February 12th, 2008

More scrolly Lisp web toys

screedbot is the latest Lisp-powered wigflip web toy. It's for making animated typewriter text graphics.

The original plan was to use a hybrid of Skippy and Vecto, but it turned out that rendering all the glyphs all the time got way too slow. To improve performance, I switched to making and caching a Skippy frame for every glyph seen in the font. That's eliminated the bottleneck of Vecto's rasterization work, and it can generate a GIF animation with hundreds of frames in a fraction of a second. I'm pretty happy with how it worked out.

It's hard to say which parts I can factor out into standalone libraries, but I do at least hope to write up the docs for the original hybrid library, Skepto, and release it.