This week I built a bridge

Back in August 2013, when Oracle decided to kill Java Applets (thereby wiping out many years of work I had done building cool interactive animated diagrams for the Web), I pivoted to Javascript and WebGL. In the Fall semester of 2013 I built lots of interactive diagrams in Javascript for my computer graphics course notes on the Web.

Then in early 2014 I started working on Chalktalk, and abandoned those lovely early Javascript experiments. Alas, no more cool interactive diagrams for my on-line course notes.

This past week I revisited those experiments from 2013, and started to rework them so that they would also work in Chalktalk. Today I finally completed the bridge between the two.

I can now use the identical code for both an interactive diagram embedded in a Web page document (ie: on-line course notes) and an animated sketch performed in Chalktalk. For those of you who are computer programmers, I do this by providing two very different support libraries that just happen to share the same API.

This means I will be able to use Chalktalk’s capability to be a “magic whiteboard” for the live storytelling part of teaching computer graphics, and then put exactly the same code on the Web for the interactive course notes, so that students can explore those examples for themselves when they review the notes on-line.

I feel really good about this. Now I just need to get it all working in volumetric video…

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