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The 10 best Google Chrome Experiments

JavaScript programs bring flashy graphics to the web

Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight are the most commonly used platforms for presenting graphically oriented programs through a web browser. However, other, more open technologies are starting to show promise and Google hopes to highlight this with Chrome Experiments, a website that showcases JavaScript programs that deliver a rich user-graphics experience. We look at 10 of the best.

Of the nearly 80 projects featured on Chrome Experiments, the majority are graphic demos.

As impressive as such eye candy is, they're not good examples of how capable JavaScript can be for running graphically-oriented applications that are actually useful.

But there are a few notable ones, which we've rounded up. (Despite the site's name, these programs should run on any browser that supports JavaScript.)

1. Canvas Sketch: Fingerpainting for mobile devices

Canvas Sketch has the very basics of a paint program: freehand and line drawing, eraser, and fill tools; and tools to draw rectangular and circular shapes.

Its colour palette is limited to 26 colours, and no image can be larger than 501x334 pixels.

So why even bother using this? Canvas Sketch was designed for smartphones and mobile devices that can run JavaScript-enabled web browsers.

(There's an 'iPhone mode' that resizes Canvas Sketch's default horizontal layout to a vertically-oriented one that fits within the iPhone's screen dimensions.)

You can save your digital doodles in GIF, JPG or PNG format.

So long as you think of, and use, it as a mobile app for simple scribbling using your finger on the touchscreen, Canvas Sketch serves as a nifty example of the type of JavaScript apps which can be made for small-scale platforms.

2. Impressionist: Monet-ise your photos

This image-manipulation tool is designed to do only one thing: convert a photograph into what looks like a painting.
You start by uploading your image file to the Impressionist server. From there, you apply the oil-paint effect in one of two ways.

The first is by a freehand drawing method. You choose your brush size and shape, and then paint over any areas of your picture where you want to apply an ersatz oil colours look.

But the second is the most fun.

Upon selecting the desired brush shape, size and width, you click 'start' and your picture then comes alive as if thousands of paint brushes are dabbing and swirling it with oil paints.

(The colours are derived from your original image's palette.) This real-time rendering runs continuously until you stop it.
Using Impressionist just to watch this effect in motion is hypnotic.

NEXT PAGE: Sketchpad: Drawing made easy

  1. These JavaScript programs bring flashy graphics to your web browser
  2. Sketchpad: Drawing made easy
  3. World of Solitaire: Full-featured card game
  4. HasCanvas: Create sketches and learn code


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