Archive for August, 2010

It’s not stupid… it’s advanced!

August 9th, 2010 1 comment

At present, ditzie’s UI is based on some time-tested and reliable, but dated and somewhat restrictive technical principles and libraries. For the most part, the dynamic elements of the UI were built using the library which, excellent as it is, doesn’t leave me a lot of room to grow or add new features. When I started looking at ways to support things like image rotation and embedded shadows, it became clear that I was going to have to make a big decision about my next big move with ditzie. Basically, I’ve done all I can do with HTML. For the future, my choices appear to be between HTML5 and a 3rd-party framework such as Flash. Regardless of the brewing format war between the two, I’ve never been a fan of Flash, so I seriously looked into what HTML5 can do for me, and I’ve decided that it’s the way to go.

I’m now planning to completely rewrite the ditzie UI leveraging the HTML5 canvas’ ability to handle precise pixel rendering. After doing a lot of research, it seems clear that I can make ditzie do everything I want with the canvas, but I’m going to have to do a lot of learning on my own to get there. I’ve seen some incredible examples of what the canvas can do (my favorite thus far is Raymond Hill’s excellent jigsaw puzzle implementation), and I’ve put together a few mock-ups (sorry, keeping those secret for now) which have me convinced that I’m on the right path.

As it happens, I’m also in the process of rewriting ditzie’s back-end to be more flexible and powerful. I’m setting a lofty goal to one day make this sucker capable of supporting real-time collaboration just as it’s ancestor once aimed to be. In the short term, any users who might be concerned about performance or available can rest assured that my #1 goal is to make sure ditzie remains practical and usable above all else.

Categories: Development Tags: