Chrome Experiments: A foundation for future browser apps

By Mark Gibbs, Network World |  Software, chrome browser, Chrome Experiments

What is really valuable about these experiments is that they provide some novel and creative ways to do stuff. Consider "Plink by DinahMoe". This deceptively simple browser app uses the W3C's Web Audio API  and NODE.js to create a multi-user music generating environment.

The Web Audio API is "a high-level JavaScript API for processing and synthesizing audio in web applications." For a more detailed explanation see the API's Introduction section. You can also try out the Web Audio API Demos which should work in Chrome on OS X, Windows, and Linux as well as Apple's Safari 6 in OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6.

While basic audio file playback and control are supported, the Web Audio API also has a huge range of sophisticated capabilities such as "Convolution Effects" which is "is the imposition of a spectral or rhythmic structure on a sound" (for example, taking an audio sample and adding echo or reversing the playback are forms of convolution).

While the audio stuff in the Plink experiment is cool all of you networking types will most likely be far more intrigued by the use of NODE.js "a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications."

The NODE.js site goes on to explain that the subsystem "uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices."

While there are those who passionately dislike NODE.js (see "Node.js Is Bad Ass Rock Star Tech", it's NSFW for bad words) it is an amazing tool when used in the right contexts (then again, aren't most technologies that way?) and the fact that it's underpinning the Plink demo to provide synchronization of multiple Internet users is pretty impressive. The simplicity of this subsystem is also amazing; here's a very basic but functional Web server written in JavaScript to run under NODE.js:

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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