Rawkes

Articles

Blogging and experimentation is key to everything I do. Join me as I talk about programming, digital media, games, and everything in-between.


Leaving Pusher to work on ViziCities full time

In this entry I announce my departure from Pusher to work on ViziCities full time. I also go into more detail about the plan for the future of ViziCities and make a call for funding.

ViziCities release roundup

In this entry I round up the coverage and statistics from the first week since ViziCities was launched to the public. I also hint at some future features.

ViziCities released as open-source

In this entry I announce the immediate release of ViziCities as an open-source project, show you where to download it, and hint at the future of the project.

2013: All change

In this entry I look back at 2013 and highlight some of the moments that made it such a memorable year.

Robin Andrew Hawkes: The story behind a name

For over half of my life I have been known as Rob, a name that I always partly regretted and felt sad about. Today I decided to move back to Robin, my full name. Here is the story behind that name.

Moving to London

In this entry I announce my plans to move away from the countryside and head back to my roots in London. What is this about? Why am I doing it? When will it happen? I answer everything.

On leaving Mozilla

In this entry I announce my departure from Mozilla, explain my decision, and talk a little about my plans for the future.

One year at Mozilla

As of June 6th 2012, I have officially been a Mozilla employee for one whole year. In this post I round up what has happened during those 12 short months, as well as my plans for the next year.

Does alcohol have a place at Web events?

I read a recent post by Ryan Funduk that raises the issue surrounding drinking culture at events. I’m in two minds about this; on one hand I don’t see the problem, but on the other I remember the countless times that after-parties and evening events have done my head in.

Should Web games be playable on every device and platform?

I’ll keep this short and sweet. Should a Web game (HTML5, JavaScript and CSS) be playable on every device and platform that supports the technologies it uses? What about if the experience will be ruined by physical device size or hardware capabilities?

Travelling alone

I’m finding myself travelling alone more and more since I started at Mozilla. I’m absolutely loving the experience and opportunity but there are still a few things about travelling on your own that bug me, like eating alone. I’d love to hear from you about how you deal with these things as well as hearing any other travel-related tips.

Rawkes Weekly: 3rd January 2012

The twelth instalment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over recent events and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Rawkes Weekly: 19th December 2011

The eleventh instalment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over recent events and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Gamepad API demo in Firefox and Chrome

I’ve recently been playing with the Gamepad API and implementing it in Rawkets. Up until a few days ago this was a Firefox-only feature but I’m glad to say that builds of Chrome are now out with gamepad support. Here is a quick video of Rawkets with the Gamepad API working in Firefox and Chrome.

Rawkes Weekly: 12th December 2011

The tenth instalment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over recent events and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Rawkes Weekly: 1st December 2011

The ninth instalment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over recent events and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Rawkes Weekly: 25th October 2011

The eighth installment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over events of the past week and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Rawkes Weekly: 17th October 2011

The seventh installment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over events of the past week and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Rawkes Weekly: 10th October 2011

The sixth installment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over events of the past week and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

The moment Twitter lost Steve Jobs

As part of my ongoing research into Twitter sentiment I’ve always been interested in seeing how people on Twitter react to national and global events. Steve Jobs’ recent passing is exactly one kind of these events and has, in my opinion, unsurprisingly triggered one of the largest and most instant changes in sentiment that I’ve ever seen on Twitter.

Rawkes Weekly: 3rd October 2011

The fifth installment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over events of the past two weeks and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

A look inside Rawkets - onGameStart 2011

I’ve spent the past few days in Poland attending onGameStart, the first large-scale HTML5 gaming conference. On the second day of the event I was invited to talk about Rawkets and some of the issues that I encountered during its development. In this entry I will share the materials and resources related to that talk.

Rawkes Weekly: 19th September 2011

The forth installment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over events of the past week and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Rawkes Weekly: 12th September 2011

The third installment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over events of the past week and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Rawkes Weekly: 5th September 2011

The second installment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over events of the past week and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

Rawkes Weekly: 30th August 2011

It’s back! That’s right, I’m starting Rawkes Weekly again after it took a back seat during my time at university. I’m glad it’s back as I come across so much new stuff every week now that the only way I can think of managing it all is to put it in a entry here.

