The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke
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Site Upgrade

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This entry contains no cooking tips, adventures or misadventures-at least relating to grilling. It is about some changes to the site and some quick tips on taking advantage of them. Apple released their iLife ’08 suite of programs, including iWeb 2.0, about 3 weeks ago now. It was definitely a Good News / Bad News thing at first. The Bad News part prevented me from updating the site or posting several blog entries I had in the planning stages. Happily the Bad News part has been fixed now and I am up and running again. There are several new features related to my photo albums that I will describe.

SKIMMING:

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As you move your mouse from left to right across the thumbnails you see the photos contained within the album

To begin at the beginning: I updated to iLife ’08 the day it came out. I was eagerly awaiting some of the improvements. The first of which were Album Pages which display groups of your photo pages. I had made my own version of those because iPhoto 1.0 did not have that type of page as a feature. In fact my main pictures page is still one of my home grown Album Pages. These new Apple designed album pages are self linking and offer an interesting new feature called “Skimming”. Basically if you hover your mouse over one of the thumbnail previews and move it around it flips through the various photos contained in that album. The photo below is a series of screen captures of me skimming an album. I placed my cursor in the lower left side of the thumbnail and slid it slowly to the right. As you move it new pictures are revealed. It allows you to preview an album without opening the page.


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Picture pages are nested within their respective albums (good for me) and are self-linking (good for you and me)

Another advantage to these photo pages are they nest the albums contained within the organizational sidebar in iWeb. Doesn’t benefit you one bit, but with my site containing over 100 pages having extra organization is a great help to me. The photo pages self-link to the album pages displaying them which makes my life easier and less messed up links for the end user. Having said that I had to do quite a bit of manual relinking as part of my site reorganization. While I tried to catch them all, I am only human.

But a funny thing happened as I was working on my site. After I saved and reopened my Domain file (the iWeb file that is the basis of this site) a bunch of photos had gone missing. Plus some of the pages lost their mastheads and my blogs were a disaster. Something was obviously wrong. Fortunately I had multiple backups of my Domain file, so I just had to wait for a patch to fix this issue. That patch was 2 weeks in coming and I got my revised site up and running the middle of this week.

There is another new feature you may miss unless you click on a photo in one of my photo pages. This one allows you to see a larger version of the photo and you have the choice to view the larger photos with or without thumbnails at the top. The captions are shown below the photo together with a forward or back navigation arrow. Think of this as a manually controlled slide show.

VIEW ENLARGED PHOTOS IN PHOTO PAGES:

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Click on a photo to.....

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...view an enlarged version. First icon is to show thumbnail gallery along the top

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Larger photo with a thumbnail gallery at the top. Below the picture you’ll see it’s caption, and navigation arrows.

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This icon turns off the thumbnail gallery (See below)

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Large photo with the thumbnail gallery at the top turned off

Speaking of slideshows there is also a button that opens up a self running slide show in a separate window. In the slideshow window, if you mouse to the top of the screen their is a thumbnail gallery you can use to jump around. If you mouse to the bottom of the screen there is a controller to pause the slide show or move forward and back manually. The speed of the slide show seems to be somewhat related to the browser you use. On my newer browsers it is about 5 seconds of screen time per slide. On some older browsers, it is more like 10 or 12 seconds. If the slide show is too slow on your browser, try a different browser. Or click on one of my photo thumbnails to enlarge the photos and use the forward and back arrows to create your own manually controlled slideshow.

SLIDE SHOW:

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Play Slideshow button

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Mouse to the top for thumbnail gallery

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Self-running slideshow & caption

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Mouse to the bottom for a controller

I hope you enjoy these new features. I will mention that you need to be using a modern browser with up to date Java support to take advantage of some of these features. One other change I will mention is a difference in how the pages are displayed on the PC side. The captions to my photos use a handwritten font. In iWeb 1.0 these were also saved as an image file, so Windows PC users could still see the font even though it was not installed on their systems. When I checked out my new pages in Windows on IE 7 I noticed the captions were in a plain serif style font. Apparently Apple has abandoned turning them into images. I think the logic here is the pages won’t look as nice, but will load faster. I have included a screen capture of the Mac and Windows version of the site so you can see what you are missing. This was the only difference I noticed coming from Windows. All of the new Java based features worked fine in IE 7. Once again feel to poke around the site and try out the new features.

 SafariScreenSnapz013 . Parallels DesktopScreenSnapz001
Viewed in Safari on a Mac (Left) & IE7 in Windows (Right)



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