Fisheye Banner Modules

Created by: Lester Caine, Last modification: 30 Sep 2012 (16:31 UTC)

Introduction

Having taken over support for a large number of websites, built using a range of frameworks including ASP, there needed to be some rationalisation on how they were managed. In addition customers were already asking for the ability to make changes to sites themselves. The previous company would charge for every change and as a result some of the sites were getting out of date. Our plan was to move everything over to bitweaver and provide the sorts of facilities customers are asking for.
With a vast range of styles of site creating compatible themes for each is going to be interesting, so the obvious starting point is to create some additional modules to provide a useful base to work from. Since many of the sites have banners using a hard coded set of images this was the obvious initial target.

Banner Gallery

The natural starting point is to create a gallery in fisheye which will be used to store the image set. This immediately offers the ability to upload new pictures and change existing ones as appropriate. In addition some of the early sites are still using flash video sequences which also need replacing with something more generic with modern hardware. (OK so that the sites work with Apple!)
I have always created a directory for 'site images', which is kept private to admin, so dropping an extra gallery in there is ideal. In addition, fisheye does already have a random picture module, which was an ideal starting point.

Display Options

The initial target site is using a flash module to provide a random picture with a short master menu overlaying it, so cutting down the .php file simply to return a single random image to the module was an easy option. Using the row count to provide a gallery number to the module, and the module title was used to provide a thumbnail size. All my existing sites have an extra-large thumbnail size which is needed for the 260by960 image size in this case. The particular target site also had an XML file which provided text to be provided as a pop-up when the mouse is moved over the banner, so the image titles provide that information. On other sites a section of text is also required which fits in the image description nicely.

Further developments

The facilities provided by fisheye allow a number of options such as ordering a sequence of images, and dropping images between galleries allows the sequence to be updated while retaining all images. Some additional parameters will be useful, but rather than making one module too complex, it is planned to retain the banner_rand for single picture banners, and add a second base that will scroll a sequence of images. banner_cycle

Template options

The bulk of the styling work is obviously done in the associated templates, and it is anticipated that each site will have it's own variation on that file.

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