Friday, 3 September 2010

To do list

Now that the energy flow/budget meter is in place and the greenhouse effect simulator is generally stable, I'm taking a break from developing it further. I still have a 'to do list' although I think it needs some changes...

1. A more sophisticated simulation of the atmosphere.
Not sure how this is going to work, certainly some sort of sophisticated layering of the atmosphere would be useful. However I don't think it would be useful to make things progressively more complicated. There are temptations to continually make projects progressively feature rich (bloatware!), however there is a danger of forgetting the origins of the project and alienating one audience in favour of another.

2. Improved interface.
I think this is probably at the top of the list for the next stage. The original interface has limitations and many improvements are possible.

3. Improved animations.
I think this is going to be an ongoing issue. The How it Works animations could benefit from close ups of the action.

4. Moderate ice extent according to temperature.
I'm not currently sure how to implement this and it could conflict with the god like control the user currently has over the ice. I think it may require two modes of operation. In which case it may have to wait until the interface has been improved.

5. Variable amounts of greenhouse gas.

This would be a nice feature although personally I don't think it would add much to the educational value of the greenhouse effect simulator. Really, to understand the processes, you don't need to be able to finely adjust the GHG. Implementation requires some thought especially if it was done in 'realtime', instead of the current method of stopping the simulator before changing the amount of GHG.

6. Bugs
There are a few minor bugs to fix (two I know of).
The energy flow meter text jigs about for no apparent reason when the simulator first downloads, or at least it does on my computer!
It stops when the browser is refreshed.

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