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Why My Company is Leaving HostGator (and why you should too)

I’ve been CTO of a small start up called Prmot.it for a few years now, offering an online coupon solution to local restaurants.  We started our operation on a shared server from HostGator, and grew from there to serve thousands of customers.

We are approaching another scaling jump, and will need to expand our infrastructure significantly.  We will be moving to a new host to meet these needs.  Don’t misunderstand me.  HostGator offers many tiers of service that would serve the level of usage our company requires well into the future, but we will instead be spending a few hundred dollars more a month, and will move to a competitor.  HostGator’s service is simply unacceptable for a small business. read more »

Simulate an MP3 Player Display with jQuery-AnimateOverflow

IMG_0008[1]I’ve been working on progressive enhancements to a web-controlled Pandora client called Pidora.  In the process of wrangling the code, I discovered that there was really no good way to display long song titles/artists/albums.  They either take up a varying amount of screen real estate, which throws off designs, or they get cut off, effecting readability.

To solve the problem, I decided to emulate the behavior of old MP3 players, and programs like WinAmp, by limiting the title to a single line, then scrolling it across the page.  I considered using marquee tags to accomplish this, but the results would have been horrifying, and would have affected all titles, whether they needed it or not.  Instead, I created a jQuery plugin that I call AnimateOverflow.

The plugin takes any group of block level elements, converts them to single line boxes, and, if the content is larger than the box, applies an animation to sweep through the content.  Currently the plugin supports the two most common animations from old MP3 Players: linear and ping pong.

Check it out:
Demo | Download

jSlabify Now Supports Partial Pre-Slabbing

slabify

 

For those of you who don’t know, jSlabify is my jQuery plugin to create slabbed blocks of type, like the one seen above.  Until recently, there were two modes it could operate in, unslabbed and pre-slabbed.

In unslabbed mode, the plugin creates the rows of text, based on the size of the overall slab.  In pre-slabbed mode, the plugin looks for rows of text already defined with <span class=”slabbedtext”>, and then simply sizes the rows to fit.

Now there is a more flexible option, that allows the user to define sections of text to treat as a single row, and then automatically slabs the rest of the text to fit.  Simply wrap the text you want to be a single row in  the tag <span class=”slabbedtext”>, and jSlabify will do the rest.

I made a simple demo of the new partial slabbing, here.

The main demo can be found here, as always.