For anyone, like me, who is used to using Adobe Photoshop making the transition to The Gimp, which is it’s closest Open Source equivelant, has always been really difficult largely because we are so used to the Photoshop terminology for features and functions and it’s keyboard shortcuts. We get so used to doing things in a certain way in Photoshop that the second we try to use The Gimp we simply want to give up! I know I have on many occasions!
Then along comes Scott Moschella, who has taken the Open Source GIMP and made some tweaks to it! In short he’s hacked The Gimp to make it more accessible to Photoshop users:
If youâ€™ve never used Photoshop before, you may not appreciate my GIMPshop hack. What Iâ€™ve done is renamed and reorganized GIMPâ€™s tools, options, windows, and menus to closely resemble Adobe Photoshopâ€™s menu structure and naming conventions. Many of the menu options and even whole menus were recreated to faithfully reproduce a Photoshop-like experience. After running my GIMPshop hack, youâ€™ll find that Photoshop and the GIMP are strikingly similar.
Scott has done an amazing job, it’s not a 100% 1 to 1 mapping but it’s close enough for me, and means I can actually be productive in The Gimp! To get a feel for how close it is compare these screenshots:
The Adobe Photoshop Edit Menu:
..and now its GimpShop equivalent:
You can download GimpShop for free from Scott’s Site here. I strongly recommend this to anyone out there looking for an Open Source, or lets face it a Free, equivalent to PhotoShop!
Microsoft has added copyrighted books to its online library, stating it has permission to offer the works t searchers on the internet . They have made deals with with authors and publishers to include their works in the Live Search, and in doing so Microsoft have managed to sidestep the controversy that Google initially triggered when they began their book digitising project to offer the worlds written works online.
User’s have to log into Live Search in order to read the content online, it appears that user’s can only read a certain number of pages and the software keeps track of how many pages visitors have read online for free. Most of the searches I have performed allow me to read 10% of the pages in any Copyrighted book that I’m browsing. I actually find this far more useful than simply being able to browse the table of contents or view selected extracts as one can in Google’s Book Search. This enables me to make a more informed decision as to whether I want to go and buy the book, and also, if im just searching for the answer to a question or need to read up on a chapter on some specific subject, I can read those bits for free online which probably will mean I wont need to go out and buy the book.
Amongst the publishers who have agreed to allow this type of access to their materials are Simon and Schuster, Mcgraw-Hill, Rodale and Cambridge University Press. Microsoft obviously provide direct links to where the books you are reading online can be purchased from. It’s an interesting move by Microsoft when you consider that Google’s wholesale scanning of copyrighted works in library collections will give it a larger database of books, but by working with publishers and obtaining their permission, Microsoft is seemingly able to offer a better experience to users.
Removes User Control: User’s have no control over automated content changes. For user’s have no accessibility needs this isn’t a problem, but for users who rely on assisstive technology there is no way of knowing that content has changed. This can prove to be very confusing/disorienting since this can also involve altering normal browser functionality and triggering events that the user is not aware of.
So how is all this achieved? Well lets take a closer look at how the paging control. The snippet of html below shows a simplified2 version of markup that actually represents the items in the list3, take particulare note of the empty div after the unordered list this is the placeholder we inject the paging control into:
Here we use its identifier to find the unordered list we want to augment with our paging control. Each list element in the unordered list is what we refer to as a holding, we simply extract the contents of each of those nodes and temporarily store them in an array called libraries. In the case of the page I pointed you to earlier this array would contain 50 items.
Once we have found and copied the original complete list of libraries we can now proceed with updating the DOM to display to the user only the first 10 libraries, and render a paging navigation control. The function below updates the DOM by removing the original contents of the Libraries node, and replaces it with 10 items indexed from the specified startPosition.
The final line in the function above calls a method to render the navigation controls which I’ve copied below. You’ll notice that we find the placeholder identified by “pagingcontrol”, and render the preview, next and individual page links ( renderPageNumbers() ) into it.
I’ve removed the url and the title attribute and the icon image from each link to simplify the example [back]
I’m using Dean’s Syntax Highlighter but specifying html means that the Snap Shots tries to execute against it, so I’ve specified XML instead [back]