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#1 November 30, 2009 12:13:03 pm

ericj
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From: Seattle, Washington
Registered: February 15, 2008
Posts: 58
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New Work Market

Mike:

I'm starting to think that a big new market for web dev's like you and me is converting stuff from Flash to Javascript.  I'm doing a large project for a big airline right now, and many more in the pipe.

Companies are starting to see the downside of Flash but want that highly interactive stuff.

- ej

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#2 December 2, 2009 1:19:50 am

MikeFoster
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From: Alabama, USA
Registered: April 27, 2007
Posts: 874
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Re: New Work Market

I agree, Eric. And, with Javascript engines getting faster and faster, and with so many very powerful, open source Javascript libraries available, we're about to see opportunities for types of Javascript apps that haven't been possible before. We're also going to have tools like canvas, svg, voice, etc - so the sky is the limit smile

This could be the IE-killer. You know I've wondered what kind of effect Silverlight is having on Flash's monopoly. And what about developers? Will they end up having to develop for both? Or... will super-fast Js win out over them both? As a developer I prefer pure Js and DOM - a single platform, as opposed to supporting myriad plugins; as a user I prefer to surf the web without having to install - and maintain, update,etc - myriad plugins. So I think you are right on the money smile

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#3 December 2, 2009 8:52:08 am

ericj
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From: Seattle, Washington
Registered: February 15, 2008
Posts: 58
Website

Re: New Work Market

The airline for which I am doing my current project is a very large, staid, and entrenched organization.  So when places like that are switching from Flash to Javascript -- that's a pretty clear bellweather.

The other interesting factor is that younger people have a disdain for Flash.  When we were younger Microsoft might be seen as "the Man" or the empire.  Now in the age group of twelve to twenty-five, Microsoft is like the air -- it's just there and not really noticeable.

What's happened is that people in that age group have a very strong vision of Adobe as "the Man" and installing Flash as this thing they are forced to participate in.

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#4 December 10, 2009 2:33:23 pm

MikeFoster
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From: Alabama, USA
Registered: April 27, 2007
Posts: 874
Website

Re: New Work Market

As if right on cue, I'm now doing research for an upcoming project at work which may utilize the canvas object, so I've been looking into some of the current Js libraries related to this as well as investigating the alternative solutions for IE.

What I have found is extremely cool - except that IE is really throwing a damper on the coolness factor, LOL.

Some of the cool stuff:

processing.js
JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit
many different canvas examples here and here

Alternatives for IE:

ExplorerCanvas
and there are other alternatives utilizing Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, Java, etc. however the ones I've tried seem mighty sluggish, and implementing the entire canvas API in this way seems to be quite a challenge.

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#5 December 10, 2009 3:18:50 pm

ericj
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From: Seattle, Washington
Registered: February 15, 2008
Posts: 58
Website

Re: New Work Market

So that is SVG, correct?

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#6 December 10, 2009 4:05:02 pm

MikeFoster
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From: Alabama, USA
Registered: April 27, 2007
Posts: 874
Website

Re: New Work Market

canvas is just a bitmap image which can be manipulated programmatically, whereas SVG is XML-based and so is a proper part of the DOM and can handle events etc.  Since canvas is just a bitmap then there can be no direct user interaction. The interaction you see in the demos is implemented by, for example, registering a mousemove listener on the canvas element (or its container) and as the mouse moves your code must somehow determine which part of the bitmap the mouse is currently over. The canvas demos that have clickable labels etc are implemented by overlaying a div (or divs) on top of the canvas element. Keeping those labels in sync with a certain area of the bitmap must be a real chore if the bitmap is changing - and is one of the drawbacks to using canvas as opposed to SVG. On the flipside, SVG, while having built-in event support for every node, doesn't do graphics as efficiently as canvas - IMO.

Keep in mind that I am not a guru on either of these topics smile

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#7 December 10, 2009 4:20:58 pm

ericj
Member
From: Seattle, Washington
Registered: February 15, 2008
Posts: 58
Website

Re: New Work Market

Gee, totally unaware of this.  Is canvas a W3C object?  Do you need a Javascript library to support it?  Does it work in various browsers?

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#8 December 10, 2009 4:25:39 pm

ericj
Member
From: Seattle, Washington
Registered: February 15, 2008
Posts: 58
Website

Re: New Work Market

Mike:

You might also factor in using the vector graphics method shown in these demos:

http://68.178.240.17/theGrandmaChannel/drawAnew04.htm
http://www.xolosoft.com/bezier/

These use the DHTML vector library by Walter Zorn.  Very cross-browser and requires no plug-ins.  I built a font-outlining program with this that is mind-blowing.

Even this method uses more DIVs than there are grains of sand, it works on low-end platforms like the Nokia S60 phone with only 40 megs of memory and no plug-ins (that is, you cannot use Silverlight or Flash on these devices).

- ej

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#9 December 10, 2009 5:38:25 pm

MikeFoster
Administrator
From: Alabama, USA
Registered: April 27, 2007
Posts: 874
Website

Re: New Work Market

canvas is an HTML5 element. The canvas API is actually fairly straight-forward. There are Js libraries which build on top of that. The canvas element is currently supported by all modern browsers... except IE. I think the same is true for SVG.

Yes, I'm familiar with Walter Zorn's excellent work. If we decide not to use canvas or SVG then I may be looking at using Walter's library.

thanks for the links!

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