Create interactive vector graphics and position them relative to each other

composition, elm, functional-programming, graphics, svg
elm-package install timjs/elm-collage 1.6.0


Welcome to Elm Collage!

With this library, you can create interactive scalable vector graphics. Its interface is based on the classic Elm Graphics library. However, you'll find that a couple of things are different and a lot of functionality has been added. You can find all the details in the module documentation.

The library consists of four main modules:

  1. Collage
  2. Collage.Events
  3. Collage.Text
  4. Collage.Layout

In Collage you can find functions to create and style shapes and paths. After turning them into a collage you can shift, scale and rotate them, group them together with other collages, shift, scale and rotate them again, and so on, and so on. Including images or raw Html also belongs to the possibilities.

Using Collage.Events every part of your collage can be made interactive by sending messages, like you're used to when using Html or pure Svg.

The Collage.Text module contains functions to make up chunks of text, which can be rendered inside your collage. And of course, you can shift, scale, and rotate text as you please, after you turned them into a collage. The module can calculate the width and height your text will occupy on the client's screen.

With Collage.Layout you can position collages relative to each other. By keeping track of the dimensions of each collage, this module can place them next to each other, above each other, align them to the left, to the top, etc. It is based on the excellent Diagrams library by Brent Yorgey. This is similar to the functionality provided by the old Graphics.Element module, but more powerful.

Although theoretically, there could be multiple backends to render collages, for now, we only provide a Svg backend in Collage.Render. It has good performance and excellent hit detection.

Please give me an example!

Ok, here is an example of a blue rectangle and on its top left corner a red circle:

import Collage exposing (circle, rectangle, filled, uniform)
import Collage.Layout exposing (at, topLeft)
import Collage.Render exposing (svg)
import Color

main =
        circ =
            circle 50
                |> filled (uniform

        rect =
            rectangle 200 100
                |> filled (uniform
        |> at topLeft circ
        |> svg

You can find more examples in the examples directory of the repository.

How does this library compare to...?

  • Elm Graphics

    This was the original Elm drawing library. It is a big inspiration and you'll find a lot of similarities, from the way you draw shapes and paths, to styling them.

    In Elm Collage we do not make the distinction between Forms and Elements, there are just Collages. After Elm's transition to commands and subscriptions, Elements could not be interactive anymore. Collages can be made interactive in the same way you are used to with the Elm Html and Svg libraries.

  • Elm Render

    Elm Collage is actually a fork of this excellent work by @Kwarrtz. The module organisation changed a bit, as well as some styling functions, but the code to render Svg is almost untouched. In this reincarnation, you will find new ways to position and align your graphics using the Collage.Layout module.

  • Elm GraphicSVG

    Also an inspiration for this library. However, I think Elm Collage is a bit more structured and provides more guidance by using well-chosen types. You cannot make a rectangle "italic" in Elm Collage for example.

  • Elm Diagrams

    @vilterp's Elm port of the great Haskell library with the same name. You can create all sorts of diagrams and position them next to, above, and atop of each other. It used to render using Elm Graphics and implement its own hit detection and mouse interaction.

    Elm Diagrams is not ported to Elm 0.18. In Elm Collage we use the browsers native hit detection when rendering to Svg. Also, we explicitly separate creating and styling forms on one hand, and transforming collages on the other. Although the layout capabilities of Elm Collage are not as extensive as those in Elm Diagrams, I think the Api is a bit simpler.

  • Haskell Diagrams

    Our big cousin! It is awesome and overly complex. Interaction is hard though...

  • Clean Scalable Graphics

    Our small cousin! First to introduce interaction. Does not have such nice layout combinators as other libraries though...

Have fun!

This library is under construction. Please fill out issues on GitHub and help to make Elm Collage awesome!