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Updated jClicker- web slide show template (free too!)

Finally got around to some revamps to a web slide show template I’ve been rolling for a few years, the “jClicker” (little “j” is for JavaScript). We do many many photos for our many events at work, and this has been a very handy way to organize photos into a slide show format. The main site includes a step-by-step construction guide.

Basically, all one has to do is to assemble your image files (any web format), write some captions and edit one text file to control the settings and define the order of the slide show. Previously, one had to actually write incrementing numbers for the lists (arrays) manage the image files, menus names, and captions, but a email from a user generated a beautiful idea– just have a running self-incrementing counter (javascript- “i++;) before each section that lists the next slides image file, menu name, and caption. Now deleting, adding, or re-arranging the slide order is a trivial cut and paste, whereas previously one who have to re-order all the data.

A key feature since the first version is that every slide page also pre-loads the next image for a smoother slide to slide flow.

Also, with a small amount of effort, I added buttons that allows the viewer to increase or decrease the size of a displayed image (after a few hours hijinks determining how to get NetScape, Mozilla Firebird browsers to resize- Internet Explorer, Safari, and a few others can do it dynamically). The is also a window closing button, and a button for pop up help. The configuration file allows you to decide if you do want any of these buttons not too appear.

Simply, the jClicker is a frameset structure (yes frames = baaaad for web design, accessibility, but after all, this is a slide show) where the top frame displays and image and a caption, and the bottom thin frame is a control bar:

image of jclicker control bar

We have been providing the jClicker for free to the internet, and it has found some nice homes- some folks do their own creative modifications. A Google search finds 520 instances of the jClicker outside of my own sites, and I must ahve at least 50-60 on our various web sites.

But wait! There is more. Back in 2000 I realized there would be a need to organize collections of slide shows into a single format, achieved in the jClicker’s jClicker, simply by adding another frame to the control bar that provides a menu to select different slide shows.

I made that version for a 6 month sabbatical in 2000 where I documented the project as a web site (technically a hand spun weblog) where I have one web link that organizes 51 different sets of images, more than 2000 images.

I have written a few specific perl scripts that can automate some of the template construction– I am thinking of how to make them usable by others

I would never claim it is the best way to organize slide shows, there are lots of nice software packaes that do it as well (jAlbum looks powerful and the free price is right), but it works well for me.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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