Real-time Twitter sentiment analysis

This is just a quick update to shed some light on a tool that I’m creating for visualising Twitter sentiment in real-time using Web technologies. I’ve already worked on Twitter sentiment analysis using historic data, so moving into the real-time world seemed like the next logical step.

Browserscene: Creating demos on the Web

I gave two seminars at Assembly in Finland about the browserscene, my way of referring to the demoscene on the Web. The first seminar was an overview of the technologies available on the Web that demo programmers can use to make amazing stuff. The second seminar was a code run-through of an example demo that I made with WebGL and the Audio Data API.

Call for votes: .net Awards 2011

Every year .net magazine organise an awards ceremony to recognise the best and brightest in the industry. Last year I had the pleasure of attending the ceremony as ExplicitWeb was up for Podcast of the Year (we didn’t win). This year the podcast isn’t up for anything, but it turns out that I’ve been nominated for 3 awards myself. Crazy stuff!

HTeaML: A superbly traditional event for London Web developers

After last week’s London JS I got talking to one of the attendees, Kat Thompson, about how tea and cake are painfully missing from these kind of events, particularly in the UK. Beer and pizza is the norm it seems, but where’s the love for the traditional English beverage and spongey food-stuff?

WebSockets at London JS

Yesterday evening I talked about WebSockets at London JS, a fairly new event that is already proving incredibly popular with developers around the city. What made the night even more exciting is that the talk very nearly didn’t happen! In this entry I’ll be rounding up my thoughts on the event, giving you the resources from my talk, and shedding some light on why it nearly didn’t happen.

HTML5 gaming at SF HTML5 and Google

This past week I’ve been out in California on serious Mozilla duty, but aside from all that hard graft I took some time out to give a couple of talks on HTML5 gaming. One of the talks was at SF HTML5 in San Francisco, and the other was at Google HQ in Mountain View (yes, the place with the slides and shit).

My first week as a Mozillian

That fact that I’m here writing this entry means that I did indeed make it through my first week working at Mozilla. In one way it feels like I’ve been working here for months, but in another I’m very aware that I’m the new guy who hasn’t quite found his feet yet. All in all it was a great first week and I’d like to share some of it with you, including an insight into the projects that I’m working on.

An epic illustration for Rawkets

Over the past few weeks a talented digital artist by the name of Reid Southen has been feverishly working away on a promotional illustration for Rawkets. The brief was to create an artist’s impression of what Rawkets might look like in real life, and it had to be epic. I can safely say that Reid easily surpassed the brief, creating an absolutely mind-blowing illustration. Check the rest of the post to see it in full!

People love a good smooch on a balcony: Monitoring mood in the UK via Twitter

Over the past 6 months I’ve been creating a system to monitor sentiment on Twitter, using nothing but freely available technologies. The culmination of this study has resulted in the discovery and subsequent proof of regular fluctuations in sentiment within the UK. I highly recommend that you read the full study included in this entry; it’s an interesting area of research and one which I believe warrants further analysis.

Twitter sentiment surrounding the OBL events

However you feel about it, recent events regarding the US operation in Pakistan to neutralise OBL have been all over the news. I ran the day of the announcement through my Twitter sentiment analysis method in an effort to see how people reacted in the UK.

Royal wedding Twitter sentiment

It’s not often that you get such a large and public event that causes an entire nation to talk about it (whether for or against). The royal wedding was one of those rare occasions, and one which I was eager to tie into my work with Twitter sentiment analysis. How did Twitter react? Read on and I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Refining the measurement of UK Twitter sentiment

As part of my ongoing research into sentiment on Twitter, I’ve spent much of my time refining the data visualisations to highlight patterns and trends in a much better way. In this entry I pick out a couple of the newest visualisations that I think are interesting.

Finding patterns in Twitter sentiment

In this entry I hope to shed some light on the methods I used for finding patterns within Twitter sentiment data. Through the journey from maps to graphs, or the realisation that trends and granularity are massively important, I plan to document the lessons that I’ve learnt. I also look at the mystery surrounding the Twitter sentiment heartbeat that I uncovered during my research. It’s genuinely interesting!

