Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New Feature Day

Back during the infancy of this site, I hated to rely on any third-party applications for site functionality. In the early days, this is why everything was a homegrown brew of JavaScript (from jukeboxes to slot machines), and why I even wrote my own Evite application (BUVite) just three years ago.

Today, it's nearly impossible to do anything without someone else's library, and I've gradually introduced things like jQuery plugins and XML parsing libraries to improve the site. For example, the URI! Zone runs on the Spring MVC framework, but the blogging tools and feed generation code are 100% homegrown.

Just last month, I moved all my photos over to Picasa, conceding that their album management tools were vastly superior to my own (not too difficult, since my tools consisted of a guy with a text editor and a cat), and freeing up a couple hundred megabytes of hosting space as well. Though I liked Picasa, I didn't like that visitors had to leave the URI! Zone to see my pictures, so I rectified that situation last weekend during the big blizzard.

If you follow the Photos link from the topbar, you can now see all of my Picasa albums from within the pleasantly blue Template of Love you've come to appreciate over the years. Clicking on an album will bring up a page of thumbnail images, and clicking on any thumbnail will load the full-sized version of the picture.

While the full-sized image is up, you can hover your mouse over the picture to see the Next/Previous links (or hit 'N' and 'P' on your keyboard), or click on the caption to go to the actual Picasa website, where you can enter comments or "like" particular photos.

To make this happen, I learned the Google Data API, which allowed me to write my own Picasa web client, and then incorporated the jQuery Lightbox plugin to display the actual photos. The final step was to make this post interesting for non-techie folks to read, by way of multiple repetitions of BOOBIES and BABIES. BOOBIES and BABIES. BOOBIES and BABIES. It is left as an exercise for the reader to locate pictures of either topic which interests you.

Enjoy!

Man tries to buy crack on credit
German thief robs arcade with cup of coffee
Looking for lasting love? It's not all looks and laughs

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