mootools


The usability snob in me hates things like MooTools, a JavaScript class that makes the elements of your page zoom around, change color, and fade in and out. The gee-whiz-that’s-cool part of me really, really loves it. Like, check out that sliding top menu on the MooTools page — that’s slick. Not usable, but slick.

A note about downloading and using MooTools — the download page allows you to create a custom build of MooTools that contains only the classes you need to use. This is to keep everything as lightweight as possible, and it’s a totally slick implementation that makes sure if you want to use “Fx.Slide” you’ll have the requisite “Fx.Base” too. I personally found it initially confusing, though, as it’s hard to figure out what you’re going to use when you first start playing around; my advice (for what it’s worth) is if you’re just starting out, make yourself a big ol’ build that contains everything, and if you actually wind up deploying anything that uses MooTools, cut MooTools down to just what classes you wind up using and optimize the JavaScript library at that point.

~Jeff

simplepie



A lot of the work I’m doing at my day job these days involves creating and manipulating data coming from RSS feeds — and, in general, I’ve always been a great believer in the convenience and portability of feed-based data. That’s why I was really excited to see the SimplePie PHP class, which does an incredible job of parsing and manipulating feed data. I’ve played with other PHP classes that do this in the past, and SimplePie is by far the most elegant.

~Jeff

feedwordpress


I’m always looking for new ways for mutating and molesting RSS feeds in interesting ways, and so in my travels today I discovered “FeedWordPress“, a WordPress plug-in that allows you to pull other RSS feeds into your existing WordPress installation. I imagine that using this you could make some kind of, I dunno, Super Blog or something.

As I’ve been accustomed to with all things WordPress, installation and configuration was incredibly smooth, and after a teeny bit of fiddling, it really does work as advertised.

~jeff