Canvas/SVG/VML Drawing Roundup

Its been a couple months since I released RichDraw. At the time I was looking around at the state of browser-based drawing and diagraming tools. Most were Java or ActiveX based. Now, I am finding lots of pure Javascript API’s and tools.

There also seems to be more of a push to create API’s, making it easier to create cross-browser applications. Each browser seems to support a slightly different technology. Even when they overlap, browser implementations are not always interoperable. Javascript wrappers are a big help.

Here are some Javascript libraries focused on cross-browser drawing:

Here are some neat browser-based drawing applications:

  • Whiteboard – A little colaborative whiteboard experiment. Uses the Dojo.gfx toolkit to do the rendering.
  • Paintr – A weekend project by Anne van Kesteren. Uses <canvas/> suppport to do the rendering.
  • Draw – Has the makings of a full-blown flowcharting tool. Many shape types and support for connectors. Currently IE only, but since it is built on RichDraw, Firefox and Opera could be supported as well.
  • XDrawGavin Doughtie’s early work that may have started the Dojo.gfx toolkit.

Not an exhaustive list, but at least some evidence that drawing in a browser is getting serious.

5 Comments

  1. Ian said,

    September 14, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

    What’s your license on richdraw?

  2. Mark Finkle said,

    September 17, 2006 @ 4:25 am

    RichDraw is licensed using the MIT license. You can reuse the code however you want, just keep the copyright and license in the source files.

  3. Shelly said,

    September 23, 2006 @ 5:43 am

    Mark,
    we are also going to make Cumulate Draw (based on Richdraw) open source (same license), this will include the backend vml->svg conversion libraries for GIF/JPEG generation also. Cumulate Draw provides additional support for resize,rotation,text, zindexing,shadows, connectors, pluggable shapes,zoom etc. It may come handy if you ever decide to enhance the rich draw library
    thanks!

  4. Mike Corneille said,

    October 12, 2006 @ 4:24 pm

    The RichDraw library is great and how the Cumulate Draw people have extended it is very nice. Merging these two efforts is the start of an excelent library. Keep us posted on your developments and if you’re going to promote it up to a (sourceforge esque) project.

    Having a cross-browser graphics library like this has a lot of potential.

    Brilliant work!

    -mike

  5. Shelly said,

    November 2, 2006 @ 7:07 am

    Mark, just an update on cumulate draw. We now support firefox also. http://www.cumulatelabs.com

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