How I scraped and stored over 3 million tweets

In the last entry I talked about how mapping Twitter sentiment can be a complete bitch. In this entry I’m taking a different approach by looking at the methods that I’ve used to scrape and store over 3 million tweets, while keeping performance and stability to a maximum.

Mapping Twitter sentiment is a bitch

In this entry I hope to highlight some of the major issues that I encountered while working with maps on the Twitter sentiment analysis project.

The first sighting of Foundation Canvas in the wild

Even though the book isn’t due for release until next Friday, one lucky developer in the US has already received his copy from Amazon. I hope he enjoys it! Check the full entry for the photo.

Twitter sentiment during Japanese tsunami

I took some time out to analyse over 100,000 tweets about the Japanese tsunami yesterday. Although I haven’t properly looked into the data yet, the levels of sentiment are incredibly interesting.

Rawkes Talks - Episode 2

Rawkes Talks is a semi-regular video series in which I come on camera and waffle on about the random stuff that I get up to. I also spend some time answering a few questions that have been sent in relating to Web technologies. It’s fun for all the family!

Rawkes Talks - Episode 1

Rawkes Talks is a semi-regular video series in which I come on camera and waffle on about the random stuff that I get up to. I also spend some time answering a few questions that have been sent in relating to Web technologies. It’s fun for all the family!

Interviewed by Mozilla for the people of HTML5 series

Yesterday I was interviewed by Christian Heilmann about HTML5 canvas and game development. I had a great time and I’m very thankful to be given the opportunity, and to be considered a person of HTML5.

Mashing up the HTML5 logo

Today the W3C released the undeniably sexy HTML5 logo, but that’s old news now. What I’m most interested in is what Phil Banks did to the HTML5 logo afterwards.

2010: Mind-blowingly mental

Where do I start with 2010? Mind-blowingly mental would be the best way to describe it. I suppose you could call it the most awesome year by far, which is funny considering that is exactly how I referred to 2009.

Where next?

Where do I go from here? In this post I try and answer that question by taking a look at recent events and predicting where my future might lie. After all, it’s not long until I finish my degree and get thrust into the big bad world!

Canvas circles by Mark Embling

This is a lovely little demonstation of canvas that ties in other cool HTML5 features like the audio element. It’s hypnotic!

The first HTML5 canvas hack night

This time last week the first ever HTML5 canvas hack night took place in Bournemouth. It was organised by myself with support from Microsoft and went down pretty well. In this post I give an overview of the event and an insight into what to expect next.

Rounded corners in HTML5 canvas

Rounded corners aren’t directly built into HTML5 canvas for filled shapes, but you can produce them with a little time and effort. Here I quickly show you how to do just that.

A couple of new sections

I’ve added a couple of new sections to the site, one listing all the projects I’ve worked on, and the other listing all the events I’m speaking at (or have spoken). Check them out!

Vote for Rawkets on HTML5games.com

Rawkets, my HTML5 canvas and WebSockets game, has made it onto the homepage of HTML5games.com. Make sure you vote for it if you’ve enjoyed it!

Rawkets development update #1

For my final year project at university I’m making a massively multiplayer game that utilises HTML5 canvas and WebSockets. It’s in the early stages, but in this post I outline it’s current development.

Twitter. Canvas. 10K.

A couple months ago I submitted a HTML5 canvas-based Twitter app to the 10K Apart competition. The app is now hosted on this website and I’ve released it as open-source. Enjoy!

Visualising tweets and website traffic with the Cinder framework

Over the last week or so I’ve been playing around with ways of visualising the tweets and website traffic related to my HTML5 Google balls logo. This is a quick overview of what I’ve done so far, from starting out in Processing, to really pushing the performance boundaries with Cinder.

Recreating Google’s bouncing balls logo in HTML5 canvas

Today Google released a new version of their homepage with the logo constructed of little balls that move around with your mouse. Pretty impressive, but for some reason they decided against using HTML5 canvas. I couldn’t have this, so I spent the morning coding and recreated the logo using HTML5 canvas.

