Novelties

This week I am drowning in interesting things.

 

Google Drive Realtime API – For an experimental text/code editor I made a Java implementation of much of the Etherpad protocol, to allow a Java client to participate in a document/program being edited in real time on an Etherpad Lite server.

Google Docs is the model for a lot of the interaction we want, so I was interested when I heard that Google made the Realtime API available last week. On Monday I finally read through the documentation. Where Etherpad is string-centric, the Realtime API has synchronized strings but also lists, maps, and arbitrarily composed objects, which would be very helpful. Also the Google Drive integration could come in handy.

 

Catroid – A visual programming system inspired by Scratch, for Android phones (among others). I've wanted something like this since I got my first smartphone a few months ago, finally ran across it on Tuesday. It's been very inspirational, it does many things well and I badly want to work on improving it!

 

Modit – Is a kind of portal for JavaScript games, but it has an integrated source code editor to encourage users to make changes and publish them. The system also allows modding tools themselves to be created and edited, which is right up my alley. There's a pretty nice tutorial. This just became known to me yesterday, I had an exciting email exchange with one of the developers about the possibilities. For instance: In my last post I mentioned how Moonbase could be used as a pathway to learning a textual programming language. It should be possible to implement such a visual animation editor as a modding tool on Modit, switching from the graph to the textual code for more flexibility.

I did my recent graphics assignments in JavaScript, so I eagerly put them up on Modit for someone to play with: Software 3D and Wireframe.

(Note 2015-07-28: Modit went closed beta a few months after this post, there is still a video of the old site on YouTube)

 

Bootstrap – An algebra curriculum designed around having students program video games. It has an interesting browser IDE called WeScheme that I'm just starting to dig into. I don't know how I managed to not hear about this until today.

 

Who knows what wonders tomorrow holds? Unfortunately I don't have the time to dig into these things now, but it's been hard for me to concentrate on other work. I'm trying to get the enthusiasm out of my system for now with this post, here's hoping.