[This is part 6 of an ongoing series of posts examining the HTML5 Canvas element. In Part 1 of this series, I introduced Canvas and prepared a template to make further explorations a bit simpler, and also introduced JsFiddle, a neat tool for experimenting with and sharing web code. In Part 2, I demonstrated the ability of Canvas to allow your page background to shine through, and showed you how to render simple shapes on the drawing surface. In Part 3, I showed how to draw paths and text in Canvas. In Part 4, I showed how to transform the drawing context and scale, rotate, and skew your drawings. In Part 5, I introduced basic animation concepts, including the animation loop.]
The Part Where Things Get Messy
Now that you know how to get a shape moving across the screen, you’re probably wondering what’s next. Well, the truth is that the animation code we looked at in the previous installment of this series was fairly primitive, and if we tried to scale it to an animation or game with many shapes, we’d be writing a LOT of repetitive code, and we’d soon end up with a very messy batch of spaghetti.
I’m going to avoid casting aspersions on my fellow developers and instead simply own up to my own failings…I’ve been developing software since I was 10 years old (my first program was written in BASIC on a Commodore PET), and professionally for well over a decade, and for most of that time, I believed that design was someone else’s job, and that it didn’t matter whether I could design my way out of a paper bag.
Design is everyone’s responsibility, at least to some degree. No, you don’t have to start wearing black turtlenecks or engaging in other clichés, but what you should do is start cultivating a basic knowledge of design, and training your eye for what is and isn’t good design, both in the world of pixels as well as in the real world. Have you ever found yourself marveling at how difficult it is to figure out how to use some basic device? Listen to that voice in your head…it’s telling you that you’re dealing with a bad design.
Most of my readers are probably aware that Windows 8 is on the horizon. If you’re a software developer, whether an experienced Windows dev, or one who works on other platform, chances are good that you’ve at least heard of it. What I propose to do in this post is argue for a simple proposition…every developer who would like to put some additional money in their pocket owes it to themselves to learn the What, Why, and How of the Windows Store.
If you’ve attended one of the Windows Camp events that I or one of my peers have been running of late (or even if you couldn’t make it, but would like some great resources for learning more about Windows 8 Metro style apps), the materials from these events have now been made available online. You can download them from: