Saturday, December 30, 2006

DHTML Tooltip

Today, I uploaded a small tooltip javascript on my wesite. I made it such that can display any HTML content including images. By using some tricks it is also possible to create translucent tooltips. Well thats not all , it can even animate itself while showing. The tooltip grows from a small point to its specified size, when shown on screen.

Check out:

Information on the Tooltip.js and using it. Find more examples here.

Cool translucent, animated javascript tooltip with background image:

I plan to use it with AJAX and in my next writeup on AJAX tooltip for ASP.NET Datagrid. There are some issues with proper initialization of the tooltip in IE. Though I have a fix for time being, I would like a more elegant solution.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Video Streaming and some code !

Added a couple of articles on my website.

A small write up on handling 'fscommand' with Javascript and JScript. This method does not involve use of 'document.write' and in my opinion is much cleaner.

I found about this amazing piece of software called VLC Player. It can convert video from one format to another. Also it has a streaming server built-into it. It means you can stream your video over network.

Finished reading the famous book 'Man Eaters of Kumaon'. Really impressed by Jim Corbett. Especially by his knowledge about tigers and Indians. Great man, great book.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kodak's 6.1MP camera with 10x optical zoom !

I am not an expert on digital cameras but I get lot of requests to give my 'comments' on them. One of the most exciting cameras which are easily available in India, is the Kodak EasyShare V610. It is a 6.1MP camera, with 10x optical zoom !

And yes, there is no movement of lens outside the cameras body. That’s really great I think. You can see images of this camera here.

To add to it, it also has Bluetooth , which means you can transfer your images wirelessly. It uses Kodak's Li-Ion batteries. I mean those similar to mobile phone ones and not the normal AA size one.

Price in India is around Rs.23000. Add a couple of thousands more to it for memory card. But the same camera is available in US for around $325, which means ... :-)

Here are some reviews you may want to read before going to your nearest shop to see one:,1895,1963866,00.asp

Comments and more information are always welcomed.

[Believe this information at your own risk. These are my personal views about the product and may not necessarily be correct]

Sunday, September 10, 2006

'Porok' : Xbox 360 in India

I have seen the 'Porok' advertisement on MTV a couple of times. It is really mind-blowing. Unfortunately people don’t understand it, because many still don’t know what Xbox 360 is!

Xbox 360
is a game console from Microsoft. To make it simple, it is a video game system that connects to your TV. It has a DVD drive, where you insert game DVDs and play. What makes Xbox so special is the realistic quality of graphics, smooth game play and some awesome games. Internally it is a powerful computer designed just for playing 3D games. You can also watch movies and listen to music on Xbox.

You can find out more from official site here:
You can find videos and screenshots of how the games look like here:

Impressed!... So what’s the price?

The price in India to the best of knowledge is around Rs.20-23,000. Games could cost in thousands too!!

Are you thinking : Why the hell spend so much for 'GAMES' ? ....then think again.

People spend thousands on buying stylish mobile phones why not Xbox 360! You should definitely try it out at some store or showroom; it's worth the money I bet!

About the advertisement:

I and my brother have kind of nicknamed Xbox 360 as 'Porok'.
The advertisements is really cool because:

1] It is very Indian (desi)
2] Shows games and gaming are very popular in every section of society, every age.
3] How people become crazy about certain games and start thinking of them all the time.
4] Tries to show that games are integral part of our life, kind of necessity.
5] Universal spirit of gaming share by a person playing on a costly game console and a villager
playing ‘Porok’.

Good luck MTV and Microsoft.

If you have any links, information on games for Xbox360 in India or advertisements to show on this page, drop in a comment.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Drag & Drop and a Game in Javascript !

I have posted (another!) article on creating collapsible panels. This time using Dojo. The best part is it requires very little javascript and it supports Drag&Drop.
Check out the artilce here:
Live demo here:

Also I uploaded The 'Snake Game' I wrote in Javascript, long back.I made minor modifications so that it works with IE and FireFox.
Play the game :

Friday, July 07, 2006

AJAX with .Net Framework v1.1

Yes, there are quite a few ways of doing that. If you are looking for a AJAX toolkit for .Net Framework 1.1 then you should have a look at AJAX.NET . It is a very popular free AJAX library compatible with version 1.1 of the .Net Framework. It has been written in C#. There is a quick guide (really quick) available from its site. All you need to do is to register the HttpHandler in your web.config from the *.dll supplied and mark your methods in code-behind as '[AjaxPro.AjaxMethod]' . Then you can directly call these functions from client side javascript , using their names !

You can download AJAX.NET from this site

Frankly, to do AJAX you really don’t need a library or even a language(like ASP ,PHP,JSP) as such. There is a great article on Mozilla's developer site that shows how to do AJAX using only your web browser and javascript (yes that’s all !). Server side programming is required to fetch data for the AJAX call, it does not make AJAX possible. It is the XMLHTTP object built inside modern browsers that does the trick.

Read the article titled AJAX:Getting Started

Comments and criticism will be highly appreciated :-)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Articles Moved !

Hi ,
Couple of articles from my blog have been moved to my homesite

These include:

There is also an article on Making Animated Collapsible Panel Using Javascript and online demo of these panel.

Bookmark the site for new stuff.From now on updates and newer techincal articles will not be posted here. This blog will be maintained for non-techincal stuff.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Creating PDFs with Apache FOP

FOP (Formatting Objects Processor) is from the apache group.It is said to be the worlds first print formatter driven by XSL formatting objects (XSL-FO) and the world's first output independent formatter. Actually it isn’t a tool for specifically meant for PDF conversion or creation.FOP can be downloaded here.

