GeoKone 0.97.02 Released – New Effects with Transparency

New version of GeoKone.NET is now Live! Read more for Release Notes.

GeoKone Can Now Create Transparent Formations

GeoKone Can Now Create Transparent Formations

Release Notes

Opacity Parameter

I don’t normally announce .0x versions, but this release deserves one, as it brings a new polyform parameter that allows completely new visions to be created: Opacity. It is now possible to set the opacity for all the polyforms, allowing see-through formations.  This is exciting, as GeoKone now can create even gradient forms and much more smoother and interesting colors from interaction of different colors on top of each other.

Radiating See Through Formations

Radiating See Through Formations

Opacity can be set for each individual Polyform, 0 is totally clear and 255 fully opaque. All previous scenes will have their opacities set to 255. Unfortunately transparent drawing is slower than opaque forms, so with complex scenes it can get pretty slow if there is high amount of transparency. More motivation to start working on that native version :)

The keyboard shortcuts ‘f’ and ‘v’ can be used to increase/decrease opacity!

Opacity Setting Brings Totally New Looks

Opacity Setting Brings Totally New Looks

High Resolution Images Exported as 2x

In order to hopefully prevent crashing with Safari and Chrome, High Resolution images are now only exported as 2x the scene size. I hope this is enough for most people, maybe I will bring back arbitary high resolution image exporting in upcoming versions, but for now browsers can’t just handle so much data within a javascript/processing image export context, so this might be something that will only appear in the native version also.

Seems like Safari and Chrome still crash a lot when the scene is complex, this is probably something to do with the URL getting so long that these browsers can’t handle it. Firefox seems to be (at least on Mac Os X) the only browser that can handle large amounts of URL data images without crashing.

Undo Disabled

Undo has also been disabled for now, as it didn’t work reliably enough and only slowed down performance.

Replicating Triangles In Space

Replicating Triangles In Space

See the full ChangeLog and updated TODO for a Roadmap of What’s Coming Up with upcoming versions of GeoKone.

That’s it! Go to http://GeoKone.NET to Create Geometry! Be sure to like GeoKone Facebook Page too if you Like GeoKone :)

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Preview Video of GeoKone, Sacred Geometry Generator

Hello guys & girls, I put together a very short video of me showing one main feature of the new user interface in GeoKone, The HyperChakana controller, that is designed for easy usage with touch screens, check out a quick preview here:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyxUh17rVH4]

I decided to test out if by simply recording my screen (as I don’t have any video capture software yet) with my camera, and turned out I liked the end result, so I put together this little piece. Working hard on the new version, 15 days to go, going for a public 11.11.11 release :) That’s going to be one powerful day anyway.

Thanks for all the people who have showed interest and became testers, I will put the new version hopefully soon into betatesting, still have to complete a couple of critical features for it to be more usable. But it’s already much faster and easier to use than the current beta version.

During this project I have really realized that usability is hard to get right, it sounds easy on a theoretical level, you tap here, this happens, you hover here, this highlights etc .. but actually implementing the logic is much more harder than it sounds, because there are a lot of things to take into account when trying to translate these rules into binary logic, especially if we want to write understandable, expandable code that takes into accounts different situations and concurrencies that are happening all the time.

Today I was optimizing the drawing to enable more complex scenes to be edited with usable speed, something that I had been waiting for a while to do. I have noticed that anything complex that I want to understand, I have to draw it down and see how it works, like today I drew this:

Optimizing Drawing

Optimizing Drawing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basically, for everything that needs to happen on the screen, I have some kind of drawings/plans done. I have noticed this is the optimal way for me to implement these things, or the only way actually. I need to visualize what happens in order to understand it. Writing it down many times just doesn’t cut it, as it’s so much harder to conceptualize blocks of text instead of looking at a picture.

Maybe I will post some of those images later, just for fun. My design goals are to keep it simple and take the human into account when designing user interfaces. I have noticed that it’s a step-by-step recursive task, there are no easy roads to implementing perfect interfaces, as the rules change depending on the context. There is no one wonder interface that works everywhere (or is there .. that would be another story for another time ;)).

