Wednesday, January 14, 2009

EarthBrowser 3.1 written in Javascript

The new version of EarthBrowser which will be released later today has been written in Javascript. Can that be right? Yes and no. The entire control structure of the application has been re-written in less than 4000 lines of Javascript code using the new EarthBrowser plugin. However, all of the fast rendering and calculation code is still written in Flash (Actionscript 3).

Desktop Version
Version 3.1 has had a major facelift, is about twice as fast as the previous version and has some pretty cool new datasets like real-time satellites. This is a free update for all version 3 users of course, just starting up EarthBrowser will allow a seamless update once I put it out.

Online Version
The online version API is still not quite ready for release (I'm only one guy). However, later today when I release, please check out the EarthBrowser home page to see the first public demo of the online plugin. Right now it only works in Safari and Firefox. I've created a really simple 600 line demo application by simply copying some Javascript code from the desktop version and putting it up on the home page.

Writing your own modules
In November I alluded to being able to customize EarthBrowser with Javascript. I am working on creating a code repository with many examples on how to extend and customize EarthBrowser with your own data and user interface elements. The code will be portable and can be developed and tested on the desktop and then, if you like, posted to the web for the same functionality on your website.

I still need to fully document the API. Also I am working on support for Internet Explorer, which is tricky because Explorer does not have getter/setter methods. It uses it's own lame and non-standard JScript engine. However there is a trick I found in the Classical inheritance for Javascript code which uses Visual Basic to provide getter/setter functionality. A clever but lame hack, but it should work until Explorer 8 comes out and becomes mainstream.

7 comments:

Bull said...

Good work Matt, it's always nice to see alternatives to GE doing well ;)

Anonymous said...

Yeh!! Nice work.
Happy New Year!!

iturtle said...

hey matt
good news!
what about beta testing? not necessary? ;)
I am very interested in the website version!
happy new year! may it be a good one for you!
kai.

Johan said...

Hi Matt.

LOL the new version 3.1 is CRAZY NEAT,
AND SOOOOO MUCH FASTER!!!

REALLY nice work
It was truly worth the waiting.

Keep it up Matt!!!!!

Take Care, Cheers.

ilgaz_public said...

I have tried that Google Earth plugin, a gigantic download which also installs very weirdly working Google update engine.

If this thing becomes ready, I will go with it on my sites and thank you Matt.

Another issue is: Windows users are way paranoid and IE works in Paranoid way already. So, it is impossible to make them install a executable plugin just to view one thing. You may even get blamed when their windows get broken by chance.

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