But, its ability to convert XSL files (*.fo) to PDF certainly makes it worth mention . Basically FOP is great for template based PDF generation. Simple programs can fetch data from any data source and populate such a template , and generate PDF’s on fly !

Its not that it is not very flexible, but generation XSL files for complex PDF’s can be a big pain. It is a Java application that reads a formatting object (FO) tree and renders the resulting pages to a specified output.It comes with nice documentation and samples that get you started within minutes.

Before you start using FOP, you should have look at samples in \examples\fo\ folders particularly \examples\fo\basic.I think you will learn things more quickly than reading the reference document (xslfoRef.pdf). Given below is a very simple *.fo file that includes a heading,some text,hyperlink , table and a image.

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<fo:root xmlns:fo="">

<!-- defines the layout master -->
<fo:simple-page-master master-name="first"
<fo:region-body margin-top="1cm" margin-bottom="1.5cm"/>
<fo:region-before extent="3cm"/>
<fo:region-after extent="1.5cm"/>

<!-- starts actual layout -->
<fo:page-sequence master-reference="first">
<fo:flow flow-name="xsl-region-body">

<!-- Heading -->
<fo:block font-family="Helvetica" background-color="blue"
color="white" text-align="center" font-size="14pt">
FOP Demonstration

<!-- Image-->
<fo:block space-before.optimum="20pt">
<fo:external-graphic src="url(test.jpg)"/>

<!-- Hyperlink -->
<fo:block space-before.optimum="10pt" text-align="left" >
You can download FOP here:
<fo:basic-link external-destination="" text-decoration="underline" color="blue">

<!-- table start -->
<fo:block space-before.optimum="10pt" >A Table</fo:block>
<fo:table table-layout="fixed" border-width="0.1mm" border-style="solid" background-color="yellow">
<fo:table-column column-width="50mm"/>
<fo:table-column column-width="50mm"/>
<fo:table-column column-width="50mm"/>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid" ><fo:block>good</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>bad</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>ugly</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>nice</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>dice</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>vice</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>literature</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>music</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>art</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>java</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>perl</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<fo:table-cell border-style="solid"><fo:block>python</fo:block></fo:table-cell>
<!-- table end -->
Save this in a file called Now run fop.bat (or on Unix/Linux)
: >fop.bat test.pdf

The test PDF in this example will look like this :

FOP is ideal for generation of simple PDF's from templates. It is a powerful alternative for server side PDF creation in all platforms supporting Java.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Adding an ‘online’ indicator to your email signatures and blogs.

It is very easy to add an icon showing your online status (on yahoo messenger and AIM) to your email signatures and blogs.

Edit your email signature and modify the content as follows(Make sure to use HTML view):

<font face=Tahoma size=2>
<strong>Ashish Patil</strong><BR>
Consultant (.NET Technologies)<BR>
yahoo id: your yahoo id
<a href="[your_yahoo_id]&.src=pg">
<img border=0 src="[your_yahoo_id]&m=g&t=0"></a><BR>
<A href=""></A>

If you sent an email using this signature you should see something like this. To the right is small icon that shows your online status .

The lines to watch out are:

<a href[your_yahoo_id]&.src=pg >
<img border=0 src="[ your_yahoo_id]&m=g&t=0"></a>

Look at the ‘src’ attribute closely . In place of 0 , if we pass other values we get different images.

AIM users can use this technique to display if they are online or not:

border = 0 >

But the disadvantage here is that you can't click on the image and send a message to user. AOL seems to have a nice API for doing what we want here

I tried doing same with Microsoft Outlook signatures , but it doesn't work. Outlook seems to be replacing the URL with copy of image from its cache. I am looking for a workaround to accomplish it.

Note : Many email clients/services dont show images by default.You may have to click on 'download images' or 'show images' hyperlink.

Enjoy !

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dojo : First Impressions

There is a lot of talk about Web 2.0 . Toolkits like Dojo are going to play major role in it. We have already seen awesome applications of AJAX( google maps !) and javascript ( to create desktop like web applications.I found Dojo on DeveloperIQ (May 2006) magazine CD.I have been looking for something very similar since long. In fact I was also trying to create simple draggable HTML control.

First , let me admit that Dojo has almost everything I needed. It has a nice library of javascript widgets. My favoirte widget is the 'FloatingPane' that enables you to create a window like container , that is draggable , has minimize/maximize buttons and cool shadows.It can contain more widgets and text.Another awesome widget is 'FisheyeList' .It is basically a toolbar, but when you move your cursor over any icon, the corresponding icon pops out like an fish eye!The tree control in one more interesting control I tried out. There is very scanty documentation available on their web site, more can be expected as the project grows.There is always a way of finding out functionality ......going though the source code !

FloatingPane Widget whit tree control(left) and 'FisheyeList' control in action(right)

Google has just released it AJAX toolkit , which it claims works only with JAVA. Microsoft's ATLAS , I have heard is somewhat coupled with .NET 2.0.What I personally like about Dojo is that it is neutral to server side development enviornment.

The desktop look ! (Dojo widgets on a web page)

Also the toolkit does seem to 'perform' with IE and Firefox .All developers irrespective of language they are developing (JSP,PHP...) can benifit from Dojo.

I personally feel that , with web-development becoming more and more complex , the days of such toolkits have arrived. If you are into serious web-application development and looking for a light-weight, multiple browser compliant, pure JavaScript, standalone toolkit ...then Dojo is
for you!

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