Sliding Doors

So I figured it was time actually do some work on my site. I haven’t touched it since 2005. Honestly, I haven’t really needed to. I’ve been keeping busy enough that marketing myself wasn’t really necessary. But then I’ve never tried to survive a depression either.

One of the things I wanted to do was use jQuery on the site, mostly to demonstrate that I could. I stumbled onto some web pages talking about jFlow, probably in one of the blogs I follow. Other examples of this effect are the Coda website (a code editor for Mac) and the Giant Creative web site.

So I downloaded jFlow and tried it. First impression: buggy. It doesn’t always animate . . . forward anyway. With my initial implementation, slide 1 to 2 jumps. No nice scrolling. I see that behavior between the second to last and last slide as well. Things work peachy going backwards from 2 to 1, though. Go figure. I didn’t really want to spend time digging into the code to see if I had done something wrong or to fix it so I went looking for another solution.

Enter Coda Slider 2.0. First impression: meh. Looks like it has lots of features, but the documentation leaves much to be desired. It’s not clear in the example HTML which CSS is required for the plugin to work and which is just layout. Perhaps the most off-putting aspect of Coda Slider is it seems to dictate (and thus limit) your layout. Again, with more time I could probably have figured out a way around these alleged limitations, but that isn’t how I wanted to spend my time. So, I kept looking.

After a very short search, I found this tutorial over at jQuery for Designers. While it doesn’t have the advantage of a single plugin, in fact it takes three, it provides all the functionality of either jFlow or Coda Slider and then some. As an added bonus, it is extremely flexible: put your navigation anywhere you want, anyway you like and it works. The final cherry on top? It worked the first try. Check it out.

Of course, now that I have it fully implemented, I’m questioning the choice, but that’s okay. That’s what we call agile development. If you don’t like the way it’s working, change direction.

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