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The New Blog Template

April 8, 2010


layingback blog: All Those Social Network Icons

 Article Rating: 5
So of course I now need a 2nd blog entry in order to demonstrate the new dynamic links.

It never ends! Rolling Eyes

OK, I've a little time to make this into a real entry!
I'd like to draw your attention to the Share this: Social Network site link at the foot of this page. As you'll be aware if you've followed Pro_News development over the past years, I've been building up a list of Social Network site links over time. Yeah, you can use a service for this, but aren't we tracked enough in our daily surfing habits without giving away our information? Or worse, that of our website's visitors?

So I built the set of links up to 70 (currently at Pro_News 3.3 release) but I was a little alarmed to see that some Pro_News sites were displaying all 50+ links on every page. Rather too much IMHO. But what choice do we have? I'd found and starting implementing a tool to display just those Social Network icons that the visitor to the site actually used! This seemed a brilliant - if perhaps a little spooky - way of reducing the clutter. But the day I got the basic code working, the gecko developers finally found a way to prevent it working. C'est la vie. But it was stopped for privacy reasons, so it is probably for the best.

So I finally came up with this (see below). It is almost entirely pure CSS, only a tiny bit of JavaScript. JavaScript is fine for doing really cool things, but I'd rather not use JavaScript for the little stuff, esp. as I prefer to browse with JavaScript off (thanks to the excellent NoScript). So if JavaScript is on the big list of SN's is hidden, but even without JavaScript everything still works, just the entire list is not hidden.

The Share this includes the Tell-a-friend and Printer-friendly_format to save a little more clutter, and can with just a little cut-'n-paste you can include whichever 2 or 3 social network sites that seem most applicable to you. With all the rest appearing - and disappearing - at the click of a mouse. (It seems easy now it's done, but it represents a lot of fiddling work to get the display you see here.)

Currently this new feature is included with the Blog template in my new online Store. I plan to refine it by also incorporating the Comments links, and then I'll look to releasing it more generally.

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