Canvas animations - what's up with the "Burst Engine"

Discussion in 'Javascript' started by abc, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. abc

    abc Guest

    Hello all,
    I just happened to come across the "Burst Engine" by Alistair MacDonald
    (@F1LT3R) for animating svg graphics in an html-5 canvas.

    There is a demo and a nifty step-by-step video of how it was created
    here: http://hacks.mozilla.org/2009/06/rendering-svg-canvas-burst/

    It looked interesting enough to me, to want to download and give it a whirl.

    The demo and the video are from mid-2009 though, the package available
    for download at http://github.com/F1LT3R/burst or at http://bocoup.com/
    is from early 2009, and it seems hard to find even a mention of the
    "Burst Engine" that is any newer than those dates.

    I am wondering what's up with that project. Has anything happened to it
    over the last year or so? Is it dead? Has it been replaced or made
    redundant or irrelevant by something newer and better? Forked and being
    developed under some other name? Bought up by big bucks and vanished
    into the corridors of corporate boredom never to be heard of again? Or
    anything else?
    abc, Jul 4, 2010
    #1
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  2. On Jul 4, 9:25 am, abc <> wrote:
    > Hello all,
    > I just happened to come across the "Burst Engine" by Alistair MacDonald
    > (@F1LT3R) for animating svg graphics in an html-5 canvas.
    >
    > There is a demo and a nifty step-by-step video of how it was created
    > here:http://hacks.mozilla.org/2009/06/rendering-svg-canvas-burst/
    >
    > It looked interesting enough to me, to want to download and give it a whirl.
    >
    > The demo and the video are from mid-2009 though, the package available
    > for download athttp://github.com/F1LT3R/burstor athttp://bocoup.com/
    > is from early 2009, and it seems hard to find even a mention of the
    > "Burst Engine" that is any newer than those dates.
    >
    > I am wondering what's up with that project. Has anything happened to it
    > over the last year or so? Is it dead? Has it been replaced or made
    > redundant or irrelevant by something newer and better? Forked and being
    > developed under some other name? Bought up by big bucks and vanished
    > into the corridors of corporate boredom never to be heard of again? Or
    > anything else?


    I believe Raphael is the popular thing at the moment in regards to
    SVG. Canvas wise? I don't believe there is anything significant enough
    to worth mentioning atm. Processing.js maybe if you like a Java style
    of declarative animation.
    Michael Haufe (\TNO\), Jul 4, 2010
    #2
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  3. abc

    Scott Sauyet Guest

    Richard Cornford wrote:
    > There is a rather strange notion, seemingly beloved of web developers,
    > that browser scripts are no good unless they are constantly being
    > updated. Without getting into the specifics of this particular project
    > (because I don't care), beyond noting that it appears to have a finite
    > scope, isn't it at all conceivable that the reason that it has not been
    > updated in the last year and a bit is that it is finished; that it
    > already does what it was designed/documented to do?


    In my experience, software tools are very rarely complete. Almost
    always, there is some reason to extend them, to simplify them, to fix
    minor or major bugs, to make them compatible with additional systems.
    Mature products certainly slow down and have longer release cycles,
    but often the end of regular development indicates that the tool is no
    longer being introduced into new systems. YMMV, of course, but I tend
    to become suspicious of tools that haven't been updated in a year or
    more. Often they've been abandoned, and I will have to find and fix
    any bugs I encounter.

    --
    Scott
    Scott Sauyet, Jul 6, 2010
    #3
  4. On Jul 6, 2:16 am, Scott Sauyet wrote:
    > Richard Cornford wrote:
    >> There is a rather strange notion, seemingly beloved of web
    >> developers, that browser scripts are no good unless they are
    >> constantly being updated. Without getting into the specifics
    >> of this particular project (because I don't care), beyond
    >> noting that it appears to have a finite scope, isn't it at
    >> all conceivable that the reason that it has not been updated
    >> in the last year and a bit is that it is finished; that it
    >> already does what it was designed/documented to do?

    >
    > In my experience, software tools are very rarely complete.


    Is this a "software tool"? It sounded like a browser script, and it
    also sounded like a browser script with a finite scope; to animate SVG
    graphics in an HTML 5 Canvas.

    > Almost always, there is some reason to extend them, to simplify
    > them, to fix minor or major bugs,


    But it wouldn't make sense to extend things in an arbitrary way, and
    after sufficient time a script that does a finite job effectively will
    stand a good change of being pretty much bug free and as simple as it
    is needed to be.

    > to make them compatible with additional systems.


