Monday, April 03, 2006

Hive7 - The (Virtual) World Ajax Built

With all of the utilitarian uses for Ajax that we all see every day, it’s always a nice refresher to see a site taking the technology and using it to bring an older medium back up to date. In this case, it’s the “virtual world” idea and, with the help of some Ajax, Hive7 pulls it off.

Immediately upon loading up the interface, you’re dropped into a room with other avatars of people all around the world. You start as just a guest, but you can create and customize yourself either as a predefined character or by uploading your own. The other avatars move around the room as they’re talking, and bubbles can even be seen when they speak publicly. A “web chat” box appears down in the bottom right so you can add your two cents into the conversation.

From a quick glance at the source of the page, there’s no embedded elements to be seen - just HTML and Javascript powering this lightweight app. There’s even custom menus for the additional functionality the software offers. I took a look at the Javascript behind the application and was pleasntly surprised to see a heavy use of Prototype to run the Ajax connections. It fetches the locations and messages that are associated with each avatar.

Head over and check it out, if for no other reason than just to see what can be done with a powerful amount of Javascript.

3 Comments:

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