Hiding Elements Using CSS Animations

Here’s a quick demo of how to use CSS animation to hide a page element on click. This technique is only useful in a webkit-based browser, such as Safari of Chrome – I’d highly suggest checking it out in one of these browsers.

I’m Off!

Using one of the aforementioned browsers, click on the box above. It should fly off the left side of the page, rotating and getting smaller as it moves off the page. This has the effect of appearing to be removed from the page. In reality, the section is still there, it’s just been moved to the left. This is little more than a tech demo at this point, since CSS animations aren’t supported in the more popular browsers, including Firefox and Internet Explorer – using JavaScript for such a technique is still highly recommended for now.

Xenocode For The Win

Xenocode is one of the new breed of virtualization companies. A distinct difference between Xenocode and other virtualization companies is that they specialize in application virtualization instead of the more popular OS-level virtualization. It all seems to work like magic – hitero difficult to multi-instance programs can be run as independent, click-once-and-run application.

Xenocode does application-level virtualization in an ingenious way. Their virtualization software creates a sandbox environment that contains internal representations of system resources, such as a file system and a registry. Targeted calls are passed to the host OS so actions like saving files locally still work, too. On top of all this, virtualized program download and execution can be kicked off via Firefox through a plugin.

What’s the point of all this? The single greatest innovation that’s come out of this is virtualization of IE 6 (and many other popular browsers and software). Now, there’s no particular need to run zany configurations or schemes in order to run IE 6 – no virtual machine, no dual install, no backup PC. This is a wonderful tool for web developers who need to check their work in IE 6, amongst others.

The Clickstart app only works on Windows PCs for now, but it’s a tremendous achievement in software development. Try it out, it’s simply amazing.

Why There’s (Probably) Nothing To Fear About the Digg Bar

The Digg Bar is the latest product from the guys at Digg – it’s a toolbar that sits at the top of the site you visit every time you follow a link from Digg. It’s a somewhat contraversial new feature. There are fears that it’s going to lessen the impact of making it onto Digg because of the way the bar handles the URL during the linking process. There’s some concern that it pushes things like comments from your site onto Digg, since Digg is more accessible via the bar. There’s some concern about Digg using your content to advertise – it’s inevitable that they’ll use that half inch slice at the top of the browser to serve ads in some form.

I have a different opinion of the Digg Bar, however, after a few days of thought about it. I don’t think it’s harmful at all – it serves it’s purpose as a pretty nifty feature, and Digg will probably monetize it, but it’s not something to get upset about, and here’s why.

First, Digg adds a ton of value to the internet. It’s not inevitable that the internet will be the dominant form of communication. Think of what the internet would look like today if it were owned by AT&T – It would probably cost a fortune to access and wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is today. Think if it were owned by the federal government – it would be subject to a revolving door of elected officials and getting a website would require a government application. Digg is one of those transformative companies of the current internet, in that it’s actually facilitating the movement of people from one media to the next, not just reaping the benefits of that ‘inevitable’ transition.

Second, Digg visitors to your site – they really like Digg, and you shouldn’t begrudge them that. They’re at your site precisely because they were at Digg and followed a link. Being linked from Digg exposes you to potentially the largest audience you’ll ever see. Cetainly, you may not capitalize on it in the best manner, but hey, you’re still getting juiced to hell, so go with the flow.

Third, in relation to more commenting being done on Digg than the actual linked to site, I’m pretty sure the locality of the comments doesn’t matters a whole lot. It’s pretty certain that if Digg weren’t there, those comments probably wouldn’t have been left on your site anyway, and, to be cheesy, all press is good press. In the end, Digg is adding value to your content through their own comment system.

The final point is that of just shared prosperity. Digg makes a dime off linking to your content, and you can use that traffic to lube the gears on your business model, whatever it may be. If you’re smart, you realize the need to make sure you’re prepared to prosper when you get visitors regardless of where they come from. For my part, I’d be happy as hell if this story ever were to make it onto Digg, even if I’d not make a dime and my site would almost surely crash. Such is life.

Moxiecode’s April Fool’s Joke is Perfectly Reasonable

I use TinyMCE in a few applications, so I frequent the Moxiecode page. Today I was there and noticed that their news feed had this headline: No more supporting older browsers starting 2010.

I actually got a little excited thinking that someone had finally drawn a line in the sand. It’s my belief that this is a perfectly reasonable stance to take. However, to my dismay, it was an April Fool’s prank pulled off by the Moxiecode team.

Support for IE6 in particular just kills me. It’s not a modern browser, and sites should be blasting out messages to IE6 users urging them to upgrade. For my part, I often use links to browsehappy.com in my page footers, and turn it on via user agent sniffing. The evolution of the web absolutely demands shedding the past, and now is as good a time as any, if you asked me.

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