Over two years ago I set out to build a game with HTML5 canvas and other emerging technologies like the GamePad API, localStorage and ApplicationCache. What I built instead was a JavaScript library for drawing shapes, text and images in HTML5 canvas.


Development on Facade.js started as a game engine for the GitHub Game Off in November of 2012. The topic was loosely based around forking, branching and cloning (or forks, tree branches and clones). The game concept I arrived at was to be a simple point and click adventure based on a discarded robot and his journey to find purpose.

Soon after starting I realized that I had not built a game engine, but instead built a solid wrapper around the HTML5 canvas 2d context API. I took what I had built and turned it into a stand alone library called Facade.js.

Two years, three rewrites and ±500 commits later I finally have something I am ready to share.


Below are the goals that I set in place for Facade.js after the initial version was completed. The concept of breaking out additional non-core functionality into plugins was a day-one decision as I knew that without it there would be insurmountable feature creep.

  • The first and foremost goal of Facade.js is to provide a simple API for making reusable shape, text and image objects for use within HTML5 canvas.
  • Second is for this library to have a very small footprint.
  • Third is that the codebase should be easily digestible for referential and educational purposes.
  • Fourth is that Facade.js is easily extensible through the use of third party built plugins. These plugins should fill in the gaps that aren’t covered by core functionality.


Many popular libraries have vibrant communities and anyone who has developed a library can only hope that their contribution will have a similar impact on the open source community.

Again, from day one I built Facade.js around the concept of supporting additional functionality through the use of third-party plugins. Because of this I wanted to create a way for users of Facade.js and plugin developers alike to be able to search through and register plugins in a centralized place.

Shortly after the first public release of Facade.js I launched the Facade.js plugins registry. Currently the only way to register plugins through this site is to contact me directly.