Chrome Experiments: A foundation for future browser apps

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

var http = require('http'); http.createServer(function (req, res) { res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'}); res.end('Hello World\n'); }).listen(1337, '127.0.0.1');

Installing NODE.js takes just a couple of minutes under Windows or OS X. If you save the above code into a file called example.js then run it using the command line "node example.js" and connect your browser to "http://localhost:1337" you'll be greeted with -- yes, you grokked it -- "Hello World". While that may not seem too impressive the fact that you did it in five lines of JavaScript is pretty amazing.

For a really great introduction to the wonders of NODE.js see the book "Node: Up and Running" by Tom Hughes-Croucher and Mike Wilson (O'Reilly, 2012). This highly readable book takes you from an almost identical "Hello World" example through simple chat servers to advanced topics such as message queuing and connection pooling that allow the use of NODE.js in real enterprise applications.

Anyway, back to Chrome Experiments: Other fascinating projects include "WebCam Mesh +" which creates a rotatble 3D mesh by mapping the pixel brightness of the image from your Webcam to the Z-depth of each pixel; "Storm Tracks WebGL, "an interactive visualization of ... storm tracks" (and which may take a very long time to load); and "Small Arms Imports / Exports" which is visually absolutely gorgeous!

This last example "was produced by Google as part of the 2012 Google Ideas INFO (Illicit Networks, Forces in Opposition) Summit [and] includes annual customs report data providing >1 million data points of individual exports and imports to map the transfer of small arms, light weapons and ammunition across 250 states and territories across the world between 1992 and 2010."

If all of these Chrome Experiments don't give you some great ideas as to how browser-based apps can be created for your enterprise, I don't know what will. As for the other browsers, I'm not seeing anything anywhere near as exciting ... unless you know different.

Gibbs is experimental in Ventura, Calif. Your results to gearhead@gibbs.com and follow him on Twitter and App.net (@quistuipater) and on Facebook (quistuipater).

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.


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