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August 8, 2010
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...Or why I love new tech

Before I start let me make a disclaimer, I am going to talk about stuff here that is possible with HTML5 and CSS3, not things that will happen with DeviantArt muro or the site in general. I do not know what is in the development stage with deviantART, this is just an article about the strength of 2 web technologies and how deviantART is pushing the web forward.

Now, in the last 24 hours I've seen a lot of people compare Muro to programs like Adobe Photoshop or The Gimp as well as web applications like iSketch. I'd like to start by explaining why Muro is so different.

  1. Why use DeviantArt muro when I already have Adobe Photoshop or The Gimp?

    • Yes, photoshop is hugely more powerful than muro, it has a lot more functions, you can use it for so much more, I am aware of this, I use Adobe Photoshop myself. However, you have to pay hundreds of dollars for a single license to use Photoshop, muro is free. Photoshop requires a large amount of system processes to run, by default it will use about half of the RAM in your PC and and about half of your CPU. The current version of Photoshop also requires several gigabytes of storage space just for the program it's self.
    • The Gimp, yes that's free, but you have to download and install it and again it requires a fair chunk of system resources to use and you have to be able to install it to your computer.
    • DeviantArt muro is free to use, go ahead, you can go use it now without paying a single cent, there are some optional extra brushes which look really cool and I want them, but, you are not required to buy them in order to use DeviantArt muro You also do not have to install DeviantArt muro to your computer, that means, provided you have internet access and a HTML5 compatible browser, you can use DeviantArt muro anywhere in the world. Is that cool or what?
  2. iSketch already exists, DeviantArt muro is just the same as that.

    • The basic concept of drawing in a browser is not a new one and I doubt anyone will disagree there. Oekaki boards have existed for years and so have apps like iSketch. However, iSketch requires you to install several additional plugins to use it, it needs flash and shockwaves, I wouldn't be surprised if you needed Java as well. These things are not native to browsers, you're going to have to download and install them.
    • DeviantArt muro uses HTML5, CSS and javascript, all of which ARE native to ALL browsers. This means again that you don't have to download anything to make it work, if your browser is up to date and has HTML5 support then it will run Muro. This means again, you can use DeviantArt muro from anywhere in the world to make an image and in a matter of seconds upload it to dA. You just can't do that with any thing else, not to anywhere close to this extent.
  3. Muro is so buggy it's hard to use!
    Now this one is a little hard, bare with me and hopefully I can explain why it might be buggy.

    As I've stated earlier DeviantArt muro uses HTML5, now this is fantastic, HTML5 is long overdue, HTML as a code was getting stagnant, it was too simplistic and people couldn't do that much with it, so they went looking at different web languages to get more functionality in their web sites and make them more "web 2.0". Now that HTML5 and CSS3 are well into the production stages things are getting back to native browser support, video sites are already starting to use HTML5 instead of embedding extra code into web pages and websites everywhere are using CSS3 to do visual effects that previously required an image to do before. This means pages will load smoother, quicker and with less strain on your resources and the websites resources.

    But with any new tech that comes along there is a gap between what is possible and what people will support when it is launched. Microsoft Internet Explorer is historically incredibly poor at accepting new web technology, that is why some websites just look terrible in it. It's rather sad really when you think about it that the biggest browser in the world displays the internet so poorly. Google and Apple however seem to be great at adopting new tech as quickly as possible, Mozilla are some what hit and miss, sometimes they will be a mile ahead of the competition, other times they lag behind. HTML5 is where Mozilla are currently lagging behind while Google Chrome and Apple Safari support it much more.

    But Dom, what does this really mean for me, get to the point.

