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Archives for: January 2005

Filed in:CSS
b2evo·XHTML

CSS Photo-Caption Zoom

January 31st, 2005  · stk

Finally ...

On the left is a demonstration of the original version of photo-caption zoom. It's a pure-CSS, XHTML-valid, image/caption zoom method. Move the cursor over the image and it will 'zoom' (pop, explode, magnify) to reveal a larger image with a caption. There are a number of image rollover techniques, but this is the first that combines an image with a caption. It looks nice and saves page real estate, sitting as a small thumbnail, until the reader decides otherwise. Most important, the method is practical and easy to implement.


PZ3 Update: 10-Mar-2007 - Fixes for an IE7 bug (multiple right-floated images) & a work-a-round for IE6 and IE7 in quirks-mode.

Added July 2006: PZ3 is here! It's more robust, lighter and REPLACES PZ2. Compared to PZ2, PZ3 is easier to use, needs 72% less code, overcomes a pesky IE z-index problem and can use an infinite range of image sizes (image size is specified in the XHTML, not the CSS). Like PZ2, Photo-Caption Zoom version 3 overlays text. (See demo on the right).

Added Oct 2005: I've developed a more robust "version 2" (named "PZ2"). It adds functionality (and complexity) to the original, PLUS has the added capability to OVERLAY text (no more "element migration" on ZOOM). It is demonstrated here on the right.

A single image is used for both the small and large views. (No need to have a large and a small version). The width is the only size parameter needed (the surrounding <div> expands to the appropriate height). To float the image left or right and to use different images sizes, just use the appropriate class names from within the HTML (no need to modify an external CSS file).

This code is a result of my recent inspiration and chronic frustration regarding the presentation of images and photo captions on web pages. Below, you'll find 8 different image zoom techniques, all of which are demonstrated on their own page & include cut'n-paste CSS/HTML code. Take your pick.

They've been tested on a PC, using IE6(sp2) and FireFox(v1). I'm not sure how they'll render in different browsers or browser versions. All but two are pure-CSS solutions (two use JavaScript :> ) and all are XHTML-valid (verified with the 'validate' button on the footer bar).

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Updated: 5-Jan-2008
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Filed in:Scott

A Kid Again

January 26th, 2005  · stk

In many ways, I wish that I could be a kid all over again. (The most obvious reason, of course, is that I wouldn't be 45 years old & I'd have much longer to live. It would mean, however, that I'd have to go through puberty for a second time. Hmmm. Maybe I need to rethink this whole 'kid again' thing!)

Just look at all the cool toys that there are these days! Here's one that caught my interest - "Topobo" would have been one in which I would have had a keen interest. A 3-D construction toy with kinetic memory ... kinda like an animated Erector Set! Cool. (It was developed at M.I.T., so it's based in science and just bristling with educational benefits!)

This isn't the only cool toy out there, just one that hit the radar screen this morning. Unfortunately, it's not available in stores (yet). But, I bet by the time Alex is old enough, it will be!!

That has got to be one of the BIG pluses of being a parent - re-living one's youth. If I play my cards right, maybe I can convince Rachel that Alex needs a learning tool like "Topobo"? (And Dad can play with it before Christmas and after the Oop goes to bed!) Hee hee ... a plan!

I know I'm on the mark here, because when I was a kid, my parents bought me an electric, slot-car race-set for Christmas. (I usually got one Christmas gift from "Santa", which was always unwrapped and laid out, while I was asleep, on Christmas eve. On that particular year, it was the slot-car set.) My parents had invited some friends over for after-dinner drinks & they got all involved in setting up MY Christmas present. Well, one thing led to another and there was Don & Dad playing with the slot-cars, making a racket & having a ball My Mom, however, was annoyed and saying things like, "Shhhh, keep it down or you're gonna wake Scott," and, "Stop playing with Scott's present or you're gonna end up breaking it!"

