Date Tags Web

There are a lot of things I'd keep an eye on, if it was easier, including:

  • Nagios problem summaries
  • Various plots showing metrics for our hosted applications
  • social network feeds
  • ...

I could keep web pages open, but that takes too much space. What I want is the equivalent of an electronic photo frame for web pages.

I decided to throw something together today that would do this for me:

This is a purely client side application that collects URLs and cycles through them, staying on each one for a minute at a time. You can add, list and remove URLs. You can stop and start cycling, move forward and back, and select URLs to display.

There are a few interesting things to note:

Web Storage
The localStorage facility provided by modern browsers is used to store the list of URLs. The storage is keyed on the URL, so you can keep multiple lists of URLs by adding query strings (or copying the application to other URLs).

The application has a row of controls across the top and an iframe that takes up the rest of the page. Getting the iframe to fill the remainder of the page, and getting the URL bar at the top to fill the middle of the control bar was a bit tricky. Using CSS percentage based sizes wasn't acceptable because I didn't want to scale all components equally when resizing a page (or when zooming in or out).

The most common technique seems to be to use javascript handlers for page resizes to resize the page contents. Dojo, which I used for the control widgets has some mechanisms to do this, but I wanted to see if I could manage it totally with CSS.

I ended up using a combination of absolute and fixed positioning expressed in terms of ems. See the CSS styles in the HTML for more information.

Unicode Fun
I was too lazy to go scrounge up images to use for the player controls, so I ended up using unicode text that got me close enough. :)