HTML5Showcase

Adobe jumps down the HTML5 rabbit hole

Have you heard of CSS Shapes? Adobe's exploring its potential with an HTML5 demo based on Alice in Wonderland.

If you've ever felt frustrated as a web designer by the need to create everything within the constraints of rectangular blocks, there's a new standard in the HTML5 spec that just might change your life. It's called CSS Shapes, and it enables web designers and developers to wrap content inside and around custom shapes.

Adobe has been exploring the potential of CSS Shapes to create exciting web layouts, and the result is a demo based on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Created in conjunction with French agency ultranoir, which created a beautiful set of distinctive hand-drawn graphics, the demo is an interactive HTML5 experience that tells Alice's story with CSS Shapes being used to enhance the experience, and with the text layout being controlled without any JavaScript at all.

If you want to see it in action today you'll almost certainly have to install a new browser; it requires Chrome Canary, a bleeding-edge version of Google's browser that's designed for developers and early adopters and that, says Google, isn't for the faint-hearted. You probably won't want it as your regular browser, but it's handy for testing things like this; if it doesn't work you'll probably need to go into its setting and enable support for CSS Shapes.

Adobe has made the source code for this demo available on GitHub, in case you want to peek under the bonnet and see how it was all done, and if that's a little too complicated for you then there are also some simple examples to help get you started with CSS Shapes on Codepen. And if you want to read more about how this demo was created, there's a blog post about it over at Adobe.

Words: Jim McCauley

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