One By One Design

Lorenz Attractor – HTML5 Stylee

First, let me just say this up front, I will give up Flash when they pry it from my cold dead fingers. When Flash is outlawed only outlaws will code in Actionscript. Add any other cliches you’d like to, here. The point is, I love the Flash Platform and will continue to use it for years to come. But, let’s face it, anyone who refuses to expand their skillset – whether it be with HTML5, Unity3D, or any other technology – or who at least chooses not to know their enemies won’t last very long in this game.

So, that in mind, here is my first go at HTML5: a simple Lorenz Attractor. Not the most way-out thing folks have done, but ya gotta start somewhere.

A few things I learned along the way:

  • Trying to code in a OO fashion with Javascript is a serious pain in the ass. It’s funny that people have said this is the future of the web. For a Flash developer, it’s like stepping backwards in time 4 or 5 years. Any of you out there remember coding classes in Actionscript 1? Well, blow the dust off that nightmare memory ’cause it’s all coming back. As @ezekielDFM commented on Twitter, “it’s like doing all the things you trained yourself NOT to do.” It’s really a shame Ecmascript 4 was shot down. It would have been the perfect scripting language to complement the HTML5 canvas.
  • I’m not particularly keen on the fact that all code essentially becomes “open-sourced” by anyone doing a “view source” with their browser. Yes, I know that .swf files aren’t particularly difficult to decompile, but it does take a bit more effort to both get then reassemble in a functional way. And, in theory, decompiling .swf’s that aren’t your own is illegal, so that may prevent 4 or 5 folks from doing it. For something as simple as my little Lorenz attractor, it ain’t that big of a deal – but if I really don’t want to spend days, weeks, or months on a large commercial project only to have some script kiddie yoinking it off the web and doing the same in a few minutes with little to no modifications. And would the client be happy about that? Probably not. I’m sure there’s some way to obfuscate js though. I’ll look into it when I care more.
  • I used Processing.js for this experiment, which, despite my general dislike of javascript, I really liked a lot. Once that is, I figured out how to actually get it going. That proved a little more difficult than expected.
  • All in all, html5 isn’t a horrible thing, but in it’s current state it seems to be more of just a “toy” than what detractors of Flash call Flash. I really feel like diving into some serious object oriented Actionscript now, just to wash away the taste…
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