Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Moo.fx 2

In my previous post I talked about Animator.js. Looks like Moo.fx didn't want to be out done. They recently released a completely new version of Moo.fx, a "superlightweight, ultratiny, megasmall javascript effects library". At this point, Scriptaculous is going to have to do something pretty quick to get me to stay on board. This is simply because both Animator.js and Moo.fx now enable me to create any imaginable effect simply be inputting some CSS – to me that is a killer feature.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Animator.js – nice!

Animator.js is a new javascript effects library (like moo.fx and scriptaculous) that is extremely cool.

What impresses me about it is the ease of customizing effects. You basically put in the css that the element your manipulating should have when the effect is done, and thats it.

Though this is new and probably has some bugs, I will definitely be keeping an eye on it. It is very possible that I will use this for LearnIt (rather than Scriptaculous, which I have been using).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fluid vs Fixed? How about both

As I've been designing the user interface for LearnIt, I've been thinking about wether I want the interface to be fluid or static. I am not completely sure, but I think Vitamin, the design of which I've always admired, has the right idea. Do them both.

This design makes the site look great wether on a huge screen or on a small screen. Here is the idea: when the window size is small, the site is fluid; but if the user size is big enough to start making reading a chore–the site becomes fixed.

This is what it looks like when the window is small...

But when the window is big, it looks like this...

You get the best of both worlds.

Contrast this to a completely fluid design like Wikipedia or a completely fixed design like this one. If you resize your window in Wikipedia to the maximum size (on a 20" screen), reading starts to get tricky. But if you go for a completely fixed design, you have to worry about making it small enough for all screens (which usually means very small).

My Setup

My setup is this: a MacBook (13") with Apple's 20" Cinema display.

Why do I mention this? Because I think it is very close to the perfect setup for developing wep apps. Why? Because of Parallels, which allows me to use Windows XP (or Vista) on my MacBook while I'm running OS X. This makes it possible to have windows running in full screen mode on my Macbook display, and OS X on my Cinema Display. This makes cross browser web development a lot easier because, after I've developed my code to work on Safari, I can open up IE in windows and tinker with things, watching both IE and Safari/Firefox at the same time.

Note: to do this I highly suggest getting more than the default 512 mb of RAM for the MacBook. I have 1256 mb installed right now (which makes the Macbook fly doing most things) but I'm going to upgrade to 2 gigs once I need to be using Windows more.

Why I started this blog

I had been trying to document my creation of LearnIt offline so that I could look back at my mistakes and learn from them. But blogs such as Ryan Carson's Bare Naked App inspired me to develop LearnIt in a more transparent way. This not only drives interest for LearnIt, but it makes a way for the whole web development community to benefit from what I learn from developing LearnIt.

It will also be cool to get feedback on my ideas, hardships, misconceptions, etc. via the comments.