Bootstrap: better Affix…

I love Twitter’s Bootstrap framework. I don’t think I say that enough. It makes structuring beautiful websites extremely easy and quick. Their JavaScript framework makes it so much simpler to implement most commonly used animations. It does so by adding a few jQuery plugins that can be invoked by making additions to the markup or with some minimal scripting.

One such plugin is Affix that comes in the standard compiled bootstrap.js file or as affix.js if you prefer compiling them yourself. It allows dynamically changing the position of an element based on the scroll position. All you have to do include the attributes data-spy="affix" and data-offset-top="xx" and optionally data-offset-bottom="yy" where xx and yy are numerical values in pixels of your top and bottom offsets. It works by comparing how far you’ve scrolled the document.

Open external links in a new tab by default…

Opening links in a new browser tab is easy – right click on one and from the context menu that appears opt to ‘Open in a new tab’. You can also do that with a middle click on your mouse or with a left mouse click while holding the Ctrl key. It’s nicer if you make it so that a link opens in a new tab by default – attaching the target=_blank attribute to those anchor tags.

Bootstrap: ScrollSpy tips…

ScrollSpy is a handy JavaScript feature in Twitter’s Bootstrap framework. With a help of a little creative CSS and perhaps a bit more JavaScript, it is capable of facilitating beautiful scroll position activated animations.

The documentation however makes it appear extremely restrictive. As of this day, they’ve mentioned that ScrollSpy requires a Bootstrap nav component, but that’s simply not the case. In general ScrollSpy, untouched and unchanged can do a lot more than described. Usually, finding that out requires a lot of hard work, but you have me now.

Bootstrap: Tooltips for Modal buttons…

I’m a huge fan of Twitter’s Bootstrap framework. It’s a set of free-to-use stylesheets and scripts that gets you started on designing well laid out, mobile responsive sites. This site of mine, right here, uses it. It simplifies front-end development and amazing looking websites can be rolled out quickly with it.

Just like every plugin out there, this too has minor kinks and annoyances. And just like every other plugin, there’s always a fix. This post is about one of them.

The problem with Internet Explorer…

Internet Explorer – the best browser to download other browsers; this is almost like its unofficial slogan. Honestly, I’ve found no problems with it ever, and I’ve wondered what it was I did that made me choose Windows IE over other browsers despite repeated testing of new browsers as and when they came. Surely, I must be doing something wrong. What was it I kept asking myself…

I troubleshoot from time to time and offer my help to friends in the event of any problems they face on their computers. Being an IE user, starting IE is my go-to action for browsing. There are times the owner of the computer, with an almost ninja-like agility, tries to stop me from doing it. A part of them dies when they don’t succeed in preventing the execution of IE. For a long time I thought they really cared about their computers. Maybe IE was a rogue browser and it has not caught up to me yet but has claimed unsuspecting victims. These fantasies, however, shatter when I find the real reason behind their fear when the browser finally opens up. The image below should sum it up.

Your IE looks like this. You’ve lost the argument.

Yeah! While the internet has become the native repository for information, it has also hosts software that leave metaphorical slums all over your browsing space. But that is not all. These individual toolbars unnecessarily hog the resources – for more computer savvy, that would be your RAM and CPU cycles. Do developers of crapware make nearly as many add-ons for other browsers? I hardly think so.

Internet Explorer has got a lot better over time and has consistently worked out to be my number one choice for browsing. I’ve used every major release of Chrome, Opera, Firefox and even Safari. I have to say, Safari, in my experience comes second. There were times I helped people avoid complete reformats of their computer systems, which should clearly infer that I know better, but no one has ever come to give IE another try even though it will always be there in the event of the inevitable failure of their “favourite browsers”.

So, whose fault is it? Microsoft? Definitely not. They’ve always managed to keep IE on the position of ‘my favourite browser’, so it is not the fault of Microsoft. IE, as of now is the only browser that fully supports hardware rendering of their HTML5 web pages; it’s the others who have to catch up. Maybe we could blame the makers of these add-ons. They don’t give much thought to the inconvinience it could cause to have their toolbars around. Then again, if you read their respective licence agreements carefully, the toolbars help most of them keep their software free. The others are just screwing with you.

The real problem with IE is YOU. It is you, the user, who has been consistently inconsiderate of the troubles you’d face using those nasty shareware. If you give it some time and thought, you’d actually be able to see, subsequently read and observe the key words and accordingly check the right boxes to eventually avoid the troubles you might have to go through in the future.

If you’re reading this in any browser other than IE, I’m pretty sure you’d find one toolbar waiting for you to launch IE by accident. In this world, where everything with some sort of legal binding needs a certain minimum amount of attention, it baffles me to see such a degree of carelessness.

This is the last of me you’d ever find on this matter. I’m almost loving the fact that I’m only one of the few who use IE – I get to keep all its awesomeness to myself. Do check out Browser You Loved to Hate.

The only people who know my birthday are the good people at XBOX and I’m looking forward to their Rewards program becoming available in India. For the rest of you, you can buy me gifts all year. Just click on Buy me stuff from the menu for more details.