I’m vying in a contest on my own blog for least intelligible post title.

The competition is thin.

I introduced this word (and the same photo) (because at least people should enjoy the photo) in a talk this week on my approach of “doing it web style”. The audience had not heard the term dogfooding before. Now they are educated. Job done.

All this comes about because of a little tool I built for my own use at some workshops in October. I made Bigify as a way to deal with presentations or class sessions where you want people to go to a web site.

Even with short URLs it gets awkward, so a few clicks ago I made the first version aimed it just displaying text especially URLs as big as possible on the screen. I owe a big Scottish brogue thanks to John Johnston for working out the means to edit and change on screen.

Recently I added a small icon in the bottom right that lets me copy a URL to bringing it up with some preset text, like such. This way I could have a preset hyperlink to show what I wanted to show.

But another idea emerged on this current trip. What if I wanted to show I web page and then quickly generate a Bigified display of the URL? Well, now I have a Bookmarklet that does it.

Most of the materials for my current series of workshops and talks are web-based (because SPLOTpoint and Big Picture). I have been putting the Bigified links directly into my materials as the destination (example)

Workshop links actually go first to the Bigified display of the URL

When I’m presenting, O know my secret built in feature of pressing the right arrow key opens the text (only if it is a URL) as a URL in a new window.

But if people are following along in a workshop they don’t know that. So now… with maybe an hour of fiddling, the same tool will insert an arrow button below the text displayed, only if it is a URL:

Bigified URL, now with buttons

I also changed the way the display works, if it is a URL, to do line breaks only on the “/” character, to make URLs easier to read on screen.

It helps to have your own needs in front of you to dog pile on your silly tool features. I bet I am the only person who may every want such a thing, but I can do it, because I can.

And in some way, I know I keep digging my own weird web holes. Is that enough dog puns for anyone today?

Peek at my wonky code https://github.com/cogdog/bigify (see how clever I am) (not)


Featured Image: Dinner for One flickr photo by Georgie Pauwels shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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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