    What this means is. If you're using IE or Firefox to use DeviantArt muro you're going to potentially experience problems. Not because DeviantArt muro is buggy or badly coded. No, you're going to experience problems because these browsers aren't ready for the power of DeviantArt muro yet. Don't worry though, they will update them, they will get HTML5 in the near future, Firefox is in a constant state of being updated, meaning we could see HTML5 support tomorrow, or we could see it in 6 months, who knows. Microsoft are also currently building IE9, so when that is launched, IE users, should (coders everywhere pray) have full access to all HTML and CSS (including the new versions I'm talking about here). When that happens the majority of users all over the internet will have a browser that supports DeviantArt muro fully. But because this is new technology, please, please, please, don't expect it to work with an old browser like IE6. You will need to be using a updated browser to use it.
  4. Why use new technology if it's not supported by all browsers?

    This is the place any market leader should be, whether it's a store, a program, an idea, anything. You do not move forward by living within the confines of what we have now. Making a step like DeviantArt muro is saying to the people that write the webstandards "this is what we can do with the technology you have given us, give us more so we can use it further". It is saying to the people that write the browsers "We are using this technology now, you need to catch up with us".

    You know? When dA says things like that, people listen. There are 14 and a half million accounts on dA, there are millions of pageviews to dA every single day, dA is ranked 115 in the world according to alexa.com. DeviantArt muro is dA right on the cutting edge of technology, doing things that have NEVER been done before with the code. This is a very exciting time and I can tell you that it makes me immensely happy to see deviantART doing this.


So tell me what else is possible then?

As you might have noticed, I keep mentioning HTML5 what does it mean in the long run?

HTML is the power that drives almost everything around the internet. Every page you look at on deviantART has HTML on it, even the chat rooms. As you might have seen in the Drawplz Forum DeviantArt muro can be implemented into comment boxes. Now the way deviantART comments work is virtually identical all the way through the website, so it's entirely plausible that DeviantArt muro could be put onto user page, into notes, it could even be put into the chatrooms. Does that not sound incredibly cool?

Think about it, anywhere you can type on dA, you could draw there also, how awesome is that? And that's just based on current DeviantArt muro functionality, I can't even begin to imagine what deviantART could do with muro in terms of extra functionality, the sky is the limit. deviantART has some absolute geniuses working for the user interface and devious technology teams. They can do things with code that most of us haven't dreamt about yet, all you need to do is trust in them to deliver to us and we will get some unimaginably good things from them.

This also marks a notable move towards pushing new web technologies, so you can easily expect to see CSS3 coming in to the picture more noticeably soon, you can already see it in this some user created journal skins (if you use a compatible browser). Things like curved corners used to require images and lots of lines of code, now it's just 1 line and no images. I tell it how big I want the radius to be and which corners I want it on. CSS3 also allows lots of text effects that before had to be images, see where this is going? Image dependency is being lowered which allows for faster loading times and less strain on browsers and connections. CSS3 also fixes things that are a bother to people, things like long words breaking a text area, with CSS3 text can be wrapped so that it won't cause page distortion. It allows for websites to host a font and then use it, meaning they're not stuck with the generic 10 or so different fonts that everyone gets.

And while on the subject.

Why must we pay for extra functions?

At the end of the day dA needs money to survive. Things cost money, storage space, web servers, premises, internet connections, staff to run it. This all has to be recouped somewhere. Now whilst something like DeviantArt muro will have undoubtedly cost a lot (read tens of thousands of dollars) to make, you can be guaranteed that it will pay for itself and then some. Features like this always do, they are what bring in new users, new investors, they are the driving force that helps dA remain fresh. An investor will look at dA and see that it's constantly pushing the boundaries in what technology can do, or how far a art/social networking site can go and they will want to be a part of it.

But it also requires something of the users that are willing to pay towards the website. You've just been given a program that would cost $50 to buy in a store, for free, for 14 and a half million users, think about that. When you take that into consideration, is it really so terrible to be asked to pay $4 to buy a pack of brushes for DeviantArt muro? I know that some people simply can't afford it or don't have the means to pay, but that is why you're not forced to buy the brushes. You can already use DeviantArt muro as it is. If you do have the means and money to pay, then it's not any more than buying a coffee from Starbucks. At the end of the day, these few little bits help to go into paying for DeviantArt muro as well as other new features and existing costs.

