Archive for November, 2005

Flight Patterns

Friday, November 18th, 2005

Flight PatternsDesigner Aaron Koblin has taken US flight traffic data and turned it into beautiful animations. The work is entitled Flight Patterns. This reminds me of the visualization plugins that come with media players, such as Winamp’s AVS, where stunning patterns are generated via complex mathematical formulas, controlled by the wavepatterns of the music played.

Aaron provides some more info on his site:

Flight pattern visualizations were the result of experiments leading to the project Celestial Mechanics by Scott Hessels and Gabriel Dunne. FAA data was parsed and plotted using the Processing programming environment. The frames were composited with Adobe After Effects and/or Maya and the final piece was highlighted at SIGGRAPH 2005 in the NVIDIA Immersive Dome Experience.

(via)

AJAX Apps That Don’t Break Your Back Button

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

The single most frustrating thing with AJAX applications nowadays is the fact that they basically break your browser. Since everything is done via JavaScript, your location bar doesn’t know what’s going on and your browser history doesn’t get updated. The back button is rendered useless, bookmarking pages within the application is impossible. Often, clicking on the back button will outright throw you out of the application.

Luckily, I’m not the only one who is bothered by this, and so now we’ve got Really Simple History, a framework that solves exactly this problem. I sure hope this will spread.

(via)

Blog Software Smackdown

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Starting a blog nowadays is rather simple. There’s a great selection of blogging tools to get you started. That’s wonderful, but it can get confusing if you’re not sure which one to pick. Vinnie Garcia has an article on Sitepoint entitled Blog Software Smackdown: The Big 3 Reviewed that may help you find the right tool for your needs. In the article, Vinnie presents and validates the three major blogging platforms: Movable Type, WordPress, and Textpattern. It’s an interesting read, even if you’re already running one.

position: absolute uses WordPress, and I’m very happy with it. The setup was very quick, it doesn’t require any extravagant server techologies (PHP/MySQL is all it needs), it has excellent plugin and permalink management and it’s a piece of cake to style and use.

AJAX-Based Presentation Platform

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Robert Nyman has released AJAX-S, a presentation platform similar to Eric Meyer‘s CSS/XHTML-based S5, based on DOM Scripting (AJAX). What seperates this from Eric Meyer’s solution?

The idea came to me because I wanted a lightweight slideshow based on HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but I also wanted to separate the data of each page from the actual code that presents it. Therefore, I decided to move the data into an XML file and then use AJAX to retrieve it. The name AJAX-S is short for AJAX-Slides (or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML Slides, if you want to).

Currently it only supports IE 6 and Firefox. Opera and Safari support may follow soon.

CSSVista

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

SiteVista, an alternative service to BrowserCam, has just released CSSVista. CSSVista enables you to edit and test your CSS simultaneously in Firefox and Internet Explorer via a split-screen layout. It’s free… unfortunately it’s only available for WinXP. With FF and IE, SiteVista covers a large majority of the browsers relevant for testing. Still, I find it’s best to cover a few more browsers. I test in the following browsers, though I don’t give too much attention to those that are redundant or outdated in the meantime. I’ve bolded the ones I try to get pixel perfect results in (except for Lynx, of course, which I use to test how the site works semantically).

  • IE 4.01, 5.01, 5.5, 6.0
  • Lynx
  • Mozilla Firefox 1.0.7
  • Mozilla Suite 1.3, 1.5, 1.6
  • Netscape 4.74, 6.2, 7.2, 8.0
  • Opera 7.11, 7.54, 8.0, 8.5
  • SeaMonkey 1.0α
  • WebTV Viewer

Just wish I had a Mac to test in IE5.2, Safari and Omniweb!

You can find a very comprehensive archive of older browsers for your downloading and testing pleasure at browsers.evolt.org.

Lightweight Javascript Effects

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Super lightweight javascript effects libraryValerio Proietti has released a nice and simple to use lightweight javascript effects library, based on the prototype.js framework. The library is only a few kilobytes in size and offers some nice animation effects you might like to integrate into your site. While I am not a fan of animations on websites, these are so simple they do add a nice touch to liven things up a little.


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