David Hurth's blog

33 Most Beautiful JavaScript and Flash Galleries

v!valogo has put together a great list of JavaScript and Flash Gallery scripts. The list includes 33 scripts and is quite an impressive list.

Below is just a small sample of the Galleries.

AJAX Image Gallery powered by Slideflow

Lightweight Image Gallery with ThumbnailsDemo

Live Pipe PhotoFolderDemo

JaSDemo

JaS is a highly customizable JavaScript library for easily turning your images into a collection viewable as a slideshow, and with fading effects, if desired. It also supports automatic thumbnail creation and tagging of images, so the viewers can find the exact images they're looking for. You can use it any way you like in your own web site, and adapt it to your specific needs.

MooFlow

MooFlow is a Javascript based Gallery looks like Apple's iTunes or Finders CoverFlow.

You can see all 33 JavaScript and Flash Galleries here.

If you are looking for a cool way to display images on your site or application I definitely recommend checking out this list.

hi5 Launches Developer Platform

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The social network hi5 has just launched their developer platform. hi5 is an extremely popular social network (the network is number 8 according to Alexa) and like MySpace or Facebook is a desirable social network to develop applications for.

Below is an excerpt from the release plan of the developer platform.

Monday, March 31st 04:30 PST - Release has progressed as planned, and we now have 53 applications approved for launch tomorrow. If you got us your userids before about midnight, you can access the platform on www.hi5.com now. Currently the platform is open only to whitelisted users. Release to the rest of our users will proceed as planned starting at 12:00 pm PST today. If you were late getting your application submitted or getting your ids whitelisted, not to worry, contact us at platform-help@hi5.com and we'll do our best to accommodate you as soon as possible.

The hi5 Platform is set to launch tomorrow. Details of the rollout plan are as follows.

We will rollout to percentages of our user base based on userid ranges. In addition to that we have implemented a user whitelist to allow developers with apps that are launching and hi5 developers to see the platform regardless of rollout percentage. If you are a developer with an app launching and have not yet sent us ids to whitelist for the launch please send your developers' hi5 ids to platform-help@hi5.com and we'll add them to the whitelist.

You can read the full release plan here.

If you are interested in developing an application for the hi5 developer platform you'll be glad to know that they are supporting the open social initiative. If you make a cool app for hi5 I would love to hear about it (you can leave it in the comments or write a blog about it on this blog using your free Ajaxonomy account).

Adobe Flash Player Update May Affect Platform Applications

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If you are a developer of Facebook applications your applications may be affected by the new security patch release for Flash 9. The patch will be distributed this April (so, it will be released very soon and no this isn't an early "April Fools" joke).

Below is an excerpt from the announcement by Facebook.

If any of the following situations apply to your application, then your application could be affected by the update.

  • You use sockets or XMLSockets, regardless of the domain to which you are connecting
  • You use addRequestHeader or URLRequest.requestHeaders in any network API call when sending or loading data cross-domain
  • You provide access to content on remote domains as a web service provider
  • You have SWFs that are exported for Flash Player 7 (SWF7) or earlier that communicate with the hosting HTML by any means

You can read the full post here. Also, you can read the Adobe post here.

If you develop Facebook applications or if you are a Flash developer then you will want to look into how this may affect your applications.

Silicon Valley Google Technology User Group to host maps meeting

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If you are interested in making a cool Google Maps mash-up the Silicon Valley Google Technology User Group will be hosting a maps meeting. Michael Geary will be the primary speaker at the session. Michael created the Primary Election Results Map application and is very knowledgeable about making a Google Maps mash-up.

The event is April 2nd (so this coming Wednesday) and starts at 5:30pm with Michael speaking at 6:30pm. The event will be held at the Googleplex.

You can register for the event here and you can read more about the event here.

Google Maps adds More Street Views

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A few additions where made to the Google Maps Street Views. They have added quite a few metropolitan areas and a national park. The national park is what really interested me as it is quite fun to play with.

Below is the list of the new locations.

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Austin, TX
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Fairbanks, AK
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Madison, WI
  • Nashville, TN
  • Rockford, IL
  • Richmond, VA
  • Spokane, WA
  • St. Petersburg, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Yosemite National Park, CA

Taking a look at the famous El Capitan in Yosemite National Park can inspire (or intimidate!) you as you prepare for a hike:

View Larger Map

You can read more about the new additions here.

Google has also added the street view to the API, so now your maps mash-ups can include the street view feature. You can read more about the additions to the API here.

The street view is a great feature of Google Maps and it is great to see them continue to add new locations.

Google Makes Robot.txt Generation Easier

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If you have worked on a website that you want to control what search engine bots do you probably know just how powerful the robot.txt file can be. Configuring the robot.txt is often a specialty skill as many web masters don't do much with the file. Well, Google has made it much easier to generate a robot.txt file with a Robot.txt Generator tool that is part of it's Webmaster Tools.

Below is an excerpt from the Google Webmaster Central post.