So, if you've read this and love what DeviantArt muro is and could be, then please, go show your support to dt and ui let them know how much the way deviantART looks and works means to you. Because it means a whole hell of a lot to me. :love:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconxternal7:
xTernal7 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
... muro lacks basic functionality as pressure detection, in order to draw lines you must move your pen while in Gimp... if you want to make a detail, just a little small spot... you click and you have it. In muro, when you want to have a small spot, you click and nothing happens.

What considers system resources. Gimp uses all CPU it needs without crashing any other running process. It runs smooth.

In the mean time, Muro uses same amount of system resources no matter if you have pentium 4 with 512 MB of ram or i7 with 16 GB of RAM - that amounts almost equals to zero. That means... it will not run smooth. Remember, you run Muro on your computer. Before you start to use it, you download muro to your computer. So...
Reply
:iconlanternleaf:
LanternLeaf Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
after using muro, I have trouble getting into chatrooms...;A;
Reply
:iconnorthernsleipner:
NorthernSleipner Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
how do you put a picture in muro if you can i wwoud really really wanna do some thing
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
You can't import images into dA muro yet :)
Reply
:iconelrhiarhodan:
Elrhiarhodan Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2011  Student General Artist
Can we do it now? If so, how?
I'm wanting to use dA muro to enter the Pepperland contest, but I can't import the images in the resource file.
My understanding is that one or more of them is required to qualify.
deviantART muro drawingComment Drawing
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:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't think it's been enabled yet. :)
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:iconelrhiarhodan:
Elrhiarhodan Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011  Student General Artist
Well, then, it's going to be really hard for us to use Dr. Pepper's assests to complete a project IN muro if we can't import those assets, yes?

Who do I talk to about this?
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
If you read the news article, you use the special edition of dA muro on the news article which adds the Dr Pepper logo, the other assests are just for reference only. [link]
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:iconnorthernsleipner:
NorthernSleipner Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
OKay
Reply
:iconsjaypops:
sjaypops Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012
why can't i export my drawing on muro either??? :/
Reply
:iconnorthernsleipner:
NorthernSleipner Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I tried, but it wouldent ;/ dont know why
Reply
:icononsheka:
Onsheka Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
anywhere you can type on dA, you could draw there also You just blew my mind. Imagine using Muro in a chatroom, the whole room creating this vast picture. Holy shit.
Reply
:iconviral-juggernaut:
Viral-Juggernaut Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
Oh, also, where can you place Muro drawings into comments? So far I've only been able to do so in comments in my group's admin area.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
At the moment it's just there and the drawplz forum. :)
Reply
:iconviral-juggernaut:
Viral-Juggernaut Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
So I'm assuming you mean that it'll be available for more later on? :eager:
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:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Potentially there may be more, I'm not part of the development team so I don't know what's planned, I just know that they are planning more and I have a good idea of what you can do with the code for the program so I can imagine all sorts of fun things it could do.
Reply
:iconviral-juggernaut:
Viral-Juggernaut Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Oh....ok :)

Thanks for the help.


Is there anyone I can ask?
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:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
#dt and #ui are the development groups, but I don't think they'd give out much information on what's happening, surprises are more fun.
Reply
:iconviral-juggernaut:
Viral-Juggernaut Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Oh, I meant like Muro help. I want to know if somethings are available in Muro or not ^^;


Yeah suprises ARE fun. I'm sure they'd be tight-lipped about it :lol:
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I can answer most questions about dA muro, depends what sort of stuff you want to know.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconviral-juggernaut:
Viral-Juggernaut Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
Actually installing GIMP for me wasn't a hassle at all. I've heard that for some it is and that baffles me :-?


Soon as I get my tablet I'm going to do some serious playing with muro :la:
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't like the gimp, but I've been a photoshop user for years.

