Painting in your browser (HTML5 / <Canvas>)

Stumbled upon this experimental web app.
paintweb - Google Code

Seems to work quite fine and shows the direction the web is heading… the mighty “I can do everything” browser.
Works in both Konqueror and Firefox (and probably safari/chrome etc, but this a linux Forum so who cares?)

My attempt at an openSUSE logo (bummer, images disabled in this part of the forums? :()](

So okay… I fail at drawing… but hey, at least it has anti-aliased borders!

Yes, <canvas> is in modern browsers already and is what Google Maps uses for example. Google has to push out a canvas plugin for IE6 clients.

HTML5 is being developed at the instigation of Mozilla, Apple and Safari and so far <canvas> is just being implemented for 2-dimensional objects written using Javascript.

Google uses Javascript to implement it in IE

WAIT, i thought innovation comes from Redmond…not the other way
around! :wink:


Yeah I read about that, amongst many others google is working on a IE plugin to replace (I think) their current VML approach.

Was just looking on how to best tackle the problem of making something I’m working on cross-browser compatible… and it looks like I’ll have to use VML as well.
SVG or Canvas for every decent browser and VML for the people I like to yell at would do the trick.
Doesn’t seem in my case SVG offers any benefits over Canvas (or the other way around)… I’ll probably end up writing both just for kicks.

Wonder how much longer flash will be around… guess for ages as writing one thing for every browser is a lot easier then writing a SVG or canvas AND VML version. And I’ve this strange suspicion it will be many years before IE provides proper support… not to mention the majority of the people would actually need to update their browser for once.

Flash will be around for a long time. There are things that the flash player does that are not possible with canvas or SVG. The most obvious is flash video of course.

But there is the new <video>]( tag for that. (By the time you’re able to use <canvas> then <video> shouldn’t be a problem either.)

And I really like all of these a lot better than flash, as you can write them in whatever text editor you want to (though obviously a tool comes in handy for certain tasks, like svg images) and they’re accessible to search engines.
(Google is however adding limited flash ‘searchability’ as of late)

Bummer, wanted to add this… but 10 minute edit limit wont let me.

Just the problem that none of them will see any widespread use before probably 2015 or something as SVG still isn’t supported in IE8. From what I can tell it doesn’t seem like <canvas> is either…
Who knows what happens if organizations like Mozilla and google start ‘forcing’ the use though.
I’m still puzzled as to why these organizations have to step in; for a company as big and rich as Microsoft it’s hard to imagine they would lack the resources to hire a few programmers to add it.
Now if Ballmers talk about using webkit for IE would actually hold some truth…

I’m afraid the

Ballmer also states that he feels confident about Microsoft’s ability to develop interesting browser technologies itself.
IS true though, and I can see more VML/Active X/Non-standard things coming our way…

The whole idea of HTML5 is that it should be as backwardly compatible as possible while moving things forward.

For example, HTML5 is trying to tighten the definitions of a lot of existing tags which have been used rather loosely in the past so that people can be sure that what happens is the same in every browser.

It’s a moving target but, if you are interested, you may well find it useful to subscribe to the various mailing lists to keep up-to-date.

Organizations around the world, working on Web2 technologies, waste considerable amount of time to make sure that their stuff can work on IE. Google is one of them.

Now, assume that Google adds few compelling new features on their gmail browser client and announces that these new features are not going to be available on IE (because of their lack of support for standards and new features). What will be the effect of this? All of us know that there are millions of gmail users around the world. I think those who are still using IE will definitely switch immediately to a standard-compliant browser. And, that will be the end of IE! (I dream of this day!!).

For those that like strict there is always XHTML 2.0

XHTML 1.1 seems to have recently losened up a bit. Quoting wikipedia (which has w3c links to back it up)

With limited browser support for the alternate application/xhtml+xml media type, XHTML 1.1 proved unable to gain widespread use. In January 2009 a second edition of the document was issued, relaxing this restriction and allowing XHTML 1.1 to be served as text/html.

XHTML 1.1 Second Edition is expected in the first quarter of 2009.
It’s still advised to send the application/xhtml+xml type though.

Unfortunately flash has first mover advantage. Chances are that <video> will formalise the use of flash objects as one kind of video on web pages, which are currently done using <object> tags. Other kinds of video though trailing in market share are QT and RealVideo. Not to mention theora. They would be brought under the aegis of <video>.

It’s has never been the case a standards body has been able to sway usage away from a massive market share. What happens is that standards document or formalise current usage.

That depends on what you do with the XHTML page. If it’s intended to be rendered as HTML, the browser will probably not do the right thing with xhtml+xml type, or interpret it as something for XForms. This illustrates my point about trying to change behaviour by fiat.

I understand that one of the reasons why Mozilla, Apple and Opera are cooperating on HTML5 is that development of XHTML is stalled and they don’t see any chance of it gaining widespread acceptance.

It’s too big a switch to do at once in the opinion of many. Too many for the ‘big guys’ to ignore.
Main ‘selling point’ of HTML5 does indeed seem to be the backwards compatibility you already mentioned.
Most of the new tags allow pretty much for the ‘old version’ to be placed in them as a fallback.

Once enough market-share is gained, removed the content out of the tags and you’re done. (Okay… over-simplified)

Unfortunately flash has first mover advantage. Chances are that <video> will formalise the use of flash objects as one kind of video on web pages, which are currently done using <object> tags. Other kinds of video though trailing in market share are QT and RealVideo. Not to mention theora. They would be brought under the aegis of <video>.
I doubt flash 3rd party plugin would have anything to do with it.
I can see however how this wouldn’t be accepted very easily by sites that make a revenue from ads displayed ‘inside’ videos though… as it I suspect it would a lot easier to block them then they are at moment when embedded into the flash file.

Mmmh rereading your bit again I seem to have gotten the wrong impression, if you meant that expecting codecs to be in place with <video> is a disadvantage compared to flash that just plays… that does indeed seem to pose a problem and is mentioned in the video working draft

**PS: **
Even worse, more often than not <embed> seems to be used instead of <object>. (Or I’m frequenting too many wordpress based sites).

Actually both are used, and the JS is written to accomodate both. <video> I’m guessing will offer a unified way to replace <object> and <embed> in newer browsers but the old tags will have to be offered or some plugin developed for older browsers.

To be successful, a new standard must offer additional advantages. Cleaning things up just for the same of cleaning things up will just get yawns. No money in that. So as long as there is application drive for the new tags, they will get used. <canvas>'s future is probably assured due to Gmaps.