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Simply Amazing

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Web designers have always been acutely aware of the limitations of their medium: slow modems have limited the size and number of graphics used on web sites, and designers even once had to limit their graphics to a "web-safe palette" of 216 colors. However, the abundance of broadband and fast computers means that web designers have become less concerned about trying to squeeze every last kilobyte out of their HTML, CSS, JavaScript and image files.

But even with broadband, a smaller file size means a faster web site. And to help remind us that smaller can be better, two prominent voices in the web community -- MIX Online and An Event Apart -- sponsored the 10K Contest, which ran in this fall. Covered previously in this blog, the contest challenged programmers to come up with a web application that is under 10K in size -- that's including HTML, CSS, images and JavaScript code! The entries in this contest handily pulled off the feat, exhibiting amazing visuals and complex interactivity.

One fun and challenging entry, simply named "Maze," challenges you to race against the clock and complete five mazes of increasing size and difficulty. Using your keyboard's arrow keys, you move a blue square through the maze, hoping to reach the green exit square in as few steps and as little time as possible. It's simple but addictive -- and infuriating when you realize you've entered a dead end and have to retrace your steps.

To fit under the 10k limit, the game uses the latest in HTML5 goodness. In particular, the entire maze is crafted with the HTML5 canvas element, which creates the graphics using code instead of uploading bitmaps. Thus, the game is able to take advantage of the rendering power built into cutting-edge browsers like Internet Explorer 9, using the computer to take the burden off the network. The game is simple but responsive. It would be nice if you could compare your high scores with others who've run the gauntlet of these mazes, but, alas, the best you can do is post your time on the 10k Contest website. While you're there, take a moment to check out some of the other excellent web applications that show off the power of HTML 5 and the new web standards.

This story, "Simply Amazing" was originally published by BrandPost.

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