    The odds are that the only systems with which this needs to be
    compatible are (ECMA)scriptable web browsers with HTML 5 Canvas
    support. So long as that is based on feature detection instead of
    object inference or US string browser sniffing (and the script follows
    the pertinent standards/draft standards) new environments are unlikely
    to be an issue unless/until someone issues (and someone else
    implements) a new standard that is not back-compatible.

    > Mature products certainly slow down and have longer release
    > cycles, but often the end of regular development indicates
    > that the tool is no longer being introduced into new systems.


    But that does not have to be true for cross-browser scripts. I
    regularly use script components that are more than half a decade old,
    and the only modification any have seen over most of that time is to
    have branches for Netscape 4 and IE 4 removed (as no longer worth the
    download overhead).

    > YMMV, of course, but I tend to become suspicious of tools
    > that haven't been updated in a year or more.


    Apparently. I tend to regard something that has been in use for half a
    decade and not changed in that time as reliable.

    > Often they've been abandoned, and I will have to find and fix
    > any bugs I encounter.


    People certainly do abandon projects, but it must be possible that
    some people just finish them.

    Richard.
    Richard Cornford, Jul 6, 2010
    #4
  5. abc

    Scott Sauyet Guest

    Richard Cornford wrote:
    > On Jul 6, 2:16 am, Scott Sauyet wrote:
    >
    >> In my experience, software tools are very rarely complete.

    >
    > Is this a "software tool"? It sounded like a browser script, and it
    > also sounded like a browser script with a finite scope; to animate SVG
    > graphics in an HTML 5 Canvas.


    I don't see a good reason to differentiate them. By "tool" I was
    trying to distinguish this from complete applications, which are
    commonly finished, although competition often requires release of new
    versions even of those. Whether the target is a browser or an OS or a
    virtual machine doesn't, IMHO, affect the argument.


    >> Almost always, there is some reason to extend them, to simplify
    >> them, to fix minor or major bugs,

    >
    > But it wouldn't make sense to extend things in an arbitrary way, and
    > after sufficient time a script that does a finite job effectively will
    > stand a good change of being pretty much bug free and as simple as it
    > is needed to be.


    Of course arbitrary extensions are not particularly wise -- although
    they are unfortunately common -- but I find that new situations that
    sound like good fits for existing tools but don't quite fit are often
    the cause for extending said tools. And that is a good reason for an
    extension. As to bug-free, I find that I discover very old bugs as I
    try software in new environments.


    >> to make them compatible with additional systems.

    >
    > The odds are that the only systems with which this needs to be
    > compatible are (ECMA)scriptable web browsers with HTML 5 Canvas
    > support. So long as that is based on feature detection instead of
    > object inference or US string browser sniffing (and the script follows
    > the pertinent standards/draft standards) new environments are unlikely
    > to be an issue unless/until someone issues (and someone else
    > implements) a new standard that is not back-compatible.


    I'm not saying that it can't happen, and obviously your experience is
    different from mine, but I would personally be surprised if a tool
    based around these standards today and not modified again will be a
    preferred solution in half a decade.


    >> Mature products certainly slow down and have longer release
    >> cycles, but often the end of regular development indicates
    >> that the tool is no longer being introduced into new systems.

    >
    > But that does not have to be true for cross-browser scripts. I
    > regularly use script components that are more than half a decade old,
    > and the only modification any have seen over most of that time is to
    > have branches for Netscape 4 and IE 4 removed (as no longer worth the
    > download overhead).


    And can you imagine in a few years removing support for multiple event
    registration models if that ever settles down? Such simplifications
    are part of the process I have come to take for granted.

    I have not looked at the tool under question at all, but if the SVG
    format is updated, I would expect a useful library to release a
    version compatible with the new version of SVG. If the Canvas specs
    are extended with some useful features, I would expect the library to
    take advantage of them. And quite possibly if someone comes out with
    a nicer format to take the place of SVG, I would expect the author to
    consider whether the library could be extended to take advantage of it
    or possibly release a separate version to work with it. Of course the
    author might not find any of these upgrades worthwhile, but if there
    is


    >> YMMV, of course, but I tend to become suspicious of tools
    >> that haven't been updated in a year or more.

    >
    > Apparently. I tend to regard something that has been in use for half a
    > decade and not changed in that time as reliable.


    Usually I don't get a good sense on how much such tools are used
    unless they are my own. I agree, if they are in regular use, and
    especially if they are still being used in new development, I can
    expect that they are likely reliable, but I have little experience
    with third-party tools like that.


    >> Often they've been abandoned, and I will have to find and fix
    >> any bugs I encounter.

    >
    > People certainly do abandon projects, but it must be possible that
    > some people just finish them.


    I'm sure it's possible. I'm certain it's happened. But in my
    experience, it's rare.

    --
    Scott
    Scott Sauyet, Jul 6, 2010
    #5
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