TagAJAX

CrossSlide: Image slideshows in JQuery

DHTML/Javascript has always lagged compared to Flash when it comes to image slideshows. For some reason, Flash just handles the transitions and image handling better. I guess this can be attributed to Flash’s animation roots. But there are some Javascript–based slideshows that manage to do a decent job — Smoothgallery is one of them. Now comes CrossSlide, a JQuery plugin that pushes the limits of DHTML–based slideshows. What used to be almost exclusive to Flash like the Ken Burns effect, it can do it too! It can do smooth transitions, panning, and zooming.

Some caveats though: CrossSlide is more CPU–intensive compared to other similar implementations. This downside is somewhat negligible considering today’s multi–core processors, but it’s good to know about it’s limitations.

Another JQuery Image Cropping plugin

In our last post we mentioned Jcrop, a JQuery plugin that gives your web applications the ability to crop images.  We found another script that comes with PHP to make things even easier for you! Now this would make its implementation even quicker than you can complain about it.

Jcrop: Crop images with JQuery

jcrop

Jcrop is a JQuery plugin that easily gives you image cropping functionality in your web apps. It works in major browsers and since it utilizes the widely–adopted JQuery framework, should work fine in future browsers as well.

Feedback through AJAX

I’m sure you’ve seen little [+] icons at the bottom of popular webpages. These things are feedback mechanisms powered by OpinionLab, a service that aims to rate a page’s usefulness. Now it would be nice if we had something like it for our little sites, right?

Enter the aptly named AJAX Feedback Mechanism which mimics the same functionality through AJAX. The good thing about it is you can download it now and implement it on your site with minimal tweaking. The provided demo will likely convince you that you need this for your next big web 2.0 thing. 🙂

AjaxAMP

This may not be entirely related to web 2.0 developers, though its use of ajax and the resulting functionality justifies an entry here on builder2. AjaxAMP is a Winamp plugin that allows you to control a Winamp player in a remote PC, and more importantly, access your music library from anywhere on the web!

Basically, this is music remoting and shoutcasting taken to a higher level. This is not about music piracy or illegal copying of music, but rather listening to your library whenever you need it. I’ve tried the plugin and it works like a charm, though there is still room for improvements. You’ve got to actually try it to appreciate its usefulness.

A few good libraries

AJAX libraries.

I’ve been looking at several AJAX libraries these past few days for use with iPAP and several other planned projects. Going through AJAX Matters’s list leads us to many projects and options, and finding the right one for a specific need can be a cumbersome task. I’m providing some insights for the ones I find good enough.

  1. XAJAX is PHP–based and generates the Javascript programatically. You need to designate the action executed like replacing or appending content, but there is minimal need for tinkering with Javascript at all. Unfortunately, modifying or altering the generated client–side code is not as straightforward as other libraries. Another plus is that the PHP functions and custom functions you need can be in the same page you’re displaying to the user, so all you need to do is include() the xajax class file. XAJAX is good for PHP developers seeking to add some AJAX functionality to their applications, but those with a healthier Javascript/DOM acumen would find the next two libraries friendlier.
  2. advAJAX recently made the digg frontpage and proves to be simple yet easy to customise. If you’re comfortable coding Javascript, you can mix and match advAJAX with other presentational libraries and you’d have your very own toolset for your application.
  3. SACK is last on this list, but definitely not on functionality. In fact, it is good enough that an earlier version is used in WordPress 2.0 for all its AJAXy goodness. Just like advAJAX, you can customize your Javascript to perfection. The difference is in the syntax for setting parameters and calling functions, and boils down to personal preference.

To summarize my observations, XAJAX is best for those familiar with PHP who’d rather not deal with too much Javascript. advAJAX and SACK are better options for Javascript hackers who need the customization possibilities.

moo.fx

If you’re looking for an easy to use effects library for your web application, moo.fx could be what you’re looking for.

moo.fx is a superlightweight, ultratiny, megasmall javascript effects library, written with prototype.js.

It’s easy to use, fast, cross-browser, standards compliant, provides controls to modify Height, Width, and Opacity with builtin checks that won’t let a user break the effect with multiple crazy clicks. It’s also optimized to make you write the lesser code possible.

Using this library is a simple task, and can take your web application interaction to higher levels.

AJAX Classes

AJAX is one of the primary ingredients for almost all Web 2.0 applications. This allows better interaction and feedback between the application and the user, allowing for an enhanced usability and user experience.

These AJAX PHP classes over at PHP Classes will surely help in providing the functionality for your web applications.

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