Stewart Smith

JavaScript (JS)

Works that make particular use of my favorite widely-used programming language. I’ve been an enthusiastic fan since before Douglas Crockford wrote JavaScript: The Good Parts. It’s dirty and weirdly flexible; so flexible that cowards tried to graft classical inheritance onto it, and later invented TypeScript. (Disgusting.) It could only be better if it had been allowed to be Scheme as Brendan Eich had intended. (I strongly disagree with Eich’s early-2000s stance against gay marriage, but it would be wrong not to acknowledge him as the initial creator of JavaScript. We must contend with our history rather than ignore it.)
Monday, 02 October 2023
2023October02 Monday

Black Swan, three years on

This week makes three years since publishing my (unsolicited) browser-based music video for Thom Yorke’s 2006 track Black Swan. Rather than film footage, video, or pre-composed animation, my music “video” is composed of website elements pushed around in realtime as you watch it via a mixture of style sheet and JavaScript commands.

It was a fairly dark autumn in America, with the presidential election contest between democracy and fascism looming against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic which had so abruptly turned the country upside down half a year earlier. (Not to mention climate change; the hottest summer and autumn on record to date.) Revisiting this old animation idea was a pleasant break from the reality around us—and served as a birthday present of sorts for Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood who share my birth month of October; the best month. Read more about the Black Swan music video here , or visit and execute the animation here .