Thursday, September 30, 2010

OSD600 Audio Data API project

This semester I'll be working with the ever expanding Audio Data API which is used to augment the way we currently use the HTML5 audio and video tags. At the bottom of that page are a whole pile of samples that use this new API, and they're just... so cool. I chose to work on this because it's just very new. It's exciting to imagine that I'll be working on bleeding edge web technology. I feel like expanding an web audio API is sort of a frontier area with lots of room to find a niche, and lots of room to find gaps that need to be filled. That, and for many many years I've been interested in working with audio and just never gave myself that 'kick' to do it.

For those who'd like to follow my progress, my project page is located here. Everything I ever post in there will be linked to or cross-posted in this blog though.

As my '0.1' release, I'll be hacking up Bloop to use music.js. Doing this will get me into javascript again, and really let me figure my way around this API. Following that, I'll have a much better idea of where I can fit into this area. Obviously my work won't stop with rewriting an existing demo; by the end of this semester I'm hoping to have contributed something actually meaningful and useful to the Mozilla community, and to 'the internet' in general.

Areas that I'm told I may fit into are: extending dsp.js - an audio library used for 'D'igital 'S'ound 'P'rocessing and expanding on music.js by filling in some gaps that exist.  Also, apparently bands and artists have approached the Audio Data API team requesting visualizations of their music. I'm sort of leaning towards working on this area.

Aside from David Humphrey, my contacts in this area are Al MacDonald and Corban Brook. I havn't yet talked to either of them, but I suspect I will soon. David basically filled me in on what areas need work, and pointed me towards the technologies I'd be working with. (Audio Data API, dsp.js, javascript)

So this is the part where I talk about the risks and fears I may have. Honestly, I havn't had experience with music and audio in a very long time. I'm OBVIOUSLY a little worried that I may be in a bit over my head. However, to be quite honest, all of these projects are very much NEW to everyone involved.
There are lots of risks going into this. It's new, and complex and I'll be working with people who have lots of experience in this industry and kind of secretly hoping to impress them. There's a lot of pressure with this project that doesn't REALLY exist in other courses, but those things are really what make this class and these projects exciting and inspiring. By the end of this, I'll have somethign amazing to show people, I'll have a foothold in the industry and an area to sort of call 'mine', and I'll have an edge on my resume. Knowing that stuff really mitigates any fears I may have entertained while jumping into this.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here is something cool I found.

Hello everyone! This is a link that needs to be viewed: It's some crazy javascript you put in your address bar that constructs a little spaceship that shoots HTML tags and blows them up. Works on ads, paragraphs, links, ALL KINDS OF STUFF.


here is the mother-lovin' link


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Ah, finally I can hold my iPhone, iPad, AND my Starbucks coffee!


Bug reporting!

Last week I joined Bugzilla so now instead of just complaining about bugs I can actually meaningfully contribute to a community by submitting bug reports! Here is my first submitted bug! Firefox rendered triangles in a weird way when compared to Chrome. The task set upon me by the Firefox gods is thus: produce a reduced test case.

SO, now it's time for me to brush up on my Javascript skills! It's certainly a new experience for me, using javascript for anything other than client-side validation. I was definitely not aware of just how useful and complex Javascript can be. How fun!

Also quite surprising to me was just how quickly I received responses from the Mozilla devs. Like, instantly my inbox was on fire with emails regarding this bug.

I'm 3 weeks into this class, and it's been very cool. If there are any other CPA students reading this, I strongly urge you to take this class in the future. Obviously other classes teach useful skills, but OSD600 actually connects you with a real development environment and with people who are in the industry working on important things. We also get the opportunity to work on bleeding edge web technology that people need and want. The work you'll do in this class will actually set your resume apart. Seriously, take this class.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chrome Experiments and Minefield

Okay, so last week as a class we went and visited The Chrome Experiments  in order to assess which experiments broke or put the stress on the newest pre-release version of Firefox.

After downloading and installing Minefield, I started going through these experiments thinking 'Gosh, Minefield is exactly like regular Firefox... and all these experiments run really poorly'. It turned out I wasn't even running Minefield. Opening Minefield when some other firefox version is open simply opens a new window of that version. OOPS. Anyway, these experiments all ran about a thousand times better in Minefield than regular ol' Firefox.

There was only one that really crippled Minefield, and that was Pop-up Pong which is a classic PONG game that opens pop up windows and uses them as the paddles and ball. Works great in Chrome but woe-betide those who dare play it in Firefox. Get ready for a wild ride through glitch town if you want to click that link.

Also, because of this class I'm back on IRC, which I havn't used in like 10 years. Currently I lurk on #developers and #seneca on the Freenode and Moznet servers. My nick is peleaning for those who might want to /msg me.

Now all this talk about minefield has me thinking about Minecraft, which is free to play this weekend. Don't click that link if you value productivity.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Blog resurrection

Hello Planet CDOT and OSD600 fall semester students! My name is Pete and I'm bringing this blog back from the dead to post about the work I'll be doing this semester in OSD600.

If you'd also like to read about my work in a few game design related courses then please feel free to click the following link where you will soon find a blog bursting with posts. Here is the link

Also, happy programmer's day!