Posts Tagged ‘plugin’

Fullsize jQuery Plugin & A New Attribute Proposal

April 3rd, 2009 No comments

There are many fantastic JavaScript/AJAX solutions out there to view a larger version of an image by displaying it as a in-page pop-up or lightbox pop-up. It is rare to visit a website with a photo gallery that does not already utilize one of these solutions.

So why not make it a standard? Why not let the browsers take care of the heavy lifting rather than us web developers via JavaScript? Drew Wilson proposed adding a fullsize attribute to the <IMG> tag. By which you can references a larger (or fullsize) version of the SRC image. Browsers could then include native support to display the fullsize image in a pop-up. You can vote for Fullsize and add your name to the list of those who support this Fullsize idea.

Even though Fullsize is not currently in the next HTML spec yet, you can still get Fullsize jQuery plugin now. Since there is no fullsize attribute for the <IMG> tag yet, he is using the longdesc attribute instead. longdesc is a completely valid image attribute and is meant to contain a URL to a description of the image. The Fullsize jQuery plug-in is super easy to use, and provides a kick start to standardizing the way image pop-ups look and work.


Attribute Proposal

Categories: Programming Tags: , ,

Plugin Review: cSprites for WordPress

March 30th, 2009 No comments
What is cSprites for WordPress?

cSprites for WordPress plugin helps speed up your blog by reducing the number of requests made for images. When activated all images within a post will automatically be stitched up and displayed properly as compressed CSS sprites.


Before activating, all images within a post are being retrieved using separate requests.

After activating, all images are stitched together into one compressed image and retrieved using only one request.
The plugin then uses CSS magic to display these image sprites properly within the post.

  • Quality and style settings let you specify the compression level for the stitched up image sprite.
  • Ability to include/exclude certain types.
  • Cache expiration tuning.
  • SEO Options for SEO nerds.
What I Like About It

cSprites for WordPress was written to do one thing (convert all post images into compressed image sprites to speed up your blog) and it does it very well.

Installation was very easy. Just download it, activate it, and all your post images automatically turn into images sprites.

Just because you use image sprites doesn’t mean that you should lose SEO. I like that this plugin does not ignore SEO and there are SEO options for displaying any ALT or TITLE text you want.

Next, this plugin supports caching image sprites, so it automatically includes external images into image sprites for you. Because of this, you are also saving external domain DNS resolutions to help make each page load even faster.

What I like most about this plugin is that it can be used in conjunction with WP Super Cache. In that scenario WP Super Cache helps you avoid PHP execution/MySQL queries, and cSprites for WordPress helps you reduce strain on your web server and improve front end page load time.

Possible Areas of Improvement

As of version 0.508, here are some drawbacks of this plugin:

  • PHP5 with GD Library is required for this plugin.
  • cSprites will not distinguish between PNG8 and PNG24 and will always sprite PNG images with PNG24.
  • cSprites cannot handle dynamically generated images (e.g. “…thumbnail.php?thumb=”)
  • When upgrading via SVN, “svn up” command gives “svn: Unable to lock ‘cache’”. I have to remove the cache directory, run “svn cleanup”, then “svn up” to upgrade via SVN.
  • You cannot use padding when displaying images or else it will show part of another image. It would be nice to be able to generate the image sprite with configurable padding so you can use padding when displaying images.
Final Words

If you can take advantage of this plugin (i.e. your host offers PHP5 with GD Library), then it is definitely worth a quick install.

Are you currently using cSprites for WordPress? Are you happy with the performance improvements? How much load time has this plugin saved you? What additions would you like to see in this plugin?

Categories: Others, Programming Tags: ,