I found dA Muro pretty easy to use even with just a mouse :D
Reply
:iconviral-juggernaut:
Viral-Juggernaut Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
Really? Well, maybe it's because my ol' reliable com is SLOW like a mofo :XD:
Reply
:iconwormandaduck:
WormandaDuck Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2010  Student Writer
Muro's alright, but personally, I can't live without Paint's circles and rectangles.
Reply
:iconthe-suns-moon:
the-suns-moon Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Student General Artist
Yay thank you for this :3

There's too much Muro-negativity D:
Although...I use Firefox, and Muro was "buggy" the first day but the day after it was fine and has been to this day. I could even use it with livestream :shrug:
I think it's just IE that has a problem
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:)

Glad to here your experience of dA muro is improving!

The IE problem should be fixed with IE9 anyway so then there because next to know problem with it which is win.
Reply
:iconthe-suns-moon:
the-suns-moon Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Student General Artist
It's better than improving D: I wanna marry it :rofl: I love that thing :3
Yes yes :D
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:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:lol:

I told all my friends I was naming my first child Muro.

They thought I was joking :paranoid:
Reply
:iconthe-suns-moon:
the-suns-moon Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Student General Artist
Hey, that would be a pretty cool name actually :3
Reply
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010   Photographer
Love it. Especially Why must we pay for extra functions?. That's some stuff that needs to be said :nod:
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks :hug:
Reply
:icongreybird007:
Greybird007 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010
Muro is not "free" for anyone now: After five days, the free access for some of us to all 19 (not 21) Muro brushes has ended.

This was given, I finally realized with some help (including that of @dxd), to those of us who attended the Birthday Bash in West Hollywood. (Why no one on the paid staff would tell this directly to @dxd, the Muro forum moderator, is beyond me.)

Apparently it was to allow an at-the-party contest (for six Wacom tablets) and to make a partial, momentary return on a worthwhile but still very overpriced ticket.

In any event, why is dA still misrepresenting Muro as being "free," when it costs $12 to get full functionality, such as it is?

And that's through three purchases in the arcane dA points system. (dA could at least offer it as a PayPal- and card-payable single Shop purchase.)

Making no more than seven of 19 brushes available for ready use with Muro isn't nearly enough to turn this into even a remote alternative to standalone programs. No matter how groundbreaking this may be in terms of Internet functionality and access ... and even then, with requiring HTML 5, it's still bleeding-edge as of yet.

Muro is not a free addition to dA, it's essentially another dA product for sale. I believe dA's blogs and other promotions should admit to this.

I have nothing against dA being innovative — quite the contrary. And they'll undoubtedly be adding features, though a larger canvas and image importing can't come soon enough.

What bothers me is when dA's principals are being dishonest.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Erm yes it's still free, you pay for extras, but the basic platform is free to use for everyone. That is a case with many things in the world, you can get access to something for free and then if you want extras you pay for them. The extra brushes are not a requirement, you can enjoy full dA muro functionality with out them. They are just an extra.

Also don't presume to know what was told to me after your comments. Also, deviantART staff does not have to tell me everything and I do not want to know everything.

I have covered why it is not free in my article, also, I am not the dA Muro forum moderator, I am a message network volunteer, I do more than just moderate 1 forum.
Reply
:icongreybird007:
Greybird007 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010
We will have to agree to disagree, then, as to just how and whether "free" is being applied to describe this tool.

With all due respect to your position, you apparently weren't there for the announcement of Muro, as I was. From the stage, nothing was said about any portion of this being charged for. Quite the opposite was implied. And in the staffers' generated buzz on the party floor about Muro (which wasn't on the stream-cast), the versatility of "all those wonderful brushes" was a constant, and unhedged, topic.

I'm coming to believe that the brushes were all turned on for attendees at 50 computers, primarily, to allow for entries into the drawing contest — but, secondarily, to not have the 1500 people present water down the enthusiasm for this tool on line, when it was first being described fully. That latter motive, if my surmise is correct, was not put forth in all candor, and was being borderline deceptive.

