Via Ajaxian, I learned about Shadowbox.js. From its creator, Michael Jackson:
A few weeks ago, I was looking for a Lightbox-like script that would allow me to display more than just pictures. In addition to static images, my client required the ability to display various types of movies including QuickTime and SWF. The only script that fit the bill was Lightwindow?a nice piece of work to be sure?but it required the Prototype + Scriptaculous combo and I was already using YUI.
Besides, I thought, it would be really great to have a full-featured media viewing application that was library agnostic. Then, if I need to use a different framework for some particular reason, I can easily switch.
I've been using Lightbox JS on this site for almost 2 years. The next time I need lightbox functionality for an application, I'll definitely try out Shadowbox. I dig the look and feel. I agree with Ajaxian commentors that rel="lightbox[name]" would be awesome. If it's added, I could theoretically replace lightbox.js with shadowbox.js and I wouldn't have to make any other changes.
View Shadowbox Demos »
In The future is now -- Java development in 2008, Andy Glover writes:
The year 2007 was full of exciting plot twists, punctuated by growing excitement about dynamic languages, the open source evolution of the JVM, and the rise of Google as a strategic contributor to the Java community. The question is, what does all that tell us about the year ahead?
And so, despite some rumors to the contrary, I would argue that Java isn't going anywhere but up in 2008. Rather than peer into a crystal ball and try to divine the future, let's reflect on the major events and trends of the past year. Taken together, they reveal all we need to know about what's ahead in 2008.
He concludes the article with:
An African proverb states that Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. Thus, the future of Java (at least for the next year) has already been brewing for some time. The events of 2008 will largely
be shaped by the JVM itself, as languages like JRuby and Groovy grow in popularity and eventually gain enterprise-wide adoption.
The promise of using Java to develop consumer mobile applications also seems more accessible than it has for some time, given
Google's foray with Android and Sun's with JavaFX Mobile. Most of us will also be concerned with leveraging the emerging multicore systems and looking to Java 7's
java.util.concurrent packages for answers. Lastly, open source Java and the business model surrounding it will continue to grow.
I agree that learning about JRuby and Groovy is a good way to be prepared for the future. Reading Ola Bini's Practical JRuby on Rails Web 2.0 Projects and/or Stuart Halloway and Justin Gehtland's Rails for Java Developers seem like good ways to get started with JRuby. With Groovy, Groovy in Action has received a lot of good reviews. For Grails, it's a bit more difficult as it's evolved so quickly w/o any updated books. I like the look of Scott Davis's Groovy Recipes, but that won't be released until March.
One thing to note: just because you learn these languages and frameworks doesn't necessarily mean you'll find a new job doing them. In my experience, there's still way more Java jobs than there is Rails or Grails jobs. I sat on a Consulting Panel last night at Denver's Ruby on Rails user group (DeRailed) and this was confirmed (at least for Ruby) by the recruiters on the panel. There were three recruiters and combined they've only seen 2 Rails positions in the last 6 months.
So if you're looking for a new job, I doubt you're going to find one that allows you to leverage your new-found JRuby/Groovy skills out of the gate. However, I do believe you can leverage these tools in your existing jobs and hopefully make your development life more efficient.
A good friend sent me an e-mail this afternoon asking for some advice.
I am headed to London & Dublin next week for a quick trip with my friend who's a pilot for US Airways. I am pretty sure you've visited these 2 places, let me know if you have any good advice or must see places or things to do, or even a good place to stay. We haven't booked any hotels yet but booked our flights.
I haven't been to Dublin since 1998 and I've never been to London - so I figured it might be a good question for readers of this blog. What are the must see places and things to do in Dublin and London? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.