Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wikibrains migration to a non-flash site

A few days ago, we had a long hard talk about the future UI technology of Wikibrains. We were debating two technologies for implementing the Wikibrains graph (mind map) editor.
On the one hand, we have invested countless hours in the Adobe Flex (AKA Flash) based editor, while on the other hand, thoughts about migrating to a much lighter and brisk implementation in HTML/Javascriupt.

The first step we took was to check out the feasibility and reaction of people to the new option, but implementing a read only version of the graph view in our social sharing landing page.

It took about a day and a half to convert a JavaScript tree view by Kenneth to a graph view and making it ready for the Wikibrains graph data injection.

Once published, the reaction to the sharing page was phenomenal, and its popularity almost matched the index page.

Faster to load and better UI performance made us decide to use this structure as the next step in our editors development. not to mention the fact that it works on mobile platforms without any extra effort.

JavaScript came a log way the past years in terms of rendering engines on browsers and the results is easily noticeable in the event management and motion  rendering. And I guess, that practically made the decision for us.

So long Flex.

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