It didn't take long for my CSS counter experiment to break, and after more than a year I thought it was time for a reboot.
The biggest shortcoming of my flip-counter script is the difficulty in modifying the appearance of the counter—any styling changes require altering 70 different sprite states. I am constantly asked for a nice layered template that would make updating the counter easier, but unfortunately none exists. The best way to make the counter's appearance easily customizable is to get rid of the images entirely, and that was the goal of this experiment.
When someone makes a comment on my site, I like to see it in the visitor's action list on Clicky. If you're using Disqus with WordPress, here's an easy way to log comments.
My first step when thinking of ways to create scrollable content was a Google search that lead me to a good post outlining how to use jQueryUI Slider to scroll a div. This solution required altering the jQueryUI source, which I felt was unnecessary, so I came up with a simple solution.
I don't know how long it's been there, but I noticed yesterday that Apple has a new product nav menu that replaced their old horizontal scroller with some new animated candy. I was impressed to see that all transitions and animations are CSS-based. Unfortunately, it will take some time before all major browsers even support this cool new CSS wizardry. Never fear—you can create a similar menu with jQuery that works in every browser, even IE6.
My original post detailing how I recreated Apple's flip-style counter is a popular one, and I get many questions about how to properly implement it. It didn't take long before I saw some shortcomings to the original technique I used, so I thought it was time to revisit the counter and make some improvements.
I rely heavily on regular expressions when processing old data. Like my post about cleaning phone numbers, I'll demonstrate another example of how useful regex can be when dealing with unruly data.
Clicky is an amazing web analytics service. Its killer feature is the ability see data in real-time, allowing you to watch your visitors as they browse your site.
I love Clicky, and I love their API. Because the analytics data is available immediately, I found myself wishing I could have a constant notification of how many visitors were on my site without having to leave a tab or window open all the time.
I'm a big fan of using sprites for navigation menus. While they don't offer the flexibility of a solely HTML & CSS menu due to the fact that you have to create a new graphic every time you want to change a menu item, sprites do offer you infinite styling possibilities. Apple's website is a well-known example of a sprite-driven nav menu, so I'll use that as the inspiration and walk through how to create something similar.
Two years ago I found myself writing a photo gallery application for a custom CMS that allowed you to upload, crop, caption, group and sort your photos for the site's online galleries. I remember thinking to myself what a chore it was to be reinventing the wheel—there are already excellent free services available that provide this functionality. I wanted the ability to have my client use Picasa to manage his galleries, and view them via SlideShowPro (SSP) on his site. At that time however, support for Picasa's RSS feeds was not available in SSP.
I've been in the position of having to take an unnormalized database that had virtually no data validation or standardization in place, and migrating it to a normalized schema. I used regex to help me through the process.