Vote for my entry to 10K Apart

Do your good deed for the day and vote for my canvas-based Twitter application in the 10K Apart competition.

Barcamp Bournemouth and HTML5 Canvas

This weekend I attended my first barcamp event and even did my first bit of public speaking. Here is an overview of my favourite parts of the day and a link to the slides for my talk on HTML5 canvas.

User Interfacing the Augmented Reality Game

Major progress has been made on the game since you last saw it. There is now a basic user interface that wraps the entire experience; allowing you to to choose levels, pause the game, and reset the current level.

ExplicitWeb: A Podcast from the Front Lines of Web Development

John O’Nolan, Hannah and myself have been beavering away creating a brand new web design and development podcast. We call it ExplicitWeb and its purpose is to deliver interesting discussions and helpful tips about the industry with some banter along the way.

Stop Highlighting the Gender Difference

When Boagworld celebrated it’s 200th show a live podcast was put on throughout the day to commemorate the event. Unfortunately, sexist activities in a live chat-room for the event overshadowed this otherwise successful day.

The Virtual Revolution

The BBC is currently airing a documentary series covering the last 20 years of the web and, as they put it, exploring how it’s reshaping almost every aspect of our lives. It’s fantastic stuff I tell you!

3D to 2D Grid Mapping with Augmented Reality [Video]

Integral to the AR game is it’s grid environment, which controls the dimensions, orientation and other game-wide settings. Recent development of the grid logic has allowed for accurate 3D to 2D interaction tracking.

The Best Business Card in the World

I’ve always felt a little useless at conferences and meet-ups because of my lack of business cards. It’s now time for a change, and I believe I’ve just created the best business card in the world.

Grid Logic in Augmented Reality [Video]

An integral part of the augmented reality game I’m working on is the logic behind the scenes, particularly the grid-based system that will be used to calculate positioning and ensure reliable interaction from the player.

2009: In Review

From a clumsy teen who used Windows, to a sensible(?) adult who makes wonders happen with OS X, my recent history has been particularly interesting. Join me as I reminisce about the past decade and take a look at what the future holds.

Introducing Arduino: Electronics Made Easy

Arduino. If you’re like me when I first saw that word then you’ll be thinking something along the lines of, “what are you on about you crazy person?”. To be honest I’m still not entirely sure how to pronounce it, I believe it’s ar-do-ee-no. Regardless, all you need to know is that it’s a word you’ll be hearing a lot of in the near future, even if that’s all from my mouth alone.

The Web Factor

It seems that anyone with an ounce of ‘talent’ is able to climb in front of the general public and make a success of themselves, and a fortune to boot. Whatever happened to experience? Cue rant.

Factored Canvas Application is now Open Source

I’ve been meaning to do this for a few months now so it makes me extremely happy to announce that I’ve released all the code for the canvas application I made at Redweb as open source.

An Insight into the HTML5 Canvas Element

During my internship at Redweb I was asked to explore what can be achieved by using cutting-edge web technologies. In particular, I was asked to experiment with the new HTML5 canvas element.

URL ABC

Following in the footsteps of Tim Van Damme I thought I’d play along with a little game that’s making the rounds.

Welcome to the Future of Rawkes

It’s been a long time since Rawkes last witnessed the activity it deserves, a trend I aim to quash if I’ve got anything to do with it. Today I vow to give Rawkes the attention it deserves. Today I outline how I plan to do that and talk about the exciting future of Rawkes.

Rawkes Development - Exploration

After a small dilemma of not having a way to utilise the cool animated elements I visualised for the new Rawkes… I might’ve cracked it.

Rawkes Development - First Look Video

I’ve been hard at work on the new layout and here is a first proper look at it coded in the web browser, warts and all. The whole thing is coded in HTML 5 and utilises CSS3.

Rawkes Development - What’s Next & First Look At The New Design

It’s not exactly a secret that the next version of Rawkes is on the way. Over the last few months I’ve been thinking about the redesign non-stop and coming up with lots of awesome ideas to make this version really stand out. I suppose before I get onto the new features and design I should talk briefly about what’s going to change.