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10 most useful Google Chrome experiments

10 most useful Google Chrome experiments

Of the nearly 80 projects featured on Chrome Experiments, the majority are graphic demos

5. Vectomatic: Vector graphics for dummies

Although a demo, this vector graphics drawing program is almost a complete application that it would be a shame if its developer didn't finish it up. In its current version, Vectomatic still works well if you want to create simple vectorized graphics, and do so quickly. Or if you want to learn the basics of drawing vector graphics.

You can instantly draw rectangles and ellipses, and other shapes can be created using the point-by-point plotting "path" or the "poly" (for making curves) tools. The color selection system looks rudimentary and lacking, but you can adjust the range of each color. The stacking order of shape layers can be manipulated.

There's one setback: you can't save your work, nor can you export it to the SVG file format -- for now, Vectomatic can only render your art out as a finalized Web page image.

6. World of Solitaire: Full-featured card game

What would a day at the office be without a game of computer solitaire? (Answer: more productive?) Kidding aside, there are a number of games featured at Google's Chrome Experiments, but this is the one that both feels complete and is universally appealing to anyone who has needed a break during the work day by playing a few hands of the virtual card game that seems to be installed by default on virtually every PC in the world.

What's surprising about World of Solitaire is how full-featured it is for being a JavaScript game: there are several (really, there a lot -- over 50) variations of solitaire to play. You can change the graphics of the cards, choosing from nine artwork designs. And you can post your scores to a worldwide scoreboard to see how you rank with others who are also whiling away their work-day productivity.

7. Bomomo: Doodling gone wild

This app is a cross between a drawing program and game. Or, perhaps the better way to describe Bomomo is that it's an interactive graphics toy. Seven brushes trail along the path of your desktop arrow cursor. These brushes are in constant motion when you draw with them, so the result is a random doodle created with multiple points of origin. (Different colors are also randomly thrown in.) You can choose from 20 pattern sets, which determine the way these brushes move (in circular or straight-line motion) and their brush size. Images can be saved in PNG format.

8. Harmony: Brush up on your painting

This very basic drawing tool simulates a pencil-sketch effect. The standout feature is its unique selection of brushes. For example, the "web" brush generates spider-web designs; and two brushes create a furry look. The effect of these brushes is more pronounced the faster you move them across the canvas -- when you move the "squares" brush slowly, small rectangles are created. As you move this brush faster, the size of the rectangles this brush spews out grows in size. Your images can be saved as PNG files.

9. HasCanvas: Create sketches and learn code

This app is a programming tool you can use to create sketches that generate on-screen in real-time, written in processing.js code, which you can then share online with other users of HasCanvas. (Processing.js is an open programming language running on JavaScript which is used for creating images, animation and interactive graphics that appear in a Web browser supporting the HTML5 <canvas> element.) Since you can take a peek at other contributors' code, HasCanvas can serve as a means to teach yourself writing processing.js code. But even if you don't care about programming, you can check out more than 240 graphic demos submitted by HasCanvas users just for the eye-candy entertainment value.

10. Social Collider: Re-tweet tracker

This JavaScript app could be useful if you're heavily into Twittering and want to track how effectively your, or another user's, posts are received and re-tweeted among friends and followers. Enter a Twitter user ID or topic, and Social Collider generates four graphs representing whether posts were picked up by other users. If a tweet has been picked, the graph shows its line intersecting horizontally towards another line that represents another user ID (or topic). Theoretically, Social Collider could be used to track the origin of a Twitter-based meme and its growth over time.


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