State of the Software 2013

Since we’re now spread all over the country, it’s a lot harder to notice the cool software that we’re each using. As with many “remote” obstacles, this was overcome by asking.

So here is the First Annual Sly Trunk Software Census, for 2013.

10 Engineers, 4 states, 7 Cities, lots of computer time, here goes!

Read More


Eff your review Shape Shuffle! (Submission)

Guilty :)


Eff your review Shape Shuffle! (Submission)

Guilty :)

Reblogged from Eff Your Review

Dynamic Pinterest “Pin It” buttons

For, a site where all content is loaded dynamically within the stack of the “magazine”, not being able to also dynamically load Pinterest Buttons is a problem. Especially when the content is so darn pinnable!

Pinterest acknowledge the pickle we’re in:

Is there a callback option?  How about a way to dynamically create Pin It buttons when we need them?

Not yet.  We know you want more advanced options like these; we are figuring out what to do about them now!

- Pinterest Help Center

Not deterred by the official word on dynamic Pinterest buttons, Luke came up with a nice way to load Pinterest “Pin It” buttons dynamically.

1. Parse the chunk of DOM containing your Pinterest tag

On the initialization of your content, say a gallery slide, isolate and handle the regular Pinterest Tags within the slide via JS. No need to load the external Pinterest script here.

2. Load a corresponding iframe into each tag

Passing the Pinterest data from the tag into the iframe as URL params.

3. Serve a bare bones page within the iframe

Bare bones so that it is highly cacheable. All the logic is tied up in the JS  which is the only asset on the page at serve time. The JS reads the Pinterest data from the URL params, builds and places a corresponding Pinterest Tag on the page, and loads the external Pinterest script which parses the page, interprets the tag and renders the button.


Dynamic Pinterest Button iFrame HTML

Simple JS for building a DOM tag containing the Pinterest data from the URL and loading the external Pinterest script to parse it.

- Ben

Full Screen Galleries Pt. 3: Photo Zoom!

Full Screen Galleries: Example Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

  1. The Base Gallery
  2. Scaling The Photos
  3. Photo Zoom!

Welcome to the final post in this series detailing the implementation of a wonderful Full Screen Zoomable photo gallery.

Implementation details:

  • YUI Drag, constrained to a region
  • Single large image, i.e. no size stepping on zoom
  • All browser resizing via CSS up to natural image dimensions
  • Zooming relative to browser dimensions
  • Getting in an out of the zoom experience, and how the zoom experience relates to the base gallery in the DOM isn’t covered because it’s not that interesting and it’s no doubt going to be affected by the site you’re implementing on. If you really want to know, find a full screen gallery on Wonderwall and dig into it via the dev tools.

Step 1: Establish the Image Ratio

We need an element with the same dimension ratio as the zoomed image. It needs to be as big as possible yet be completely contained by and centered within out viewport. Basically the same idea that we used to scale the photo within the slide in the base gallery. We’ll use this position:relative element to scale up a bounding box that will restrict the photo dragging to something reasonable.

I’m doing this via a div sized via JS using the same logic that we used in Part 2.

Step 2: Establish a boundary

The boundary will be sized relative to the ratio we established in step #1. Let’s start with a boundary twice the size of the base ratio element, and take 25% as our zoom step size. We can use a simple LESS mixin to scale the boundary based on the value of a class on the container:

Step 3: Size the photo relative to the boundary

We can build on this mixin to scale the zoomed image relative to the boundary. The orientation specifics fine tune the placement given that our content is celeb photos and we’d rather center heads than belts, but you could equally center them. The minus 1% provides a little buffer so that it is apparent that you’ve dragged to the limits of the container.

Step 4: Wire up the zoom controls and preserve the image positioning

However you plan to zoom, via buttons, via double clicks etc. hook that up to change the class value on the container node. That will scale the image nicely via CSS. One last thing remains is the scale up or down the left/top positionings. This function does both of those things.

Hope this helps.

- Ben

DOM Diagram for the base gallery.

