Category Archives: Website

jCarousel Lite and Fancybox

I don’t know if the reason there is no solution to this problem to be found is because it is just that simple or because no one else has run into this problem, but I thought I’d share, for others out there like me who barely understand javascript enough to install it, but not to troubleshoot it.

In April I spent one week working to get my portfolio website up. (Aside: Despite having written it up with php includes in its first incarnation, I decided to do it slightly differently so I had to edit each page to make the changes, mainly putting more of the head stuff in my include file. x.x That’s what I spent a few days doing.)

Over the weekend I decided to bite the bullet and move from Lightbox 2 with a “Coda Slider Effect” script to Fancybox with jCarousel Lite. I was so excited, thinking I’d move from the buggy Coda Slider Effect (Sometimes the slider would choose to slide vertically instead of horizontally, and on one especially annoying page, the slider would decide to wrap one of the three divs around, so going from the second to the third slide showed a diagonal top-right to bottom-left slide.) and the slow, bulky Lightbox 2 design and animation effect that I could never tweak to my liking. jCarousel Lite would, implied by the name, be a lighter javascript file, and with Fancybox running off the jQuery library as well, I could ditch the scriptaculous and prototype files.

I installed jCarousel Lite and Fancybox and set them all up on a Friday. Spent that night and the next morning trying to make them work at all. I don’t know what I did wrong there but I did manage to eventually get them working “out of the box” as promised.

The Problem

The big problem came when I realized in Fancybox when I had the next and previous navigation option turned on that the last image would repeat. I’d get to what I thought was the last image but there was still an arrow pointing to another image, which would just lead to a repeat of the same image. When I first clicked the last image and navigated to the first image, the same problem would occur, but in reverse. (That is, the first image would repeat.)

I combed the Fancybox support area. I tried using search engines to find a solution. jCarouselLite had no support area (not that it needs one, it’s so simple). I tried using a number of different searches, different words (repeat, same image, duplicate image, the list goes on). But no one else seemed to use the two scripts together, or to have the same problem I did.

Then, after letting my brain rest (staying up to four in the morning to fix javascript problems is a bad idea, I know, but it’s like scratching that itch you can’t reach!) I remembered that one function of the Carousel: to wrap around in an endless loop.

The Solution

I don’t know how jCarousel makes it work, and perhaps I could have skipped my javascript headaches weekend by just using jCarousel, but I liked the simplicity of the Lite script.

jCarousel Lite, in order to create that circular loop of images (or whatever content used) needs to make a duplicate of the first div. I just turned off the circular option, since I chose to use the external controls over the left and right navigation arrows.

That one little switch, and oh my gosh everything fell so nicely into place once I turned it off! The three days (or maybe two, if you don’t count the time I spent just trying to make the scripts work in the first place) I spent wracking my brains were over just like that!

Javascript, I don’t understand you, therefore I hate you.

stupid spam

Or maybe I should say smart spam? ;)

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Why thank you, Sir or Madam Spammer! I still won’t approve your comment though.

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Yes, we all need to know more about playing Tetris online. *blinks*

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All these comments are on my post about putting a Tetris game on my website. Lately I was considering moving it to my other domain though, there I’ve got more content geared toward the visitor, and not all about myself and I.

from XHTML to HTML

I decided, after reading an old entry on Jeffrey Zeldman Presents the Daily Report that I’ll switch all of my websites from XHTML to HTML.

I don’t even remember why I chose XHTML over HTML. Possibly I thought it was the wave of the future. Or maybe I thought all the cool kids used it. (Not really. :))

I guess I started using XHTML about five and a half years ago (“validation”). I didn’t even know what it really was! I still don’t. People commented on Jeffrey’s blog about the extensibility of XHTML, and while I’ve heard the term before, I never knew exactly what that meant, and I still don’t.

I know a little about XML; I had to do a small XML project for school and I thought it was nifty. (Although in my major it was more about JDF files, or job description flows? Something like that. A file that would travel with printing jobs and would contain information about how to print said job.) But beyond that I never got into XML and this extensibility gig. I didn’t understand how XML changed or could even make a difference with HTML.

Because of that, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really shouldn’t keep up with something that I’m not using to its fullest potential (and I should definitely take the mention of it off my resume o_o). All the work that I’ll have to put into removing trailing slashes from every webpage I wrote (including inserting some code into WordPress headers to strip the slashes out) is not a good enough reason for me to keep using XHTML.

I’ll get right on that. After I finish moving all my protected blog entries to a private blog, after I retag and recategorize all the remaining entries, after I tag all my Livejournal entries, after I tag all my dreams, yup. (Some projects that I’ve been working on for ever.) At least I’ll have a few years before HTML5 becomes a reality and I have to buckle down to transition to that.

they never called you

Man, this blog has slowly been gathering dust and spiderwebs. Although I am posting somewhat sporadically, I haven’t touched anything else on this domain. I haven’t really touched any of my sites in quite a while. But I did work on my online portfolio a lot last quarter.

This quarter I’m working on printing out and binding another book, even though I’m not in the book design class. All the fun, none of the stress! I had to rush around to buy the book, cut off the spine, scan all the pages, OCR the text, edit the text and correct errors (of which there are many), and after I’m done with that (I’ve got about 20 pages left) I get to design the pages! Yay! Heh, I’ve spent the past week or so reading through the book—on screen, yes—and correcting anything and everything. (Ironic that my senior project is about print books or electronic books, no?)

So I’ve got that senior project to work on, but I’m not giving that much of my attention. Mreh. This week I have to buckle down and go to the library to write the last two chapters to turn in.

