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Thread: html5 canvas sucks, but...

  1. #1
    Senior Member joshstrike's Avatar
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    html5 canvas sucks, but...

    Okay, this is kind of a plug, but here goes... There was this project I got inspired to do about two years ago, after getting freaked out during the first round of HTML5 hype, and I was on here whining when someone (I think it was 5Tons), told me to just "stfu and make web". So I did the first version of StrikeDisplay.

    That's been laying fallow for awhile now, because I couldn't think of a way to actually use it. If I want interactivity+animation, I still turn to Flash. But I finally got around to making some serious additions to the library that make it...well, maybe even useful. I added multiline textfields with justification, filters, and cacheAsBitmap for sprites drawn in code, which speeds certain things up a lot. In some cases now it can deliver almost-flash-like performance. If you have some client looking for HTML5 canvas stuff, and you want to keep your work feeling sort of like you're still working in AS3, maybe it's the ticket. Other people, notably Grant w/ EaselJS, have taken up similarly flavored projects in the intervening time, and made some similar optimizations, but I don't think they're as easy to code in from a Flash lover's point of view.

    Anyway, I wanted to get this done in time for New Years, but I was a little late. I just put version 1.0 up over here. I'd love to hear what you all think. I don't really expect non-Flash people to get why this is different from lots of other canvas game libraries that have cropped up out there, but if you look at the demo code I hope you'll see the utility of it. And it's free. I don't want/expect donations from FK members, it's not why I'm writing here.
    The Strike Agency
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  2. #2
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    If only those demo's worked in ie 9


    Although I will congraduate you on your effort and the result.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Senior Member joshstrike's Avatar
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    Thanks.
    Haven't tried it in IE at all, actually. My copy of parallels won't support IE8+ and I figured...it's canvas, so what's the point. It's not like it's a legit crossbrowser solution; that's what flash is for. Lol. Business idiots never seem to understand; meanwhile I pad my resume with this bull****. What happens in IE9? Have you seen this ironic piece of work... flashcanvas.net... now we can port canvas to IE by way of Flash. It's enough to make your head spin. I hope Steve-o likes the warm weather down there.
    The Strike Agency
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  4. #4
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    It was actually me who make the "stfu" quote. It wasn't directed at you specifically and if karma is any indicator, my company has gone full html5 making my life pure hell.
    In the mean time I've brought up your original offering multiple times as something worth looking at. Bravo on moving that forward, I'll be sure to tweet about it. I'll even give it a spin next time something canvasy comes up.

    We've produced somewhat of an animation lib for canvas called okapi.js but haven't supported it at all. It was used on endlessmural.com however.

    I wasn't a big fan of easl.js when I looked through the code last but it's been a while and Grant has fixed things and I'm a little better at js so maybe I'll feel differently next time I look.

    I've been mastering html5 app dev lately and despite being quite familiar I still hate it with a passion. It's by no means the result of rational progress.

  5. #5
    Senior Member joshstrike's Avatar
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    Credit where it's due, that quote runs through my head frequently these days. Especially when I'm procrastinating because I don't want to deal with DOM work

    I hadn't seen Okapi. One thing that's interesting about it is storing library drawing lists as a series of native canvas calls. It's nice because (1) you get to have a library, and (2) it probably speeds up redraws a lot over the layer of abstraction SD uses. Figuring out how to keep track of the bounding boxes of those wouldn't be too hard, if that was an initial attribute in the library object. Then if there was a vector drawing tool, or something to convert EPS or PDF drawings into lists of native canvas calls...it's an approach I haven't seen before. It'd be kind of fun to integrate that idea with SD and build a usable IDE around it, with a library, animation and scripting... lol. If I can't use Flash maybe I'll eventually rebuild it from scratch.

    Quote Originally Posted by jAQUAN View Post
    my company has gone full html5 making my life pure hell.
    I've read some of your more recent posts about html5, and I can relate. My work's gotten a lot less fun recently. Not that most of what I'm doing can even be called "html5", it's just a bunch of js and css, and endless back-and-forth testing between IE and iphone.

    Quote Originally Posted by jAQUAN View Post
    It's by no means the result of rational progress.
    Lol. It's neither rational, nor progress. It's a result of the lunatics taking over the asylum. (Or the fanboys taking over the app store).

    BTW - are you the guy who did Watson's face? That was an amazing piece of work... people should know that was written in Flash. It makes a good rebuttal to "flash is just for annoying banner ads".

    I'd be very proud if you ended up using SD in something. I've always had a bad taste about Grant's work, since the CS4 palettes...and how (w)easel cloned a bunch of ideas from SD, like the way mouseovers are tracked. That's how it goes. But so far, none of these things have been seen outside the area of "html5 experiments", because it's so not cross-browser that no one running a business would want to touch it. And yet we all have to keep operating on the belief, based on current hype, that it will be eventually, and start building our toolkit all over. It's absurd.
    The Strike Agency
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  6. #6
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    Dude... thanks for sharing this. I remember when you first posted this. Can't say I've fully embraced HTML5 yet, but this does handle a few things that I do want/like/familiar.

    I'll play with this before I post again.

    [ Hello ] | [ gerbick ] | [ Ω ]

  7. #7
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    endlessmural was commissioned by microsoft to help promote IE9 so we were let in on a beta version of a plugin for adobe illustrator one of their dev's wrote. It exports vectors as canvas drawings. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mswanson/arc...-released.aspx

    The art was provided by Joshua Davis and friends but I had to write some crazy scripts for AI in order to open/export each of their files. The plugin was not ready for really bad vector art assembly techniques

    Joshua was also the art lead on Watson's face by my boss Branden Hall wrote all of the animation logic. It wasn't really noticeable on TV but it goes through some serious math to transition from one emotion to the next. I'm kinda ticked that Josh received awards for the project and never gave Branden any credit. Not cool.
    All I did was write a socket server to simulate calls from the watson's mainframe to the front end so that Branden could test transitions. Sounds cooler than it is.

    Don't get me started on the wide area deployment legitimacy of html5 apps. All this overhead to avoid using a battery sucker only to produce a crappy battery sucker. Grant actually wrote easl.js while writing Pirates Love Daisies, yet another commission from microsoft.

  8. #8
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    So, when and how do developers have their Boston Tea Party moment?
    "We don't estimate speeches." - CBO Director Doug Elmendorf

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