Autodesk Labs: Project Draw Offline

David Falck and Shelly Mujtaba, members of Autodesk Labs, recently announced a new release of Project Draw that allows you to take your diagrams offline using Google Gears.

Project Draw is a browser based diagraming utility that lets you draw to your hearts content, without the need for plugins of any kind.

I got to meet David and Shelly, and we discussed their work, and experience with Google Gears.

They talked about how they are able to get a drawing experience that performs across browser, where it turns out they abstracted SVG and VML. They thought it would be a good idea to see a SVG Gear that made sure that SVG support was in the browsers that didn't support it natively, which is a good idea.

They also talked about how they did offline, and the difference between being offline, and being connected.

They actually used their own tool to create a state diagram of how Project Draw handles synchronization issues.

For example, they check the network in the application using code like this:

var netCheck = new NetworkDetection("ping.html");

netCheck.addEventListener("online", function(eAja){
$("display").innerHTML = "";
this.connected = true;
netCheck.addEventListener("offline", function(eAja){
$("display").innerHTML = "d\ni\ns\nc\no\nn\nn\ne\nc\nt\ne\nd";
setHelp("You are disconnected from the Project Draw server.");
this.connected = false;

Listen in to the chat below:

If you are working on an interesting Gears project, or know of one that we haven't covered, let us know in the comments!