites. The Desktop News Ticker was a downloadable ticker that remained opened in a customers desktop, providing an open channel for customizable applications like communications and advertisement.
I built hundreds of those Desktop Tickers for prestigious customers from around the world. I had almost no competition and the desktop ticker was a major tool to attract and keep users for a media company. It was difficult to get traffic on a website and a large percentage of end users was ready to install a desktop ticker displaying a scrolling text message all the day.
An example is the APTN News Ticker was widely used and praised throughout the newsrooms around the world. The APTN Direct ticker is password protected and is available to APTN Direct clients only
PC Plus News Ticker was displaying on the user’s desktop international news provided by Reuters. Created for a masterclass (issue 222).
MioToolbox was composed of useful tools for all of those who works with pixels.
- The Color Picker allows you to quickly choose a color and HTML code.
- The horizontal and vertical Screen Rulers allows you to Know the exact size and position of any element in the screen.
- The Screen Capture tool allows you to copy a part of the screen to the clipboard or to a file.
- The Screen Magnifier follow up the mouse to increase your precision.
Thanks to a partnership with VisicomMedia (branded version below), mioToolbox was popular with a million of active users.
By moving a viewfinder over the screen, the user could capture multiple images and generate a small movie from them. Years before YouTube, it was a nice way to share funny video clips with music: the mio format was light and could be exchanged between users.
Probably one of my favorite creation – this app, built with MioFactory, allows static picture manipulation to generate animated movies.
Using basic image deformation, it was possible with this app to build something looking as a movie from static images.
With TagMachine, build with MioFactory, the user can draw directly over the screen, and send the tag to anyone. When received, the tag is reproduced on the recipient screen.
Mio Nasa TV
Nasa TV, another app built with MioFactory, provides real-time coverage of agency activities and missions as well as resource video to the news media, and educational programming to teachers, students and the general public. Watch Nasa TV with Mio Nasa TV.
RSS readers was popular, so I built an application template to generate RSS readers with pre-defined feeds.I delivered tens of them to various customers.