5 clever uses of the canvas tag

If there is one thing that really gets me exciting about the upcoming HTML 5 specification it’s the canvas tag. This relatively simple tag holds so much potential and power thanks to the strong well thought out JavaScript API available to manipulate what appears on the canvas.

I’ll be looking at 5 really ingenious implementations that are being used today on various websites and web apps.

5. Typeface.js

Typeface.js, render custom fonts using canvas

A great solution to use custom fonts on your websites without having to cut out the text as images. This generates JavaScript from an otf file which renders out the font using the canvas tag. Rendering text with Javascript, <canvas>, and VML

4. Box2DJS physics engine

Box2DJS - Physics Engine for JavaScript

This library is for recreating elements on a canvas that obey the laws of physics such as gravity and motion. Objects can interact with each other in a realistic manner. Physics Engine for JavaScript

3. Wolfenstein 3D

Nihilogic : Javascript Wolfenstein 3D

A great port of the classic Wolfenstein 3D done using nothing but javascript and canvas. Javascript Wolfenstein 3D

2. Yahoo pipes

Yahoo Pipes: Rewire the web

Yahoo pipes is a mash up tool for the less technical to build “pipes” or mashups of data pulled from various sources. Pipes uses the canvas tag to create connecting points between data sources and controls. The blue curvy line is done using canvas and its bezier abilities to curve lines.

Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.

1. Mozilla labs Bespin

Mozilla Bespin » Code in the Cloud

By far the best implementation of canvas so far is Mozillas Bespin a web code editor which uses canvas to create it’s slick interface, without canvas Bespin would not be as responsive as it is even with thousands of lines of code.

Bespin is a Mozilla Labs experiment on how to build an extensible Web code editor using HTML 5 technology.