All posts tagged ‘jQuery’

File Under: CSS, JavaScript, Visual Design

jQuery Masonry: Play Tetris With Your CSS Floats

One of the things that’s always on our minds here at Webmonkey and Wired is the news stream. We produce a huge number of posts every day, and our curated front door only shows the crème de la crème. The rest gets dumped in a river, which is informative, but not that exciting to look at. So we see it as a challenge: how to keep it visually interesting and still show a good mix of stories, all with a minimal amount of fuss and busywork.

Tumblr is a good solution, and one that several other news organizations are using. I happened across the Scaffold theme, and I like how it organizes posts not on a strict grid, but on a fluid grid where elements fill in the gaps around each other. It looks like a Tetris board.

The secret sauce is jQuery Masonry, a plug-in for the popular library by David Desandro.

“Think of it as the flip side of CSS floats,” he writes. “Whereas floating arranges elements horizontally then vertically, Masonry arranges elements vertically then horizontally according to a grid. The result minimizes vertical gaps between elements of varying height, just like a mason fitting stones in a wall.”

You can grab the code from Desandro or check out the development version on GitHub. Just like jQuery, it’s distributed under an MIT license.

A particularly nice use of it in the wild is Zander Martineau’s Rather Splendid blog.

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File Under: Frameworks, JavaScript

New JQuery Release Adds JSLint Support

The popular jQuery JavaScript library has released an update to its current 1.4 release. The latest version, jQuery 1.4.3, is relatively minor update, but includes some speed improvements and several welcome new features including support for JSLint, HTML 5 data- attributes and a major rewrite of the css() module.

If you’d like to update to the latest release and test your code against jQuery 1.4.3, you can download it here (or here, minified). As always you can also load the code directly from Google’s CDN.

Perhaps the most important part of this release is the JSLint support. While Douglas Crockford’s JSLint tool — which is designed to find a multitude of JavaScript problems in your code — proudly proclaims it will “hurt your feelings” (and it will), it’s also a great way to debug your code.

According to a blog post announcing jQuery 1.4.3, the jQuery team will be using JSLint to prevent regressions in future releases. Of course, it also means that you can use JSLint in your own jQuery-based scripts without having to wade through jQuery errors.

One thing we should note though is that the jQuery team has made a few minor changes to JSLint to suit the “particular development style” of jQuery code. Most of the changes are minor, and you can read the full details in the jQuery style guide.

Here’s a video of jQuery creator John Resig showing off the power of the library, including an overview the latest enhancements (and those still to come) at the Future of Web Apps conference earlier this month in London. The video comes courtesy of the conference’s producers at Carsonified. Check out their Future of Web Design conference in New York next month.

John Resig – The Future Of JavaScript & jQuery 2010 from legacye on Vimeo.

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File Under: JavaScript

Video: jQuery Gurus Talk About Mobile, the Future

Here’s a short video about the future of jQuery, our favorite JavaScript library for creating rich, animated site interactions.

The interviewees are Mike Hostelter and Jonathan Stark, co-founders of appendTo, a consulting company that trains and supports jQuery programmers. The video was shot this week at O’Reilly OSCON 2010, taking place in Portland, Oregon through Friday.

In the interview, they talk a little bit about what’s next for the jQuery Core group — currently, jQuery creator John Resig is auditing mobile browsers to build more mobile features into jQuery, making it easier for JavaScript developers to make HTML5 iPad and smartphone web apps that are more “appy.” Also, there ultimately won’t be a separate pack for mobiles and desktops — the future of jQuery is one code library that works on all browsers and all devices.

See other OSCON 2010 videos on O’Reilly’s YouTube channel.

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File Under: Ajax, UI/UX

Beautify Broken Links With Catch404

The 404 error is one of the bitter realities of the web.

“The page you’ve requested does not exist.” So cold and unforgiving. Unlike a bad database connection or an unresponsive server, the 404 Page Not Found error has a finality to it — this link is dead and it’s never coming back.

But now we have Catch404 by Addy Osmani, a jQuery plug in that handles broken links with style. Deploy Catch404 on your site, and instead of seeing a page reporting a broken link, the user is presented with an Ajax modal window (also called a hop-up, or a lightbox) informing them the linked page isn’t there. The windows also offers some alternate destinations they might want to check out.

We’ve been trying to make 404s go down a little easier for years now. The custom 404 page is a popular solution. It’s available on just about every web CMS out there. You can do it yourself, too. Browsers are also taking it upon themselves to beautify the broken link with custom pages, offering suggestions or inviting users to search for the page using a built-in search box.

Catch404 takes both of those ideas — the custom alert and the suggestions of what to do next — and places them into the user experience before the link is even loaded. The plugin, which requires the jQuery framework, sends the link off to Yahoo’s YQL engine to check to make sure it’s alive. It only performs this check for external URLs; local URLs don’t require the check. The check is performed behind the scenes, using an Ajax request. If all is good, the user goes about his or her way. If the check results in a 404, the user sees the modal window.

Here’s a demo.

You’ll notice one obvious downside, which is that your users will have to wait an extra half-second or so while the YQL call completes. So why use it?

When a user is browsing your site and clicks on a link you’ve provided, then sees a 404 error, it’s your problem whether you’re responsible or not. Linking to dead pages makes you look like a sloppy curator, and the user will place some, if not all, of the blame for that error on you. Catch404 is more helpful than an impersonal error.

If the speed hit from the cross-site link checking bothers you, consider adding Catch404 only to legacy content — those years-old pages filled with links that may or may not still be alive.

Activating Catch404 is simply a matter of assigning a class to the link, so you can invoke it only where it makes sense.

[via Delicious]

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File Under: HTML5, Multimedia

More Cool HTML5/JavaScript Video Players

One of the most-cited advancements in HTML5 the new syntax for embedding videos on web pages without the use of plugins.

Rather than load up a Silverlight or Flash player, you can just wrap a file URL in <video> tags and the video will play natively in the most recent crop of browsers — including Mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPad, where Flash and Silverlight aren’t allowed.

The design of default controls are left up to the browser vendor, but they are usually rather spartan, so the user experience is a little lacking. But since native web playback is all done with web standards, you can create fancy players in JavaScript and CSS that wrap around your video and make playing, controlling and navigating video content much more elegant.

We’ve previously told you about some great standards-based players from Sublime Video, Kaltura and Video for Everybody. Here are a few more.

  • FlareVideo (screenshot at the top) is an HTML5 player that we especially like because it’s very easy to dip into the CSS and JavaScript and start customizing. It also ships with a couple of themes that mimic the look of Vimeo and Spotify and serve as a helpful springboard for further customization.
  • Video JS is another player based on some lightweight JavaScript. It’s fully skinnable, library independent, and it has a fallback scheme for IE.
  • The Open Standard Media (OSM) player uses the jQuery framework to fancy up your HTML5 videos. So if you’re the jQuery type, this one’s for you. You can also use it to play back videos published on Vimeo and YouTube in a playlist that sits next to the player.
  • [Via insicdesigns]

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