IE9’s Hardware-Accelerated Canvas in Action

by Joey deVilla on June 24, 2010

As announced in yesterday’s posting, Platform Preview 3 of Internet Explorer 9 is out, and it’s faster than snakes on ice. Some of the credit goes to “Chakra”, the new JavaScript engine, and some of it goes to IE9’s hardware acceleration, which bypasses the layers of abstraction between your web app and the “metal” (namely, your browser, and then the underlying OS).

Download Squad have posted a video showing IE9 Platform Preview 3 blazing past Chrome 6 in side-by-side sessions of the “FishIE Tank” canvas demo. Even on my “medium performance” machine – a Dell Latitude XT2 tablet whose graphics card gets a 3.2 on the Windows Experience Index – I have to push the fish count to 250 before the frame rate drops below 30 fps. Here’s a screenshot taken from that laptop running FishIE Tank, rendering 250 constantly moving and scaling fish sprites between 22 and 29 fps:

fishIE tanks screen shot

The Mr. Potato Gun canvas test is amusing. You load a reasonable facsimile of a popular toy into a potato gun, pull the trigger and watch the hapless tuber’s components fly all over the screen:

mr potato gun

Here’s a demo featuring a more practical use of canvas: Amazon Shelf, which presents a bookshelf of some of Amazon.com’s current bestsellers:

amazon shelf 1

Click on a book in Amazon Shelf to get a better look at its cover:

amazon shelf 2

Click on that cover and get the publisher’s blurb and customer ratings:

amazon shelf 3

Take IE9 out for a spin! Visit the IE9 Test Drive site, download IE9 Platform Preview 3 and hit some canvas-enabled sites.

download

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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