See Parts 1 & 2 of our Full Screen Gallery Series for the writeup

- Ben

Full Screen Galleries Pt. 2: Scaling the Photos

Full Screen Galleries: Example Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

  1. The Base Gallery
  2. Scaling The Photos
  3. Photo Zoom!

In the Part 1 of this series, I described how to build a simple gallery with slides that scaled with the browser window.

In Part 3, I tackle the photo Zoom experience.

Now in Part 2, I’m going to explain how to get your photos to scale within the gallery slides.

Gallery Slide DOM. Nothing very exciting here, which is good. Feel free to add something more meaningful to the anchor tag href. I’m listening to clicks on it to trigger the zoom experience. There is also a diagram showing how the DOM fits together.


Gallery Slide CSS. Inline comments do the talking.

JS to size the photo within the wrap. I was developing this solution in Chrome and was able to simply use max-width:100% and max-height:100% on the image to have it size correctly. More importantly the parent containers, in particular the inline-block anchor tag would shrink to wrap the image. Firefox and IE didn’t play so nicely, and need explicit dimensions specified somewhere in the tree.

So reluctantly, but necessarily, we move onto our first snippet of JS. Leaning towards verbose in the interest of being explicit, this code simply sizes the image so that it fits snugly within the wrap, regardless of the ratio of browser or image dimensions. Because we want to accommodate folks with big monitors, I also scale up the images beyond their natural size.

The JS relies on having the image dimensions data encoded in the DOM somewhere (classes imgH and imgW) at load time. This makes it possible to size the images before they load. You could listen to the loader and inspect the image to get that data if you don’t have access to the sizes on the server, but it’ll be more complicated/gross.

Put a nice CSS3 transition in the image dimensions to smooth the resizing (height 0.3s ease-in-out, width 0.3s ease-in-out), and we’re golden. A gallery which scales to the browser, with scaling slides, and scaling photos.

Remember the decorator in the DOM up top? You can use that to position a sweet magnifying glass in a corner of the photo hinting at the zoom behavior covered in the next post!

Up Next in Part 3: ZOOM!

- Ben

Full Screen Galleries Pt. 1: The Base Gallery

The latest Wonderwall content template will be launching soon launched on Thursday as a way to showcase their amazing high resolution celebrity photos. It’s a simple immersive experience, which presented some interesting technical challenges. In this three part series, I’m going to talk about my approach and some of the technical details that enable the design to shine.

Full Screen Galleries: Example Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

  1. The Base Gallery
  2. Scaling The Photos
  3. Photo Zoom!


First up, an overview of the experience we’re trying to build for the base, not-zoomed-in gallery.

  • Regular horizontal carousel composed of slides, with a single photo per slide
  • One slide in view, with a “peek” into the next slide (to the right)
  • Slides scale according to the browser size
The Code

Time to dust off your percentages. We want to percolate the browser size down to the gallery DOM elements. So width: 100%, height:100% on every element from the body down to your gallery.

The gallery DOM is simple, but each element in the nesting has an important job. There is also a diagram showing how the DOM fits together.


galleryViewport: We want this element to mirror the browser window size and prepare for the horizontal carousel.

gallerySlides: Make some space for a header and footer. Set a big width, proportional to the browser width to accommodate a realistic upper bound for the gallery size - I use @maxSlideCount:50, so width=5000%. The width is needed for IE to prevent the UL wrapping at 100%. We’re going to be moving the UL for navigation, so let CSS3 animate the transition.

gallerySlide: Float left, display inline block, vertical-align - a simple horizontal carousel. The width and margin-right have to be calculated relative to the parent UL.gallerySlides, whose 5000% width we now have to think of as 100%. LESS makes it easy to calculate based on the number of slides you want to accommodate. We have @maxSlideCount:50, so the parent width=5000%. The width of a single slide therefore will be a 50th the width of the parent, or 100%/@maxSlideCount=2%. We want a peek into the next slide that is 15% of the browser window. LESS to the rescue: (((100%/@maxSlideCount)/100) * 15).

The result of this is a cross-browser horizontal carousel with slides that scale with the browser and a consistent peek into the next slide. The navigation buttons you saw in the DOM should be positioned relative to the viewport, but you could also have them per-slide.

Up Next in Part 2: Making the slide photos scale with the browser

Then in Part 3: ZOOM!

- Ben