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.

Most of last week was spent working on material for the Web Developer Conference (WDC), which happened on Friday. During the event I spoke about all the cool technologies that are on the way, things like mobile phones being created from HTML5 and JavaScript. Awesome stuff basically! ;)

I also spent a lot of time work on the Rawkets AI as it was used on the big cinema screen between the talks at WDC. I don't have any videos of that but I do have a video of an AI mega-battle that I took during early development.

On an unrelated note it's great to see that the onGamestart videos are starting to make their way online. For the time being you should check out the overview video of the entire conference, which I've embedded below.

Links of the week

  • Amazon's Kindle 8 format brings HTML5 and CSS3 to e-books
    • I'm so happy to see that e-books are finally getting some love. The ability to use most HTML5 and CSS3 is going to allow for some really well structured and designed digital books.
  • Leaflet
    • This is a "modern" JavaScript library for mapping by the guys at CloudMade. I've used tiles from CloudMade before for data visualisation projects but I'm yet to properly try out Leaflet yet.
  • Percept
    • Seeing someone else tackle client prediction in multiplayer JavaScript gaming brings a big smile to my face. I can't wait to play around with this project and compare it to the client prediction code I half-implemented in Rawkets.
  • Lytro
    • This blew my mind. Lytro is a light-field camera, meaning that it captures all the light that it can see, in all directions, in all points in space. This means that you don't need to focus and can instead refocus a photo at a later date. Check it out, it's mental.
  • Opera add getUserMedia to access a webcam without plugins
    • Device APIs are coming, it's as simple as that. Just last week Opera released an experimental version of their browser that adds the ability to access a webcam with JavaScript. This is just the beginning of what's to come.
  • Optimising Long Lists Of Yes/No Values With JavaScript
    • Ignore the wordy title and check out this post on Smashing Magazine about optimising truthful values in JavaScript. These techniques are particularly useful if you plan to transmit data like this through WebSockets, like in multiplayer games.
  • Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs
    • This is another project that blew my mind. Imagine if you could add any 3D object into a pre-existing photograph and have it automatically adjust to the lighting of the scene. This is exactly what's happening here and much, much more.
  • Google AI Challenge
    • I've recently been playing with AI in Rawkets. Google are putting on an AI competition in which you need to construct the best AI that controls a colony of ants, with the ultimate aim of beating the AI submitted by other players.
  • Facebook HTML5 Resource Center
    • Facebook have launched a developer resource aimed at HTML5. There is a particular focus on apps and games which is nice to see.
  • Designing an infinite digital bookcase (in WebGL)
    • This post gives a little insight into the thought processes behind the WebGL Bookcase project.

Track of the week

Helix by Justice. I've been banging on about Justice's new album (Audio, Video, Disco) for ages now and I'm glad that it's finally out for our aural pleasure.

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