Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Animations in JavaScript

Today, professional designers use Flash to create dazzling animations. In the glory days before AJAX was in vogue and when animated gifs were the "cause célèbre" of avant garde Photoshop gurus, we had JavaScript.

There are two methods of interest here: setInterval () and clearInterval().

Presumably, we would need to play the frames of a sequence in a loop. We would call
setInterval() like this:

var Interval = setInterval ("MultiSelect()", 500);

By saving a reference to the current interval, we can pause the animation with clearInterval().

clearInterval (Interval);

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Friday, June 8, 2007

Help Authoring suite

I have looked into help authoring suites for some time. Of course, there is the well known RoboHelp (http://www.adobe.com/products/robohelp/) and the free Win Help tool that comes with Visual Studio.

Are there any suites that provide descent features with a descent price?

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.NET UI Suite

I have been looking for a .NET UI suite for some time. Some people suggested Infragistics. For me, I have found the package from DevExpress to be the best one of all. I am particularly impressed by the printing components. Those of you who struggled with printing in Visual Studio 2003 understand the importance of an easy-to-use printing suite. Although GDI+ is beautiful in theory, it does take some getting use to.

There are some many cool things about this suite. I don't know where to start. Most impressive is their implementation of the Office 2007 interface. Not only is it faithful to the appearance and implementation details of the ribbon, the performance is superb. This product will definitely add years to your peace of mind.

Check it out at http://www.devexpress.com/

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

An excellent JavaScript tree

Implementing a JavaScript tree is one of those really vexing challenges. Some implementations limit your ability to nest nodes deep into the tree or are awkward in other ways.

I think this is the best solution I've seen so far.


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Friday, June 1, 2007

Pass variables by reference in ASP

Ah! Passing variables by reference. One of those interesting nuggets not often adequately explained by textbooks or professors. Obviously, it is possible with VB.NET and VB 6 when the keyword "ByRef" is used to qualify a parameter.

Remember that incoherent explanation regarding "stacks" and "heaps"? Well, neither do I.

I had to figure it out on my own. I imagine it this way. Let's assume we're going to a department store. When we enter, we check in our bags. The kind person at the counter then hands us a ticket number corresponding to the compartment where our bags are placed. The ticket is a "reference" to our bags and the square compartment can be likened to "memory".

If we were to lose our "reference" to our bags, i.e., lose our ticket, the kind person at the counter, overcome by a sense of glee, would keep our bags for himself.

When we return the ticket, the kind person at the counter looks for a compartment that matches the label on the ticket and returns our bags (Hopefully with everything still in it)

In any event, here's my solution:


Dim var1, var2

MyRoutine var1, var2

Response.Write ("Values are : " & var1 & " and " & var2)



Sub MyRoutine(v1, v2)

v1 = "Variable 1"

v2 = "Variable 2"

End Sub


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