Local AJAX calls with IE11

Here is a little snippet to get local AJAX (with jQuery) working when running content locally in IE 11. Local content is not allowed to use the XMLHttpRequest but it can use the proprietary ActiveXObject, so this tells jQuery to always use the ActiveXObject if it’s available.

I needed to use this to run local content on a Surface RT which doesn’t have IIS or any other browsers. This allowed me to run content that relied on AJAX from the desktop in IE modern.

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$.ajaxSetup({
    xhr: function()  {
        if ('ActiveXObject' in window) {
            return new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
        }
        else
        {
            return new XMLHttpRequest();
        }
    }
});

Windows 8 start screen in HTML, CSS and Javascript

About 7 or 8 months ago I built a tile based launch page at work to launch learning modules which looked similar to the Windows 8 start screen. When I had spare time I kept building on and adding 3D animations to match it even closer to Windows 8. Then I kind of forgot about it until this week when I stumbled upon this article Creating Windows-8-like 3D animations with CSS3 and jQuery which provides a tutorial on creating a similar effect.

I had been meaning to do a post on my laucher when I first started making it but it never happened. So now that that article reminded me I thought I should post it. I am not going to provide any explanations of the code or tutorials but rather just show a demo (It’s HTML and javascript so you can just view the source anyway). I have ripped a bunch of LMS related code out of it and turned it into a web page launcher.

Click a tile to launch an ‘app’ (in this case a website). Hover you mouse over the top or bottom right corner for the ‘charms’ bar to close the site and return to the start screen. I have currently only tested it in Chrome and on an iPad and there isn’t a way to get to the charms bar on iPad yet.

Click to launch demo

Getting all element attribute values with jQuery

Here is a little snippet which I have found extremely useful especially when working with XML in Javascript. You can use the following to loop through all of an element’s attributes and store them in an object:

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var element = $("#myElement"),
    attributes = {};

$.each(element.get(0).attributes, function(i, attrib){
    attributes[attrib.name] = attrib.value;
});

So for example if we have the following XML node:

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<item id="item1" name="the first item" image="thumbnail1.png" />

After running the snippet above on the node we can now access the values on the attributes object we created like so:

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console.log( attributes.id ) // item1
console.log( attributes.name ) // the first item
console.log( attributes.image ) // thumbnail1.png

I have found this very useful when I don’t want to hard code XML parsing and I don’t need to know all the values right away.

I hope this is useful for someone else!

JS Transform Handles

The other day I was playing around with Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker and I had the idea of using HTML/JS/CSS to create transformable divs using transform handles and a bounding box. I did a quick search for any existing examples of HTML transform handles but i couldn’t find anything so I decided to give it a go myself. Below is a demo of what I came up with. It might not be the best solution but it works pretty well. I even implemented rotation but I had some issues with the scaling when the element was rotated. The demo has the rotation disabled but you can get the source by view the source of the frame. All JS, and CSS is in the one HTML file. Enabling the rotation is as simple as removing display none from the rotation handles CSS style.

The main reason I wanted to create transformable DIVs is for the next version of my Module Builder. I had experimented with transforming HTML via the AIR app but I think doing it directly in the HTML page.

Leveraging iOS hardware via the browser with Javascript

Just another quick post tonight. I have bigger one lined up for tomorrow I promise. I just wanted to show a little experiment I did a while back with JavaScript – accessing the¬†Accelerometer and Compass data in Safari on the iPad. Below is a short video demonstrating it if you don’t have access to an iPad. If you do have one – visit the link following the video. I might also mention that the arrow/circle image was all created using CSS3 too!

And here’s the link to the demo.

To get the source – just go to the above link and right click > view source.