March 05, 2008
Speed control widgets for Captivate
These 2 widgets allow your users to alter the speed (in frames per second) of the Captivate presentation they are viewing. To use them simply "Insert Animation" and set the animation Options:Timing to Display for rest of project, and no transition.
The first one is a slider which goes from 0-130 fps. Download file
The second is a set of buttons which increment and decrement the speed in units of ten fps, down to zero, with no ceiling. Download file
The slider is based on
Slider bar smart clip by Patrick Mineault"
Both files contain frames-per-second indicators, but you can hide them. Both widgets can be reskinned: I have included the source flash files in the zip archives.
April 05, 2007
It's been a while since I posted to this blog... In part it is because I was so darn busy, not the least with the new SI Computing's site. However, I'm happy to report that the Joomla! platform has proved to be a great find!
We now have the site pretty much ready and are working like crazy adding content to it. The (really) good news is that once you have the basic structure of your site in place (in the Joomla! parlance that means mostly "Sections", and "Categories"), adding content is so easy, it's nearly a pleasure. Putting the structure together wasn't too great of a challenge, either. In fact, I have yet to look at any sort of Joomla! manual - yes, it is that intuitive! (Or I'm that smart... Nah!)
A digression: There has been a recent discussion on the WWW-SIG mailing list (if my memory serves me right) about the problem of sharing and preserving content when every department, and even groups within a department, is using a different tool - now with disparate Content Management Systems adding complexity and further incompatibilities into the mix. I can see how this could be a reason for concern, but in our particular case preservation and sharing were not of paramount importance; rather, the ease of collaboratively building a dynamic, constantly evolving site was what we were after.
I can honestly say that we did take a good look at the tools already available on this campus, including Sitemaker and Drupal, but none of them gave us the capability we wanted without presenting us with a learning curve we just didn't have the time to tackle. I am a bit sad that we had to go outside, but I'm very, very pleased with what we found there.
Our new site is not yet public, but if you'd like to take a peek, send me a message, and I will provide you with the URL.
March 07, 2007
In my search for a good Content Management System (CMS) I stumbled upon Joomla! and the more I play with it, the more I like it. Installing it on a commercial, commodity host was a relative breeze (it is a MySQL/PHP combo, and most hosts support that). Installing it in-house (on our own server) wasn't very challenging, either. Compared to Drupal it seems much more intuitive. It is actually not that difficult to "figure things out" in Joomla!, without resorting to help files and tutorials. In Drupal I felt almost completely lost most of the time.
There is a substantial community of developers behind Joomla!, which means that there are a lot of modules that can be added to the system. There is also a good selection of attractive templates, some free, some very reasonably priced (starting at mere $15).
We're going to try and build a collaborative website for SI Computing using Joomla! - I will report on our experiences with the system. As of now I'm pretty impressed.
February 21, 2007
SI students have setup a Wetpaint wiki "to try some ways to share information besides si.all emails and hallway conversations". Somehow I never developed a deep appreciation of wikis, but I must admit that I'm very impressed with this Wetpaint tool for creating wikis - it appears superbly easy to use yet quite sophisticated, with simple yet elegant interface. Too bad it is only available in the hosted, free version (free isn't bad, except in this case it means ads), as this is the best tool for collaborative site building that I have seen in a long while...