Collaborating with you

One of the odd things about a blog is its asymmetry. Of course readers can comment, but the general tone is one of presentation and response: I make something and show it to you, and all you can do is play with it and then maybe say what you think of it.

So today I thought it would be interesting to try something more actively participatory. The image below leads to an applet that lets you rearrange a pattern of tiles. The kicker is that any change you make will persist: The next person who comes to that page will see the changes that you’ve already made to the pattern.

This certainly isn’t the most interesting example of participatory design, but I thought it best to start off with something simple, to test the waters. As usual, you launch the applet by clicking on the image below:

4 thoughts on “Collaborating with you”

  1. Just an idea–is there a way for you to add a “copy” function, where you can copy and not swap squares? Maybe make a menu so nothing will be totally erased 🙂

  2. Are you recording the moves made? It would be really interesting to have an animation of this being changed over time.

  3. Joe: I am dealing with multiple people simultaneously by having the server regularly read back the shared state to your applet. So if you do nothing, you’ll see the pattern gradually change if other people are running the applet.

    This is a very simple-minded version, and I don’t deal as well with issues like contention as I should. I did this one mostly to get my feet wet.

    Certainly, going forward, I’ll be exploring keeping histories that people can play back and forth, but I didn’t want to take on too much in one day. 🙂

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