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Foundation HTML5 Animation with JavaScript


Author: Billy Lamberta

Publisher: friendsofED


Publish Date: November 30, 2011

ISBN-10: 1430236655

Pages: 488

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

This book is about how to create interactive animations for the web using computer code and math. But don’t worry if you can’t remember anything from your high school algebra class, you’ll just need a minimal understanding to get started. The purpose of this book is to give you the tools to create and express your ideas, it’s not about memorizing equations or theory—although I do explain the underlying ideas—but the practical application of techniques to incorporate in your work. These are concepts and formulas that you will see working, in real-time, right in front of you. Think of this book as the elements of motion, a catalog of ideas to mix, match, and reference.

There are plenty of examples to play with, and it’s very satisfying to watch something you’ve created move around on screen—as if almost alive. But it can be even more satisfying to share this experience with your friends by simply giving them a link to follow in their web browsers—this is the great benefit to distribution using the Internet.

This book is a rewrite of the brilliant work by Keith Peters, Foundation ActionScript Animation. However, instead of targeting Flash, this book uses modern web technologies like the HTML5 and JavaScript. The malleability of this book is a result of the portability of its underlying concepts—the math is the same. When you understand these basic building blocks, you are no longer reliant on the tools provided by someone else, but you can implement these ideas wherever your programming life takes you.

Since the examples in this book are implemented using HTML5 and JavaScript, I’ll step you through the particular programming techniques you’ll need to understand them. JavaScript is a fun, powerful, and relatively small language, but it can be quirky and idiosyncratic largely because of its flexibility. While other, more structured, languages impose a particular way to program, JavaScript allows you to write code in many different styles. This freedom is powerful, but it can be confusing for a beginner to work out the main ideas of the language. If this is your first time using JavaScript, it would be wise to skim through a proper introduction before working through the examples in this book. The biggest confusion when learning JavaScript is the assumptions you bring from other languages. Keep the reference documentation handy and, if in doubt, test your code snippets in your browsers development console. If you are Flash developer, resist the temptation to think of JavaScript as a variation of ActionScript. It has it’s own unique program structure and style, and you will avoid problems later on by leaving behind any preconceived ideas about the language now.

This was a fun book to write, and I hope you have fun working through it. Write your programs, experiment with them, share, and learn from others. Creativity is an active process, and not something you sit around and wait for, so let’s get coding!

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