Chrome Experiments are getting Crazy

February 4th, 2010

I haven’t been to the Chrome Experiments site since Google launched Chrome a couple of years ago. If you haven’t heard of the site, it’s a bunch of JavaScript experiments showcasing Chrome’s JavaScript engine, V8. The original stuff was balls bouncing around the screen or a rotating cube, but some of the new stuff is just amazing!

The first one that blew me away was Sketchpad. It’s a drawing app that let’s you control everything you would expect in a basic drawing program. Add some layers and the ability to upload and edit pictures and I’m sure people would pay to use this. It’s amazing someone actually built this just using HTML and JavaScript. It’s a great example of what HTML5 is capable of but it’s going to be a while before it’s any where close to easy to build something like this.

Crystal Galaxy is simply beyond awesome. A video game made in JavaScript? If someone had just sent me a link to this, I would have swore it was made in Flash. Building a game in Flash can get pretty complicated and that’s with the Flash program to allow you to just drag items onto the stage.

One of my all time favorite games for the Sega Genesis was Out of this World. At the time it had graphics way ahead of everything else on the system. Here it is, made entirely in JavaScript. This is pretty amazing. Once again, it highlights what HTML5 and JavaScript it capable of but something like this, at this point at least, is going to take a developer who’s at the very top of the game to build. I can’t see the average JavaScript developer being able to pull this off.

The Chrome Experiments are really showing us one technology that we’ll be using in the future to develop on the web but at the same time, this stuff is still a ways off. Plus the whole issue of browser compatibility really rears it’s head here. I tested the Depth of Field experiment in Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE8. It ran great in Chrome, it stuttered a lot in Firefox, Safari showed two frames in total and it wouldn’t even launch in IE8. Until all these apps run the same in every browser, I think we’ll just be seeing them as sweet experiments.

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