series|Great Finds

From time to time I stumble across software or related solutions that amaze me for their elegance, cleverness or usefulness. Mostly no big solutions in terms of line of code or something like that, but great in terms of the idea or the implementation of its creator(s).

In this series I blog about those pearls, first and foremost, to remember them for me as well. A simple bookmark would not be appropriate.


Following 5 posts belong to Great Finds ...

Seating Group
Great Finds

The Last Image Gallery...

... you have to deal with: Spotlight

In the last decade(s) I have seen and tried many image galleries and lightboxes for showing images or groups of images. Depending on your needs, you can choose out of trillions of solutions, for every JS framework or vanilla JS, in every flavour, size and color. With many of them, however, you reach the limits quite quickly. Be it in terms of visual adaptability, extensibility or implementation. Customization cost time and nerves, especially if the respective library has structural weaknesses.

However, from today on, I don’t need to look for a suitable solution for my next project, because I found one that leaves absolutely none of my wishes unfulfillede: Spotlight by Nextapps from Berlin, Germany.

Spotlight

To make it clear: this is not a paid advertising text or something like that. That wouldn’t make sense either, because Spotlight is Open Source (Apache 2.0 License) and its code is availabel at GitHub. I’m just thrilled with the work of the developers.

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Meek Window
Great Finds

Open Source Insights - Seeing the big picture

Google's new experimental platform to get a grip on project dependencies

A while ago I needed some functionality regarding database access in one of my spare time projects and I decided to use a library from NPM. Typed npm install and the hell was breaking loose … 186 direct dependencies and nearly 200K of files were flooding my harddrive!

The mental basis of IT is lazyness, which means that we produce software to make our and others life easier. This also applies to the building process. Don’t reinvent the wheel, but reuse the work of other developers. But … we have to recognize the limits and prevent to fall into the dependency hell.

To get a better overview over dependencies, regarding NPM and other repositories, some Google engineers have published a project called Open Source Insights a couple of days ago.

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Bottle Series
Great Finds

Triangulate your images with Triangula

As I am a photo enthusiast I’m always excited to find new tools, to give images a unique look. Today I stumbled over Triangula. Ever seen one of those cool backgrounds, where a picture has been broken up into lots of little triangles?

In trigonometry and elementary geometry, the division of a surface into triangles is called a triangular grid, triangular mesh or triangulation.
Wikipedia

Whoever RH12503 (Ryan H??) is, he did an amazing job on creating this little Go program, including a pleasing UI, do convert images into those equivalents.

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Forgotten Motocycle
Great Finds

SVG Resources

Since beginning beginning of time, people are using symbols to make things clear quickly and easily. So do we when developing websites and web apps by using icons. Everybody knows what’s behind a loupe symbol or a hamburger icon.


Guess and click...

The way we implement icons have changed in the past. From BMP files to GIF and JPG files, PNG files, to complete or customizable symbol fonts like fontello.com, to Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

SVG’s in particular are becoming increasingly popular, because they are nothing more than XML-like code, that can be manipulated via CSS or JS, their digital footprint is unbeatable small and they scale seemlessly.

Dealing with SVG’s is a little bit more difficult than placing a PNG in HTML, because of its complexity, but it is worth learning as much as possible about it. So did I in the last couple of month and I want to share my finds on the web with you in this post.

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Jaffa Antiques
Great Finds

Dopamine: How Software should be...

A great media player for Windows 10

Not very often, when I’m looking for a new tool to replace some annoying or outdated piece of software, I have to blog about it … but from time to time, I’m discovering pearls, worth to lose a word about.

The Windows 10 built-in media player Groove is (to be kind) … nice, but it is more or less a leftover from Microsoft’s attempt to create a competitor to iTunes, years ago. The crippeled UI is not the most modern and I was more than once annoyed about its usability.

Doing a research for a good alternative, you stumble always over the usual suspects: MediaMonkey, Foobar2000, Winamp, VLC or even Media Player Classic!? Not modern enough, not user friendly enough, not lean enough.

I really don’t remember where, but there was a screenshot of a player, which seems to be the complete opposite of the others: Dopamine from Digimezzo, a project by the Belgian developer Raphaël Godart

Screenshot Dopamine 2.0.2.

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