It has always seemed odd to me that the 4-way rocker switch that’s at the top of almost every TV and DVR remote and game controller has not made its way into the collection of web input widgets. Even with all the new whizzy input controls in HTML5, there’s not an analogous 2-axis control.
I took a crack at creating one and discovered that I couldn’t do it with pure CSS. While it’s possible create things that look like triangles on the screen, in (cyber) reality they are rectangles with transparent bits. There’s no apparent way to create triangular areas for hover detection.
But using mouse position detection and a bit of jQuery, it’s not too hard make something work. The code is up on jsFiddle. The widget is re-sizable, with the scale of all the various bits and pieces being controlled by the font-size property in the rockerControl div.
Christian Heilmann, one of the most persuasive of Mozilla’s evangelists for HTML5 wrote a blog post titled “Why I don’t write my slides in HTML.” It’s a good read. In it he provided a list of places where he sees HTML slide tools falling short. These days, Christian spends much of his life giving presentations on HTML so slide tool developers who ignore those points do so at their peril.
I’ve remixed Christian’s list and used it as a scorecard and feature checklist to guide further development of Simple HTML Slides. If it’s possible to satisfy all (or at least most) of those requirements then I can be confident that Simple HTML Slides are actually useful in the real world of hard core presenters.
Check out the Simple HTML Slides Project Page to see a working presentation that has a slide with video on it, all embedded in a WordPress post.
“An apple for the teacher” is an old tradition in America that has fallen by the wayside. But doing a little something to show your children’s teachers that you appreciate their effort and understand the challenges they face is still worth the effort.
Rather than sending an apple for the teacher, I’d like to suggest you “Ink the Teacher”. No, I’m not suggesting a gift certificate to the local tattoo parlor. I’m talking about ink for the classroom printer. Teachers in the US typically spend hundreds of dollars each year out of their own pockets to get supplies that dysfunctional school systems don’t provide. We could all help just a little.
When you head to your child’s classroom for back-to-school night this year, do a little sleuthing and find the model number of the classroom printer. Contributing an inkjet cartridge and perhaps even a ream of printer paper will give you superhero status and help ensure your child has a productive school year less constrained by tight school budgets.
…and if you tweet the idea, maybe you’ll help more than just your child’s class.