Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

GWTFlow

Category: GWT

<p>Adam Houghton was viewing some comments on the Mac Web Gallery and inspiration came for him to implement the coverflow pattern in JavaScript.

His weapon of choice was GWT, and thus GWT Flow was born.

GWTFlow uses standard GWT widgets for positioning the images and callouts to Script.aculo.us for the effects. All of the photos are just Image objects placed on an AbsolutePanel, with a little math behind the scenes to determine positioning & simulate perspective. Albums & images are retrieved via RPC calls to a Java service, which then calls out to Flickr’s public API using flickrj. GWT made development & debugging a breeze, with history & cross-browser support basically coming for free. Not being a JavaScript expert, this would have been a nightmare for me to build by hand and expect it to work on Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

As a 0.1 release, there are obviously some bugs. Performance is dependent on the client machine; everything runs smoothly on my workstation, but the effects are a little jumpy on my laptop and downright ugly on my iPhone (poor 620mhz ARM processor). Larger photo albums also degrade performance. There’s a known bug where some Flickr accounts aren’t getting loaded properly, possibly due to spaces in the username. In future versions, I’d like to add Picasa support, more options for navigating through photos (keyboard, slider, etc), and integration with Adam Tacy’s gwt-fx effects library. I’d also like to angle the images & add reflections to make it more like Cover Flow, but I’m a little worried about hurting performance.

UPDATE: Whoops, we forgot to give this entry a title. Comments now work.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:45 am
4 Comments

++++-
4 rating from 26 votes

4 Comments »

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not working in opera … im kinda not surprised

Comment by mefisto — October 31, 2007

Thanks for the feedback – it looks like a bug w/visibility on the image loading. I’m reworking that code, so I’ll be make sure it displays correctly on Opera.

Comment by Adam Houghton — October 31, 2007

Nice work! Simple idea but very nice worked out. Great!

Comment by Christoph — November 1, 2007

Can you tell me what the error was with Opera browser? and how you fixed it. I am currently developing a social networking site with GWT and it doesnt work on Opera. So I am curious to know what you did.

Comment by Alok — November 16, 2007

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