Check out Dave Humphrey’s blog about the demo as well: http://vocamus.net/dave/?p=1309
When Firefox 4 was released, it was accompanied by a series of amazing demos to showcase new technology inside the browser. As a result, Planetarium was on our radar when we thought about “Popcornizing” a Khan Academy video tutorial. The result: http://webmademovies.org/popcorn-in-the-planetarium/.
Dave Humphrey and I had this idea stirring around in the Popcorn community for a while before finally having the coinciding time to dedicate to a demo. Proudly and honestly, here is how our time was spent in order from most to least:
- Planning & gathering assets
- Writing & configuring Popcorn code
- Talking about food or coffee (irc logs to back this up)
Because of how well-structured the latest release of Popcorn is, most of our time was spent exactly as it should be when you’re using a dependable library: not worrying about the library.
What is most interesting though is how the demo illustrates simple interoperability. Because the Planetarium code is available with only a couple of mouse-clicks (and on github: https://github.com/littleworkshop/planetarium), we were able to encapsulate it inside an iframe, and leave its code-base virtually untouched.
Considering that this proof of concept took about a day to put together, I’d say Popcorn is ready for use on a much wider scale, especially where education is concerned. It’s a great example of an important methodology of web development, and of computer science in general: good libraries exist, and accomplish exactly what you want with very little overhead; use them often, and contribute whenever possible.