Clippy Lives! This Time In JavaScript
Written by Lucy Black   
Monday, 20 May 2013

If you remember Clippy then the idea that he is back might make your blood run cold - but this time it's different. Clippy, and his friends Merlin, Rover and Links, are back in the form of a JavaScript library. Maybe they were just before their time.




The Clippy.js library is a weekend project by the programmers at Smore, an outfit building a JavaScript flyer construction kit. The idea that Clippy.js is a weekend project is something that should put there rest of us to shame or at make us homicidally jealous of such skill. 

If you don't know Clippy then you missed out on the fad of Agents that Microsoft promoted more than a decade ago. The idea was that helpful characters, referred to as Office Assistants, would run all over your desktop offering help and advice and Clippy was the main agent in Word.

To quote Smore:

"We started thinking about the developers' state of mind when they created Clippy. Did they think it would really help people? It seems that Microsoft really believed that Assistants were the way of the future."

Although Clippy was removed from all Microsoft products, you can still find the Agent API within the Windows SDK and it can even be useful.

However, if you want an agent to add to your web page then Clippy.js is an easy and impressive option. It is a 100% implementation of Clippy and all of his friends and there is a range of animations you can trigger. You can even get the agent to say something to your user:

agent.speak("I read I Programmer every day");

Unfortunately all you get is a speech balloon - we will have to wait for the W3C to finish the speech API before Clippy can actually say something to you.

OK, so it isn't Siri but it uses hardly any resources. It just needs a 4K JavaScript file and a 1K CSS file, plus jQuery. 

You can download the library and find out more details of how to use it and how and why it was created at the Clippy.js website.


And, oh yes, in case you hadn't already guessed, that's Clippy at the top of this news item going through some random animations...sorry.

More Information


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Last Updated ( Monday, 20 May 2013 )