Jun 11

Tilt at Summer Web 2011

Summer Web 2011 is an event organized in conjunction to the first edition of theĀ Design Jam Iasi, “a two-day venue, during which people team up to discuss, share ideas and solve engaging UX challenges”. The event is non-profit and supported by the Mozilla Labs Concept Series. Find more information on the Summer Web blog.

During this event, I’ve presented and explained the Tilt project to a wide audience of “neophytes, apprentices, and experts in Web technologies and HCI (Human-Computer Interaction)”, and received amazing feedback and interest from the community.

Most of the questions were regarding the schedule and deliverables, but one interesting aspect worth mentioning was about the actual rendering of the webpage itself and not the visualization (which is achieved using WebGL).

The main problem is grabbing the 2d rendering of a webpage, to calculate texture coordinates for each node in the DOM and applying the texture to stacks like in this draft concept of Tilt. Actually, creating a new webpage renderer would be a very bad idea, so Tilt will take full advantage of the implemented Gecko engine, continuously under development at mozilla.org (“the open source browser engine designed to support open Internet standards such as HTML, CSS, the W3C DOM, XML, JavaScript, and others”).

Fetching the webpage texture will be done using a WebGL extension, MOZ_dom_element_texture, built in collaboration with Cedric Vivier from Mozilla DevTools. This is an optimized equivalent of the canvas.drawWindow() function, and it would be used for rendering the DOM elements in WebGL texture. “The extension would be listed by getExtensions from privileged/chrome JavaScript only (similarly to canvas.drawWindow)”.

Take a look at the presentation: