Web Development
Turning to the Dark Side

I'm going to continue from the last example I posted with the shading under the sphere. To see how I got this far, read yesterday's post: Fake Lighting Without Filters in SVG. Dark is the opposite of light, so as a first approximation, I'll try just applying a gradient that's conceptually opposite to the one I made for the light effect. The size of the shading gradient will be the same as the light, but it will be black instead of white. The focal point will also be moved; to the exact opposite side. So the (fx,fy) of (70%,15%) maps to (30%,85%).

Fake Lighting Without Filters in SVG

I've been doing some playing around with SVG effects that can be achieved without filters. I started playing because the build of Firefox (Deer Park Alpha 2) that I'm using doesn't have them built-in. There's work under way and a patch is available if you build from source.

There are better reasons for faking lighting though. Filters are resource intensive and sometimes you don't care about realistic lighting so much as just a way to make something shiny (or shadowed). The comparable filter to what I'm talking about today is fePointLight.

My simple example is lighting a circle to make it look more like a sphere. I have a few goals:

  1. I don't want the effect to depend on the colours of the underlying shape.
  2. I want to end up with something that works for as wide a range of shapes as possible.
  3. I want to be able to adjust the intensity and position of my fake light at least a little bit and with out too much work.
I've already done some of this, so I know I'll be at least partly successful (and it explains my mixed tense). Let's start with a simple circle.

More About SVG Open

Looks like there's a whole lot more info at the SVG Open site. I was just looking over the schedule, lamenting that it's too far away from me this year, and I see there are links for some of the content that's being presented. I'll be looking over the SVG/XAML comparison presentation. The Cartoon Oriented User Interfaces presentation sounds interesting, I hope they'll post some info later.

SVG and the Future of the GUI

Kurt Cagle has posted a summary of his keynote speech from SVG Open 2005. He covers a lot of ground on XML and the next generation of GUI. Pretty inspiring stuff as an SVG enthusiast. The amazing part is that even though we've all been hearing about subscribing to software since the 90's, this time I can see it coming. Not soon like next month, but soon like in a couple years.

Subversion with Eclipse: Subclipse

Humour me if you're an Eclipse expert already, but I've been taking my time about getting familiar with it. I tried the compound XML document editor a little while back and was less than impressed with it's SVG editing ability. As far as I could tell it didn't even respect the encoding I specified (I couldn't change from the default to UTF-8). Maybe I missed the point of that plugin, though.

So tinkering a bit with a new project in Eclipse recently, I noticed that there's CVS support built in. I like Subversion and have a couple projects stored in Jeff's subversion repository. I love the almost seemless integration of the Tortoise SVN client into Windows Explorer. So seeing the CVS support in Eclipse got me wondering about SVN support. Sure enough, the good people at Tigris.org have an Eclipse plugin called Subclipse.

Quick Transparency Tip for the Gimp

I just learned something new about the Gimp. I guess this should have been obvious. If you've ever editted a picture in the Gimp that has no transparency, like a JPEG for example, then you know that when you erase, it always erases to the background colour. This makes sense in general, but I've in the past I've had to go to a lot of work to get transparency while I'm working. I'd do it by saving as an XCF (the Gimp's native file format) then adding a layer with a transparent background and cutting and pasting the whole picture into the new layer. Don't do that.

XForms Thoughts

I was wandering around the W3C site, as I am apt to do, and I finally took a little time to read up on XForms. There's a good intro for people who approach XForms from an HTML background. It explains how to do with XForms what you do today with the form element.

Yeah, I’ve Been There

At the end of last month, I mentioned that I'd be heading up to Wasaga Beach for some fireworks and a break from the grind. I decided that since I enjoy my vacations so much, it would be nice to write about that trip and some of my others. I've been writing that travel log lately, but I backdate the entries so they make sense. The idea of a travel journal has been floating around in my head for a while, so I have some other photos from earlier this year that I might get around to putting up later. I took a lot of pictures at beaches around Los Angeles, and I also have some from beaches in southern Ontario (Canada). So here's a link to read about my trips and see my pictures so far.

Finally Found a Good Log Analyzer

Webmaster is one of the hats I wear, and I guess that if you're interested in what I write about it may be one of your titles too. I have to keep up on the tools that make the job easier. I found a link on DrasticTactics to a good site statistics crunching application called Funnel Web. Apparently it's been around for a while and the company - Quest - has released a freeware version (that's the one I got). It does a great job - a lot better than the simple daily reports included with my web hosting account.

E-Commerce a-go-go
So now that I'm all wound up on e-commerce sheezy, I've been thinking of things to sell online. Of course I came around to the fact that I have a programmable machining tool in my basement. So I got to thinking "How can I hook project A up to project B?"
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