UI long term development perspective: physics engine

Florent THIERY fthiery at gmail.com
Thu Mar 22 14:38:43 CET 2007


I know it's not gonna come in the priority list before at least a year
(or ever), but if we want to add eye candy & (possibly) useability to
the UI (such as smooth realistic list scrolling, as seen in apple's
iphone demo on contacts lists), we'll need a physics engine, so that
moves & animations aren't all linear.

All i found so far is the akamaru lib, needs just GLib:


If you want to take a quick look at the code:
svn co http://svn.kiba-dock.org/akamaru/ akamaru

It's a verlet integration implementation;  modelization includes
elasticity, friction, gravity, geometrical objects...

The only (AFAIK) implementation using this model is kiba-dock, a *fun*
app launcher, but we may find another use to it in the future.

For instance, it may be useful to gesture recognition (i'm not aware
if existing gesture recognition engines measure speed, acceleration,

There's an undergoing verlet integration into the e17 project (by rephorm)
see http://rephorm.com/news/tag/physics , so we may see some UI
physics integration into e17 someday.

Such early projects mainly show "rope-like" animations, but maybe the
API wil spare some time for different usages.

Well, that was just a useless thought, but i'd be happy to know if
other people are wondering about improving the user experience
regarding physics-model-based UI animation.


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