The Bundled TypeScript Model

If you’re using npm or another JavaScript package manager, we recommend bundling the WWT engine in your application and interfacing with it using the TypeScript language. Relative to the hosted JavaScript model, the combination of a package manager and TypeScript makes it much easier to build complex, reliable applications.

We’ll assume that you’ve got a skeleton application set up using your package manager of choice and TypeScript compilation set up. If you’re not sure where to start, there are innumerable tutorials out there. To pick one example, the TypeScript docs show how to create a simple app using the gulp tool. If you don’t have a preferred UI framework, we recommend Vue since that’s what the existing WWT apps use, and the @wwtelescope/engine-pinia package provides lots of useful tools for building sophisticated WWT-powered apps in a Vue environment.

Once your skeleton is ready, we recommend adding the @wwtelescope/engine and @wwtelescope/engine-helpers packages as dependencies, using a command something like:

$ npm install --save @wwtelescope/engine @wwtelescope/engine-helpers

In your HTML, you should create a <div> with a unique ID which will host the WWT viewport:

<div id="wwtcanvas" style="width: 750px; height: 750px"></div>

In your application’s initialization code, you need to initialize the WWT engine and link it up to your <div>:

import { WWTInstance } from '@wwtelescope/engine-helpers';

// asynchronous initialization:
const wwt = new WWTInstance({
  elId: 'wwtcanvas',
  startInternalRenderLoop: true,
await wwt.waitForReady();

After the engine has signaled readiness, you can start controlling it. The WWTInstance class offers two conveniences:

  1. Its ctl, si, lm, and stc fields provide access to the core components of the WWT engine as exposed in @wwtelescope/engine.
  2. The class also provides convenience wrappers around certain APIs that benefit from more idiomatic JavaScript/TypeScript usage, as in the async-aware method waitForReady().

Check out the WWTInstance API reference to explore the possibilities!