Javascript Clock using HTML5 and Canvas

20 Apr 2010

I've been finding myself becoming more interested in what HTML5 can do. As I see it HTML5 stands to be a potential replacement for flash, in addition to the features and interactivity that are made available by various javascript frameworks out there.

A good starting point would be to start off with something simple, i.e. a clock. Here's a sample project I threw together to help make myself more familiar with HTML5's canvas.

HTML5 isn't supported!

The clock you see on the left is written completely in javascript and takes advantage of HTML5 and the canvas element -- no flash necessary.

If you see a blank clock face with no hands, that means that your browser does not support HTML5. You will need to be using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari in order for the clock to work. IE does not currently natively support the canvas element.

There are several good canvas tutorials out there so please check those if you want a more in-depth introduction to HTML5's canvas element.

In order to use this clock, you'll need to setup your canvas element:

<canvas id="jclock" height="125" width="125">
  Content or message to display if the browser does not support Canvas/HTML5.

Initializing the clock:

$(window).load(function() {
  new jClock('my-clock-face-image.png', $('#jclock').get(0));

You can also pass in additional options to change items such as the hand colors, or image size. Here's the defaults as defined in the plugin:

// override default options:
// i.e. new jClock('image.png', $('#canvas').get(0), {shadow: false});

jClock.defaults = {
  height: 125,       // default height
  width: 125,        // default width
  secondHand: true,  // show the second hand
  shadow: true,      // display shadows across all hands
  second: {          // second hand style options
    color: '#f00',
    width: 2,
    start: -10,
    end: 35,
    alpha: 1
  minute: {          // minute hand style options
    color: '#fff',
    width: 3,
    start: -7,
    end: 30,
    alpha: 1
  hour: {            // hour hand style options
    color: '#fff',
    width: 4,
    start: -7,
    end: 20,
    alpha: 1

Feel free to download the source code and play around with it, or ask any questions you may have in the comments below.

Download jclock.js (2.4k)