Not that I'm wishing Alex would grow up any faster, because Lord knows, it's happening quickly enough, but I can't WAIT for Alex to grow out of teddy bears & blocks, because there's a LOT of really cool toys that I can't wait to give myself, ahem, her! An X-box (or some newer, improved version), for one. I know she's a girl, but don't you think that she'd really like a remote controlled car (or better, a truck)? I know I would! "Topobo" will be one I'll have to add to the list!

Rachel, bless her heart, knowing that I'm a kid at heart, bought a really cool boom-a-rang helicopter for me for Christmas this year (it was only a buck). Of course, with all the ice and snow in Edmonton, I can't really get out and try the thing ... though, as impatient as a 10-year-old, I tried it in the house! It REALLY flies great! (Though the blades chipped off a bunch of that ceiling texturing and made a mess all over the carpet. Oops. Good thing we live in a rental house ;) Alex howled with delight on it's inaugural, ceiling-scraping flight.) Dad's hopeful that Alex will have a similar taste in toys. She can keep the dolls, but she'll have to share her other ones with you-know-who.

Here's to being a kid all over again! Yahoo.

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Updated: 1-Jun-2005
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Filed in:Site News

New Journaling Software

January 21st, 2005  · stk

Because we've got our own domain name, we decided to revamp the look of our site & our journaling methods. We hope that you like it and find it useful. We're also hoping that because posting entries is easier, we'll be able to provide you with MORE news, photos & other information.

First, let's give credit where credit is due. We're using an open-source program (which means that it's FREE - yay - and worked on by a wide array of developers). The name of the program is b2evolution (see the promotional link at the bottom of the page). It offers several new features that we didn't have before:

  • You can now add comments to posts. (Let us know what you think!)

  • Posts are categorized. (Read only what interests you.)

  • Posts are archived. (Easy access to ALL posts.)

  • Better photos. (Larger images because of the wider page layout.)

  • Search posts. (Find an old post based on a keyword.)

  • Posts have 'permalinks'. (Link to a specific post.)

  • Posts can be syndicated. (Advanced feature to keep up with our news.)

So ... we're thinking that this will be way-superior to what we had before. It will take some getting used to, as it is a completely NEW way of doing things.

Note: The current set-up allows 7 posts per page & you can use the "older", "newer" links (either at the bottom or in the right-hand section under "Journal Archives") to move forward/backward 7 posts at a time.

Hope you like it! :) Let us know what you think.

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Updated: 22-Feb-2005
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Filed in:Alexandra

Oop's Second Christmas

January 15th, 2005  · stk

There's a lot to be said for the health benefits of breast milk! Not that breast milk is the primary topic for Alex's second Christmas, but had she still been consuming breast milk, she might not have gotten sick. For her first year of life, Alex was very healthy. Not one cold, sickness or anything - the picture of perfect health. Just before Christmas, however, Alex contracted her very FIRST cold. It was a miserable affair and for the first time, we were the proud parents of a 'snotty-nosed' kid! We felt sorry for the poor Oop. What a bad time to be sick.

Alex's cold notwithstanding, Christmas was nearly a non-event in our Edmonton home. First, Rachel was entrenched in final exams, studying day and night, right until the very end of the term - December 20th. Secondly, because of Alex (the curious one), we delayed setting up the Christmas tree - and for good reason. When we finally did put up the tree, just after Rachel finished her finals, Alex was supremely interested in the lights, the ornaments & the wrapped presents. We have gradually 'kid-proofed' our home & we were used to leaving Alex, unattended, in the living room. Not with the tree! Every time we turned around, she was pulling off ornaments. On more than one occasion, Scott entered the living room, only to discover that Alex was actually eating the tops off of the glass orbs. "Crunch, crunch," she went, munching on glass with her 12 new teeth! Yites! (We've heard of college fraternity boys eating light bulbs, but this was ridiculous!)

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Updated: 15-May-2005
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