Thursday, July 22, 2010

Agile: Boards? Walls? Can't put anything on the wall?

Working at various places you come across certain departments that have rules that do not make sense. Well maybe they make sense but they might not make sense to you. One of the places I worked had a strong restriction on putting things up on the wall. Working in an Agile environment entails using TONS of wall space. From iteration walls to burn(down)/(up) charts and even design flats, walls are necessary.

One day I walked in the morning and saw that someone had actually written on the wall. Insert vulgarity !!! Whoever did that is gonna get it. I was actually quite excited to find out who would soon receive the impeding doom. After some closer inspection, I was excited to see that the writing wasn't actually on the wall, but on white board styled paper that was stuck to the wall. At this point I was interested in how it would actually stick to the wall. Static. Static is the magic that makes it all work. The sheets stick to the wall and paper/stickies stick to the sheets. No tape. Amazing.

Smart Sheets a simple dynamic white board replacement. "They're your whiteboard, communication, brainstorming, artwork, doodlepad and advertising vehicle all rolled up in one!"

Friday, July 16, 2010

NivoSlider: A jQuery Image Gallery (Slider) Plugin

NivoSlider by Gilbert Pellegrom is an incredible plugin for providing a transitioning slideshow or slider to your visitors. Highly customizable with tons of options and transition effects, this is a must have plugin. The gap between what Flash can do over Javascript is shrinking on a daily basis.

Basic Example:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dynamic Breadcrumbs?!

Have you ever been in a situation where one of the business requirements were breadcrumbs? Most people would answer yes. The funny thing is everyone you talk to, doesn't really have a good solution to handling the little trail of bread.

My current situation was a little more challenging in the sense that I needed dynamic breadcrumbs that would work for fixed pages as well as Cms controlled pages. Cms pages that use Url aliasing. Attempts to use .Net server code to build the breadcrumbs were successful until Url aliasing was involved.

The solution. A jQuery plugin. I searched for two days for a viable solution to dynamic breadcrumbs. Unfortunately there weren't any that I could find. The internet was however, littered with breadcrumb plugins that make your breadcrumbs look cool, of have funky drop down menus. None of them dynamically built a simple trail automatically.

I decided to write my own plugin called: jQuery Dynamic Breadcrumbs!

Creative? I know. Sometimes I even amaze myself. The project is hosted on Google code at jQuery Dynamic Breadcrumbs

The basic idea is using a nicely formatted folder structure/url aliasing. Creating a Url that is easy for a visitor to understand should be more than enough of an indicator that you don't need breadcrumbs, but some people just love the things.