Recently I've been messing with the cool new features of CSS3 to a client project and I was inspired to see what sort of interface features could be done with it.
The nice things, like drop shadows, gradient background and curved corners, make things look great without having to reach to the image editor, but are hardly revolutionary. Any design that is well planned could already make use of these things and they've been around on the web for ages, though CSS3 certainly makes them far easier to implement.
It's been a while since I've written anything on here, and I have a fair bit to write about now.
In September I quit my full time job to stay at home and look after my then one year old daughter. While the wife was paying the bills I decided to join a few freelance websites and see if I could get some work. This was mainly to see if I could cut it as a freelancer once the baby goes off to school and I have some time to devote to this properly.
I had decided to create the "glass" effect popularised by OSX and Vista and while following various guides and creating some graphics in the GNU Image Manipulation Package I spotted a pattern and decided to come up with a way to create the now popular glass effect in CSS, without using any graphics at all.
Using the gradient fill in GIMP and applying those colours to the CSS used to create the Nifty Corners effect, I managed to create some pure CSS Glass buttons. Hopefully I can explain how I did this below and show you how you can create the same effect for your own projects.
These functions allow you effectively strip out parts of a string that could cause problems when sent in a URI, in a get request for example.
I also recently found it handy for encoding strings for sending to and from a JSP server over AJAX, the trouble came up when I realised that there is no built in equivalent functions server side. A quick search of the net revealed a few solutions, but none that actually worked, not in Java, or PHP, or anything else that I could have adapted. A bit surprised by this lack of a solution to a common problem, I investigated what these functions do.
Like everyone else, when I started dabbling in AJAX code I found myself repeatedly creating the same code to do the same things. There was always code to make sure I could create the XMLHttpRequest if it was there, or the Microsoft equivalent for the awkward browser. There was always event code to process, sometimes repeatedly, the response codes until I got a 4. There was usually code to present some visual indication to the user that there was a call in progress.
Now, like other programmers, if I find myself doing the same thing over and over again, it's time to write a library.
These holes were filled by numerous framework libraries for doing all sorts of things. Be it filling in some small missing functions like addAfter to compliment addBefore, or extra trim functions for strings as you would find in PHP, there were, and still are, numerous choices.
These are numerous views I found published from the top of the Chavannes chair lift in Les Gets, France, where I did a season in the winter of 2007 - 2008.
The majority of these images are not published anywhere else, it seems they set up a large number of views, mainly from the same panning camera, but only use the best ones. A simple script here loops over the numbered views and pulls them all in.
Be warned though, these are the full sized images, scaled for this summary page, so it might take a while to load in.