Angelo Sotira was even mildly peeved, in his remarks about Muro, that anyone would be so bold as to question dA's motives of generosity as a company in regard to it. I'd say that this, with his knowing that a large portion of its functionality was quite simply not free, was being disingenuous on his part. (In much the same way that he protested, after dA v7's debut, that he simply didn't anticipate anyone being perturbed by the sudden changeover.)

I'll say again that I'm not casting aspersions on dA's elaborate efforts — even though, I do question its senior staff's motives. Muro is an amazingly capable product. What bothers me is the unhedged "free" that is still being displayed and noted on line.

That is quite simply not accurate, not for the full, current product — the one, by the way, that some artists were given in advance to promote it through "It's Coming." (All such paintings used the full 19 brushes, not the truncated set.) I contend this is true despite however much you and others choose to hedge this or stretch how you define the term.

As for "what was told to [you] after [my] comments" in the other sub-thread here, no, I don't presume. I thought that a senior volunteer deserved to be told the reason for free brush use by Bash attendees, along with other details, long before you and I were puzzling it out a couple days ago. For that matter, everyone should have been told this.

dA is failing again to communicate properly. You deserved, as a lead volunteer, to be fully informed from even before the announcement. Yes, if they want to be respected for offering this, dA staff "have to tell" such details, and not leave you, and us, floundering. They can't neglect to coordinate, clarify, and update what they are saying and then, as $spyed acted out on stage, feel put out with its customers — us — for being perplexed and bothered. Not if they don't want to look clueless or disingenuous.

I've said enough about their failings — not, I stress, yours, apart from a bit too much stretching of "free." So you get the last word, if you wish.
Reply
:iconabutton:
abutton Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually, I was there and they did mention buying brush packs.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm not going to respond to the rest of your comments about how this site is wrong, but I'll say you're wrong.

Also, do you complain to winamp for offering a pay for version of winamp with extra features? Does that make the free version if winamp any less free that you have to buy the full version to get some features?

I think you'll find the answer is no.

dA muro is free, no matter how you look at it, you do not have to pay a cent to use it. You only have to pay if you wish to buy extra brushes.

Also, I am not a senior volunteer. I am a volunteer, I am no more senior than any other volunteer for dA and I have never stated anything to that effect.
Reply
:iconpyritie:
Pyritie Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"with his knowing that a large portion of its functionality was quite simply not free"

how is a few extra brushes a large portion of its functionality
Reply
:icongreybird007:
Greybird007 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010
Charging for the use of 12 out of 19 brush effects? That's nearly two-thirds of, yes, that notable and highly visible portion of its functionality.

More to the point, as I said above, the "It's Coming" promotion had some artists being given early access to create Muro paintings with the full set. The implication was that you could do the same thing yourself when it was released.

And, yes, you can — but only if you pay $12. So they were, and are, being disingenuous. Nothing new, and not even that unexpected or huge of a failing, but it's disappointing, and deserves to be pointed out.
Reply
:iconpyritie:
Pyritie Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Layers? The canvas? The tools? All of those filters? Those are much more important than just a few extra brushes you'd probably never end up using anyway.
Reply
:iconcommandereve:
CommanderEVE Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Student General Artist
This is awesome. I have drawn some cool stuff. :D
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:#1:
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:icontemarinde:
Temarinde Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aw crap. I use Explorer so it wont work. Now i have to download a new browser.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Or, if you wait a few months Microsoft will release IE9 which should work with dA muro :B

Though I don't know if I could wait that long :lol.:
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:iconalienation:
alienation Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Muro works beautifully in Safari 5.
Reply
:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Student Interface Designer
Heck, starbucks is expensive by the way :faint:
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
It is, but I do like their coffee.
Reply
:iconainq:
ainq Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010
just look at the acid3 scores
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Yep.
Reply
:iconthedbp:
thedbp Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
is there going to be a multiple people drawing on the same drawing, function? at the realese i thought i read something about groups would be able to draw on same board but i proberbly missunderstood as i have so far failed to find a group/forum/anything that confirms that.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I believe there is going to be some functionality in group forums, not sure about drawing on one picture.
Reply
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