Here are a couple of screenshots also from different stages of development, just to see how it has come along:

First version of the Chakana

First version of the chakana controller, only four directions.

NanNanNan!

NanNanNan! The program is clearly messing with my head, yelling at me, looking at me .. This is the HyperChakana controller, 4 x 3 operations, 12 total operations.

Optimizing drawing

Optimizing the drawing, implementing a simple backbuffer system.

 

Buddha on a lake.

Suprise visitor, Buddha on a lake. This image came when I started testing the thumbnail view .. good sign :)

Testing out new doublebuffer

Testing out the new doublebuffer code, much more smooth experience in editing complex formations.

 

That’s it for now. Hope you enjoy this stuff once it’s released, I’ve been very excited in putting this project together :)

Manifesting Fraktal Forums

I’ve been working for about two weeks  on visualizing, conceptualizing and sorting out the big picture for Fraktal Forums, the project I’m currently working on. I want to show you a sneak peek of the vision I’m having about the system, with some points on the actual implementation and usage too.

see the fraktal view!

see the fraktal view! click for bigger version

You are in the center, with topics that interest you surrounding you, floating like fractals, connected to other topics.

Fraktal Forums

Simplest example application of this way of communication is a text based forum, and that is what I’m targeting as a first milestone for Fraktal Forums too. Currently most of our Internet-forums are displaying text page after page, boringly trying to imitate a book for some silly reason. Computers are not books, and web pages trying to act as books isn’t the most natural way to do things. We should take what’s the best side of a book and combine that with best of new technology. This is what I want to achieve, to make communication and collaboration easier. It is essential for us to communicate, share and remix ideas to achieve global consciousness.

User is in the center of things and can focus on following the discussions that are of relevance to the user. Where the user can create as easily as possible and others can collaborate on that creation process. Realtime flow of data, with rich visualization of the discussions in different contexts.

branch detail

branch detail

Each branch contains discussions related to that topic. The user can zoom in on different topics and then actually see the discussion happening there, real time. Everything can be connected, as here we can see ‘Games’ linked to ‘software’ and ‘hardware’ for example purposes. This way interesting relations can be made to better understand our communication.

Actual discussion happens in a different view when the user zooms/clicks on the topic. Though, I haven’t yet thought much detail about how the detailed look will be, that’s something that has still to be designed through.

One key point for this kind of representation is also the easiness of following your discussions. The branches and leafs (let’s call nodes leafs from now on) that you have been participating can be highlighted easily, showing if somebody has replied to you. Different branches of the discussion could also be visualized differently based on the content, for example content rich with images would be green as text rich content would be blue. This would let the user know easily what is going on and where. Leafs could be weighted differently based on content, hanging from the brances with real physics simulation. Visualization of discussions could be taken to a whole new level. These are of course ideas only for now, for the first milestone only the most basic features are needed.

What do you think ? Is this an easier way to grasp information ? :)

Much work to do

Ultimately I just want to make sharing information easier. I’ts too cumbersome in most of the cases, it needs to be more natural. Humans have amazing capabilities that don’t rely in logical thinking, but intuition and natural action. This means that we can visualize more than two pages of text at the same time :) And wtf people?! this is 2010 and quoting text is still so hard on most if not all forums. Easy quoting will definitely be part of the natural user interface.

For the server side implementation I’m probably going with PythonDjango, hosted on either Linux or Mac Os X. Client side pure HTML 5, Javascript (Dojo), CSS 3. No legacy support, no flash, only standards based stuff that should work with anybody who cares to support standards. Propably Canvas based drawing, not sure about that yet.

Anyway, this is only a sneak peek, I still have much to do until I can present this idea on a more conceivable level. Anyway, let me know what you think! And I’m not doing this alone, going to need help in the future :) Everything will be kept open source and I will try to document this development process more as I go on, hopefully generating discussion and sparking new ideas :)