Other than my one class that I have this quarter, which I already finished the big assignment for and only have a midterm and final to look forward to, I am also working on making cards for all the teachers in my department. I’m not really working on that much. grrrs.

I’ve got all the pieces I want (I think; I spent the past couple months realizing I need this or that item and running out to buy it) and now I just need to actually put the cards together! The problem with that is I need to fold 3×the number of faculty amount of paper cranes. Roughly. Some cards might have more, some less. I think I have about three or four teachers covered at this point. *shifts glance*

And on top of that … I feel like working on my websites again. After abandoning them for I don’t know how long. I probably worked on them some last quarter, but not much, and I don’t think I was on the computer that often over summer.

I think I’m finally tired of the jester and monk layout. (Wow, can you imagine that? I still love the black/red/white colors, I just want to look at something new.) Next I might go for a light, spring-inspired design. Or not, you know me. (If you don’t, then know that I like teh dark because I am so emo!)

held on high

I managed to crash Windows Explorer tonight. :O

A little bit of info: I own a Dell Inspiron 2650 laptop, bought in the summer of 2002. Currently runs on 384 MB RAM (somehow the video card takes up 128 MB of the installed 512? I don’t understand it, but meh), was at 256 ’til about a year or so ago. (No I am not kidding.) My hard drive is 27.9 gigs (my mp3 player is bigger! at roughly 28,000 MB).

Normally when I’m working on my sites I like to have the following programs open: Windows Media Player (or Winamp, depends on which playlist I’m listening to); Volume Control (crazy songs all having different volume levels); Mozilla Firefox; FileZilla; Notepad; Windows Explorer (er, you know, the “My Documents” et cetera folder windows…); Adobe Photoshop 7 (hah, I realized this year that it’s outdated by three whole versions now); Linotype FontExplorer X (when are they gonna release a non-beta Windows version? :( ); Calculator (to figure out em sizes); and sometimes, Spider Solitaire, to entertain myself while my computer’s trying to process something.

It never really bothered my laptop before, running all those programs. (Well okay, maybe FontExplorer is a drain, but I don’t have it open that often.) But it seems like the past couple of months, I’ve complained more about my laptop’s speed.

And two things I noticed this weekend: (one) when I click on a program in the Start menu, the menu doesn’t disappear after a second anymore, it just sticks around until the program opens up … a few seconds later (this includes Spider Solitaire and Calculator); (two) Firefox’s Bookmarks responds way slower than they used to. Sometimes I can’t even get the Bookmarks menu to open when I click it. D:

So yeah, Windows Explorer crashed tonight. All I tried to do was highlight another file, to see the dimensions of the image and then everything … stopped … responding.

I’ve been planning for a number of months to reinstall XP on this laptop this summer, to try and improve performance. A lot of computer help sites (er, members of support forums, rather) suggest doing a fresh install regularly once a year. *boggles* So I thought, hey, once in 6 years, my performance should definitely improve, right?

Well at the moment I’m feeling it won’t have much of an effect. :( I think all the programs I have on here and use regularly, they’ve just got too many add-ons, updates, doohickeys, and whatnot compared to six or even two years ago.

Plus, my laptop has picked up this annoying whine that appears every so often. It might be tied to the fan running. Or it might be the the hard drive whirring. Whatever it’s doing, it bugs the heck out of me. I don’t like extraneous noise, or repetitive noise, of which the sound is both.

Then I was reading the Wikipedia articles on Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu (unrelated to my computer woes; [wow, the whine started up not more than half a minute after it stopped O_o *cough* back to my previous thought] XKCD had a comic about a Debian flaw and I was trying to figure out what the heck it was talking about *snrk*), and found out that for Ubuntu, the minimum required RAM is 384 MB. For Windows XP 128 MB is recommended, which I have thrice over. So I guess Ubuntu is out on this laptop. (Although when I get a new laptop, I’ll probably still install it on this laptop just as a trial run.)

I don’t know what to do! I don’t have money for a new laptop! Besides, it seems like all laptops suck nowadays. N’s Dell laptop keeps not reading the BiOS (it’s so funny! every time he starts up his computer, it says there’s no BiOS! HAHAH— okay I’m being sarcastic). C’s Dell laptop battery lasts only a couple minutes. (I guess that’s not really the laptop itself … but my battery still lasts almost two hours, despite being two years old, or however old it is.)

There’s a MacBook, but that thing costs mucho bucks! Money that I do not have, and am not willing to borrow from any relative! (Cough, Bank of N.)

And … well, I guess there are smaller, less popular brands out there that are good, but I don’t really feel like researching. I want my six-year-old laptop to work! :( It’s so nicely designed and simple and all one color and not ugly.

In other news, has a new layout! After how many years? It would have been two years this July. Wow! That’s the longest I’ve ever had a layout up. I don’t know if I’m happy with the layout. The guinea pigs just don’t look right to me (this means I need to own a guinea pig in order to draw them right! woot! going to the shelter tomorrow! *snrk*)

I (sorta, somewhat) used wolftlou’s Musician’s Element colo[u]r palette (adding my own pink to the pig, and muting the blue for the background).

I think a major problem I have is with the alignment of the Sites list and Et Cetera list. Soou much empty space around them, ugh!

I might end up going back to the prevous layout, rearranging the text so it’s a vertical layout and not a horizontal one, or at least making the divs larger so it’s not hard to read. But in the meantime, new layout, yay go check it out, see how I morph guinea pigs into weird positions for my own amusement.