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Big DaftMonkey update

23 February, 2009 (11:40) | GreaseMonkey, JavaScript, daft.ie | By: admin

A lot of new features have been added to DaftMonkey, my Greasemonkey script for Firefox and the property search website Daft.ie.  You can get it at http://www.chofter.com/apps?n=daftmonkey

The video below shows its current features.

DaftMonkey application added to Chofter Apps

3 February, 2009 (14:09) | Uncategorized | By: admin

I’ve recently added a new application to Chofter Apps called DaftMonkey.  DaftMonkey is an extension for FireFox that makes working with the Irish property site Daft.ie far quicker and efficient.

Check it out at http://www.chofter.com/apps?n=daftmonkey or check out the video I recorded for it below.

Cool animated graphics widget for selecting categories added

2 January, 2009 (22:49) | SVG, UI, VML, widget | By: admin

A cool new widget for selecting the search category has been added to Chofter.com, the next-gen search portal.  Instead of simple HTML buttons or links, users of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera now see a standalone widget that has a nice animation when selecting the category.

For those interseted in the implementation, it is NOT FLASH.  it is achieved using the dojo.gfx graphics library, which uses Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG) under the hood in Firefox and Opera, and Vector Markup Language (VML) in Internet Explorer.

Note: users of Webkit based browser, e.g. Safari and Google Chrome, will see the old widget, as those browsers implementation of SVG technology is not sufficiently stable.  Hopefully future versions will improve on this.

A couple of other tiny changes were also added, such as changing the search button, and fixing the order in which different search results are displayed so that data fetched later does not pop up in front of results you are reading.

More cool stuff is coming…..

New Chofter.com search sources: PHP, Java, .NET, Dojo & Prototype

6 November, 2008 (08:59) | Uncategorized | By: admin

The Technical search category has been a bit underpowered for a while now, so it was definitely time to strengthen it.  So…… the following search sources have now been added, all of which are programming language references:

  • PHP
  • Java
  • .NET
  • Dojo Ajax Toolkit
  • Prototype Ajax Toolkit

For example, a search for “array” will bring up each language’s methods and objects for dealing with arrays. More languages on the way, probably.

Any suggestions?

Chofter.com now in Spanish and Estonian

5 November, 2008 (10:41) | i18n | By: admin

Chofter.com is now available in Spanish and Estonian!  Many thanks to Karim and Janne Heredia for their translation efforts.

Context Menus And Korean Added, 한국어판 출시

16 October, 2008 (23:44) | Uncategorized | By: admin

Today two features I’m very happy with were added to Chofter, the next-generation search engine.

오늘 두가지의 새로운 기능이 Chofter, 차세대 검색 엔진,에 업데이트 되었습니다.

The first feature is the Context Menu. A new orange icon is placed next to search results which, when clicked, gives you list of actions you can take on the link in the search result.  For example, you can create a bookmark, send it to Digg, add it to your online bookmarks at del.icio.us, share it on Facebook, and more.  The image below shows it in action.

첫번째 기능은 팝업 메뉴창입니다. 검색 결과 페이지에 오렌지색의 아이콘들이 새롭게 만들어 졌는데, 이 아이콘을 클릭시 검색 결과에 관련된 링크 리스트가 보여집니다. 예를 들면 특정한 결과 페이지를 북마크에 더한다거나,  del.icio.us로부터의 개별적인 온라인 북마크, Digg 사이트에 더할수도 있으며, 또는 페이스북에 원하는 검색 결과를 공유하는 등의 여러가지 기능이 더욱 손쉬어 졌습니다. 아래 사진에서 확인할수 있구요:-)

The second feature is Chofter’s first Asian language, Korean (which is why this post is in both languages). The translation was done by the lovely Francesca Kim, otherwise known as my main distraction.

두번째 새로운 기능은 Chofter의 첫번째 아시안 언어, 한국어 사용이 가능해졌습니다. 번역은 Francesca Kim님이 도와주셨습니다.

Chofter Context Menu

Chofter Context Menu

Low-fat Chofter

9 October, 2008 (09:08) | performance | By: admin

I’ve managed to knock off about 30% of the download size of Chofter.com by doing two things:

  • Using the newly Dojo 1.2 toolkit hosted by AOL
  • Removing code duplication.

Look at it move!!

User Interface Overhaul

28 September, 2008 (10:56) | UI | By: admin

The look and feel of Chofter.com has been completely upgraded.

The first few releases of Chofter.com had a look that I wasn’t too fond of.  This was mostly due to the fact that I was concentrating on the technical aspects of making the site work (I’m an engineer after all), and less on the asthetics.

Now that the site works quite well, I’ve taken the time to improve usability, simplified the interface, and made search results more readable.

The initial screen now looks like the image below:

The initial page of Chofter.com

The initial page of Chofter.com

Note that the check boxes previously used to select the search category are now replace with much nicer buttons, the green header and footers are gone, and the controls are in the centre of the screen.

I also replaced the “More Stuff button with an image for selecting your preferred language, and another button for all other options.

Once you’ve performed a search, the screen now looks like:

Results displayed in Chofter.com

Results displayed in Chofter.com

The search controls move from the centre to the top of the screen, the search results are displayed in a more traditional fashion, with the title on top, description in the middle, and URL at the bottom.  The “Play” icon used to open the search result in a dialog box, rather than opening a new tab or window, is more prominent, aligned to the left.  People seemed to miss this very useful functionality, so hopefully it’ll be used more from now on.

I hope you like the new look and feel - if you have any suggestions please feel free to comment on this post.

Multiple language support added to Chofter.com

14 September, 2008 (02:41) | i18n | By: admin

Chofter.com now has support for multiple languages.  For the moment, English, French and German are supported, with more languages to follow.

The visual layout of the screen has slightly changed also, with the search bar being moved to the centre of the screen when the page is first loaded.  This is the beginning of a comprehensive redesign of the look of the site, which will be completed in the coming weeks.

Huge performance improvements added to Chofter.com

25 August, 2008 (09:46) | performance | By: admin

Chofter.com has just been upgraded with a number of significant performance improvements.  These were mainly targetted at fixing speed issues in Internet Explorer, whose JavaScript engine is a bit on the snail-like side.  Users of Firefox or Safari probably won’t notice a huge difference, but for users of Internet Explorer it will feel far more responsive.

Many thanks to Neil Roberts of SitePen for his help with this.