HTML5 Canvas for Dummies
  • HTML5 Canvas For Dummies
    HTML5 Canvas For Dummies
    by Don Cowan
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    Tuesday
    Jul242012

    Browser Graphics Improving Rapidly

    As browser support for HTML5 improves and the demand for features such as Canvas increases, browser graphics capabilities are showing great progress. The demo below of DirectX 11 shows how close real time graphics can come to depicting realistic scenes. 

    Saturday
    Jul142012

    HTML5 Canvas Performance Test

    Browser support for HTML5 Canvas is constantly improving. More features are being supported and performance is improving. Click here or on the image below to see how your browser performs. The app rotates a ten layer gradient and displays the Frame Rate.

    Sunday
    May272012

    HTML5 Canvas on a Smartphone

    HTML5 Canvas is a highly anticipated feature that allows web developers to create sophisticated graphics on their website pages. Most desktop and laptop browsers now support the Canvas feature. Mobile browsers are catching up. To see if your browser supports Canvas, you can access www.html5test.com for an analysis and rating of your browser.  Also, give this Canvas app a try:

    Saturday
    Mar312012

    Smartphone Installations Will Soon Outnumber PCs

    According to a new study by IDC, smartphone installations will soon outnumber those of PCs.  Not surprising, really, but we've lived in a PC dominant world for long enough that the shift seems monumental.

    Chart: Worldwide Smart Connected Device Shipments, 2010-2016 (Unit Millions)Description: This data comes from IDC's WW Quarterly PC Tracker, WW Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, and WW Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker.Tags: Tracker, mobile phones, tablets, forecast, PCs, devices, consumer, IDC ...Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

     

    Monday
    Mar122012

    Managing Android Devices

    Google has quite a task ... to manage an installed base of over a thousand different types of Android devices. Multiple sizes, shapes, features, etc. The positive way to describe this is variety. On the other hand, it has also been refered to as fragmentation.

    So how do they do it? In short, leverage. A good metaphor is a mechanical shovel. Relatively compact machines can move and lift very heavy objects using a system of joints and lever articulation. Android does something similar.

    The code in Android applications doesn't manipulate devices directly. There are intermediate joints and levers that make the task manageable. Application code is programmed using component names to refer to layout elements. Layouts are adjusted to device characteristics automatically by the Android operating system. This lets an individual line of code manipulate many different types of devices.

    This is a simplified view of how it all happens. There are a number of Android features that make it work: Themes, Styles, Action Bars, Fragments, Resources and much more. When implemented properly, an Android application can move a thousand different types of devices.

    Saturday
    Feb252012

    Coding for Better Understanding

    A recent article in the Communications of the ACM focuses on how to improve the understandability of code. "Coding Guidelines: Finding the Art in the Science" by Robert Green and Henry Ledgard addresses a number of often overlooked aspects of code design, including:

    • Statement alignment.
    • Component naming.
    • The use of white space.
    • Syntax highlighting.

    Many developers feel that work done to improve the appearance and understandabililty of code is wasted effort. They will often work to make code as compact and sometimes as obscure as possible.

    This might work well for them while the function of the code is recently developed in their own head. But someone, even themselves, trying to maintain or improve the code sometime in the future would likely find it very difficult to understand.

    Using principles such as those above can, over the long run, decrease development costs and improve code performance.

    Saturday
    Feb182012

    Dealing with Android Fragmentation

    So called Android fragmentation is caused by the large number of Android device types and operating system versions deployed in the market.  It's the flip side to the benefit of having a wide variety Android devices and capabilities.

    There are currently over a thousand different types of Android devices on the market. It's simply not possible to support all of these without accomodating variations in device design.

    Google provides a number of tools for addressing the compatibility necessary to serve this diverse universe of devices. These include:

    Unified Support for Tablets and Handsets

    Android 4.0 combines the support of tablets and handsets into a single release.

    The Holo Theme Family

    In Android 4.0 Google has made the inclusion of the unmodified Holo theme family a compatibility requirement for devices running Android 4.0 and forward. This will provide a level of uniformity across device implementations.

    Support for Multiple Screens

    Provides mechanisms for supporting multiple screen sizes and densities.

    Action Bar Backward Compatibility

    Google has recently developed a set of classes to give the Action Bar backward compatibility for pre Android 3.0 devices.  These classes invoke the action bar design pattern on pre-API 11 devices and the built-in Action Bar on devices supporting API 11 or greater.

    Android Compatibility Package

    This library is available through the SDK Updater. It gives backward compatibility for the new Fragments feature.

    Compatibility Guidelines

    Google provides guidelines on achieving compatibility across devices.

    Monday
    Feb062012

    Android Action Bar Backward Compatibility

    The Action Bar is a consistently formatted navigation and option selection area at the top of a screen with an overflow area at the bottom.
     
    Key aspects of the Action Bar include:
    • It's a replacement for the menu feature.
    • It was introduced in Android 3.0 and refined in Android 4.0.
    • It's included in activities that use the Holo theme family.

    Elements of the Action Bar graphic include:

    • Application icon.
    • Application name.
    • Up navigation to a parent screen.
    • Built-in tab navigation for switching between fragments.
    • Drop-down list for alternative navigation such as sort by a different criteria.
    • Important actions for a given app such as search and share.

    Google has recently developed a set of classes to give the Action Bar backward compatibility for pre Android 3.0 devices.  These classes invoke the action bar design pattern on pre-API 11 devices and the built-in Action Bar on devices supporting API 11 or greater.

    This is part of a larger set of capabilities for supporting application compatibility with multiple device environments including tablets and handsets and various screen sizes.

    Thursday
    Jan192012

    New Android Design Guidelines

    Google has just released new, and very helpful, Android design guidelines. They're detailed on the Android developer website. The main webpage is shown below.

    It's great to have these guidelines grouped in one place for easy access and they appear to be a step forward in developing an improved user experience ... both for the operating system and applications.

     

    Thursday
    Dec292011

    Using JavaScript, jQuery and HTML5 with Cloud-Based Web Development Tools

    Cloud based web development tools (such as Squarespace) are making web development easier. Their WYSIWYG editors even make simple web update accessible to non technical users. Web developers can concentrate on the more complicated, higher value added tasks, while their clients make simpler updates such as text changes and blogging.

    By adding JavaScript, jQuery and HTML5 to the mix, sophisticated, cost effective websites can be developed.