Once you're finished with the generator, feel free to test the effects of your new robots.txt file with our robots.txt analysis tool. When you're done, just save the generated file to the top level (root) directory of your site, and you're good to go. There are a couple of important things to keep in mind about robots.txt files:

* Not every search engine will support every extension to robots.txt files

The Robots.txt Generator creates files that Googlebot will understand, and most other major robots will understand them too. But it's possible that some robots won't understand all of the robots.txt features that the generator uses.

* Robots.txt is simply a request

Although it's highly unlikely from a major search engine, there are some unscrupulous robots that may ignore the contents of robots.txt and crawl blocked areas anyway. If you have sensitive content that you need to protect completely, you should put it behind password protection rather than relying on robots.txt.

You can read the full post here.
To go to the Webmaster Center click here.

Now you can use the Robot.txt Generator to make your site work better on Google and possibly enhance your search engine effectiveness. There are other similar tools available, but a tool from the makers of the most used search engine on the planet is definitely worth a look. If you use the tool I would love to hear your experience with it.

markitup

markitup is an interesting script that allows you to change a textarea html element and turn it into a markup editor. You can use it to edit Html, Textile, Wiki Syntax, Markdown, BBcode or even your own Markup system.

The script is built on the jQuery library and does a good job of using the library. In case you are unfamiliar with the library you can learn more about it here.

You can see quite a few examples of markitup here. Also, you can read the documentation for the script here. Click here to go to the markitup web page where you can download the script.

This script would be very useful if you are creating a CMS, Forum or any system where your users would need to edit markup.

FriendFeed Launches API

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You have probably heard quite a bit about FriendFeed. The service creates a feed of your activity on multiple social networks so you can share it with friends. Today they have released an API for the service so you can start creating some cool mash-ups using the service.

The API offers PHP and Python libraries (unfortunately, if you are using Ruby or Java there are no provided libraries yet) and allows you to receive data in JSON, XML (a simple form of XML), RSS and Atom formats.

You can get more information about the API here. Also, Read Write Web has written a very good post about the API and you can read it here [they have some great articles, check out their post on ourTubeSpy application :-) ].

The API will possibly make some very interesting mash-ups. I'm thinking about using it for the next application for Ajaxonomy Labs (more on that in the near future). I'd love to hear your thoughts on the API and the FriendFeed service (as always, you can leave them in the comments or you can write a blog post about it on this blog with your free Ajaxonomy account).

Learning the Yahoo! User Interface Library

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If you are a developer using the Yahoo! User Interfaces then you are always looking for good resources for learning more about coding with the library. You've probably already gone through a lot of the information on the Yahoo! Developer pages and perhaps you would like a good book about the library. Well, I have come across a book called Learning the Yahoo! User Interface Library.

Below is what you will learn from the book

  • Explore the YUI Library—utilities, controls, core files, and CSS tools
  • Install the library and get up and running with it
  • Handle DOM manipulation and scripting
  • Get inside Event Handling with YUI
  • Create consistent web pages using YUI CSS tools
  • Work with Containers—implementation, skinning, adding transitions, and tabs
  • Debug, maintain, and update applications with the Logger control
  • Examples included in the book:
  •     Calendar interface
  •     Autocomplete
  •     Creating panels
  •     Dialogs
  •     Custom tooltips
  •     Forms
  •     Split button
  •     TreeView Control
  •     Browser History Manager with Calendar
  •     Simple animation
  •     Custom animation
  •     Creating tabs and adding content dynamically
  •     Dragging and dropping
  •     Implementing sliders
  •     Logger at work
  •     Logging custom classes

The book retails for $44.99 and below is the information that you would need to pick it up at your local book store.

Language: English
Paperback: 380 pages [191mm x 235mm]
Release date: March 2008
ISBN: 1847192327
ISBN: 13 978-1-847192-32-5
Author(s): Dan Wellman
Topics and Technologies: Open Source, AJAX

You can read more about the book and purchase it here.

It is good to see more resources for great libraries like the YUI. If you have a chance to read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it (you can leave a comment or blog about it on this blog using your free Ajaxonomy account).

Mozilla CEO says Apple's Safari auto-update 'wrong'

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Over at cnet's News.com they have reported the John Lilly the CEO of Mozilla has criticized Apple's auto-update practices.

Below is an excerpt from the post.

In a blog on Friday, Mozilla CEO John Lilly criticized Apple's practice, uncovered this week, of offering iTunes and QuickTime users Safari 3.1 on Windows through the Apple Software Update pop-up.

Lilly says that automatic updates are a good way to ensure people have the most recent and secure versions of software. It's a practice that Mozilla uses with the Firefox browser.

What's different in what Apple is doing is that it is adding a product to the auto-update list that users never requested. That means they could very easily install software unintentionally, he argued:

Apple has made it incredibly easy--the default, even--for users to install ride along software that they didn't ask for, and maybe didn't want. This is wrong, and borders on malware distribution practices.

It's wrong because it undermines the trust that we're all trying to build with users. Because it means that an update isn't just an update, but is maybe something more. Because it ultimately undermines the safety of users on the Web by eroding that relationship. It's a bad practice and should stop.

You can read the full post here.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this practice (You can leave them in the comments or write a post about it on this blog using your free Ajaxonomy account).

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