Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Gettin' My Code Jones On

I've been in a bit of a rut lately. I've had the itch to write some serious code, but it just wasn't flowing right. Well, yesterday... I got my Code Jones rolling.

One of the things I've been working on at the day job (I'm the web developer at 13WHAM.com) is trying to make posting content to the website as easy as possible for our content editors and producers. One issue has been including images with the stories we post.

While the content management system our parent company provides is fairly decent, the image functions are strictly "upload only". I wanted to create a few apps to handle some simple image manipulation, without having to put graphics software on every machine in the newsroom.

(Yes, I know there are really cheap, or even free, graphics software out there, but I'm thinking about our IT Guy, Tom... more about "The Dalai Tommy" in a future post)

Anywho, I set out to create three distinct apps: a resizing tool for video screen caps, a Chyron-style slide creator to mimic what is used on-air, and a photo cropping tool. Of the three, the cropping tool was the most difficult... but nothing a recent post (Image Crop) to DHTMLGoodies.com, and some code tweaking couldn't fix.

One major tweak I made was to change the crop processing to use the GD library instead. I didn't want the script to have to rely on Imagemagick to work, and since GD is pretty much on every Apache installation out there, I thought it would be best.

It took a little wrestling, but it is working great now.

Now, to keep the Jones rolling...

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