Web Intents, put-selector, XB PointStream

05 Aug 2011 | By Alex Young | Tags events webgl medical libraries

Web Intents

Web Intents is a new browser-based API that aims to facilitate service discovery and inter-application communication:

Services register their intention to be able to handle an action on the user’s behalf. Applications request to start an Action of a certain verb (share, edit, view, pick etc) and the system will find the appropriate Services for the user to use based on the user’s preference.

Yesterday Google announced their work in this area, in Connecting Web Apps with Web Intents. This post also mentions that Mozilla have been exploring similar technologies, but more importantly that they’re working together:

In fact we’re working closely with Mozilla engineers to unify our two proposals into one simple, useful API.

There’s an examples page on webintents.org and Twitter also posted documentation on Twitter’s Web Intents API.


put-selector by Kris Zyp is a library for manipulating DOM elements based on CSS selectors:

put(parent, 'input.my-input#address[type=checkbox]');

It’s quite intelligent about how it processes arguments — passing just a class name will apply the class to the element:

put(parent, '.foo');

And it also has other manipulation features, like element removal:

put(elementToDelete, '!');

I have a feeling this library might appeal to people working with single-page applications.

Point Clouds and XB PointStream

In WebGL Visible Human Project, Andor Salga writes about a WebGL point cloud renderer for medical data. The Visible Human demo allows viewers to explore the “meat” of a medical data set. It’s not optimised for speed at the moment, but the author notes:

The demo is sluggish right now since it stupidly renders 3.5 million points/frame. However, this can be fixed. Because the user clipping planes work on the Y-axis and because the cloud loads along the Y-axis, it would be possible to do coarse-level culling on sections of the cloud if it was pre-cut along this axis.

This is built with XB PointStream, a point cloud library. The advantage of this library is it allows streaming of point data, which is illustrated in this Mickey Mouse example.

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