IxD and Assistive Technology

Multimedia Authoring – Week 08

Multimedia Authoring – Week 08

Code Development

It’s going to be a recurring opening statement for my (late) journal entries this week that I’m officially now behind. A week of being sick, running a music stage at The Finders Keepers markets and an overly ambitious freelance schedule have all ganged up against my uni work and at this point, they look like they’re winning the battle. Fingers crossed they don’t win the war…

After breaking my sketch up into more managable sections (RSS feed/silhouette/particles/sound), I decided to begin from the top of that list; with the RSS feed. Using a combination of romeFeeder and NextText, the example sydicated feed sketch on the romeFeeder site actually suited me quite well. However, I want to have the feeds arriving one after the other, from the top to bottom of screen and not disappear until there is input from the participant. Which is where things got a little bit trickier.

Fortunately, the NextText library puts a bounding box around the feeds, so that makes it easy to figure out the height of each feed, regardless of its dynamic length. However, it’s noted on the NextText documentation that this figure isn’t totally reliable, so I’m just hoping that I can still make this sketch function reasonable well in spite of this shortcoming. The point I found myself stuck at was actually getting those heights to play with each other.

As I’ve found to be the way with Processing, often you know how the code should come together, you just can’t find the right syntax. Kind of like learning a new language: you know what you’re supposed to say, you just can’t find the words. And so I found myself trying to not only calculate the height of each feed, but then take that figure and add it to the previous height, so that the latest feed would sit below the one before.

So simple in theory. Execution was the hard part.

Source code

(Yes, I’m still having troubles getting Processing sketches to display properly. I’ll update these posts as soon as I can figure out what the problem is.)

Instead of progressing down the screen, the feeds are laying one in front of the other. I have managed to keep them on screen – instead of disappearing – and starting at the top of the screen, but there’s still a lot of work to do.



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